My Thanksgiving Nightmare

Thanksgiving is even more important after my nightmare

Brined Turkey, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie are yummy traditions that make Thanksgiving great. As a child, it was the biggest holiday of the year. We always had tons of people. A great tradition that I’ve carried on throughout the years. In 1997 that changed. I lived my thanksgiving nightmare! I was three months pregnant and my husband had been in the hospital for 5 weeks. Being pregnant with our second child and carting to and from the hospital and taking care of a toddler I knew I couldn’t cook so I decided to go to a friend’s house. At least that was the plan. But early Thanksgiving morning my husband took his last breath.

What made Thanksgiving my favorite holiday is that it’s a day to spend with friends, family and even some people that you only see on once a year. 1997 was the year that I didn’t really want to do anything. I don’t remember much that, but as I look back, I think Thanksgiving was the day so I would always remember him on my favorite day of the year, to make me more thankful for everything I have.

That was the hardest day of my life. I remember thinking “how can this be happening”, “why me”. All of the things you would expect. It took a couple years, but I’m happy to say that I enjoy Thanksgiving again, very much and cook every year.

We should be thankful every minute of every day. Who knows what the next moment brings. My new tradition, right before we eat, we go around the table and say what we are all thankful for.

This day is a time to be thankful and right now we need to be thankful for every peaceful moment. My life lesson is that one precious moment can change your life forever. Don’t take life for granted. Trust me, I’ve lived a nightmare and Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday, just in a different way!

Don’t Be Offended

Everyone has an opinion and in the United States of America, we are all allowed to express our opinions, a privilege many American’s take for granted. When someone expresses their opinion, don’t be offended. People today get offended easily. Social media has made it easy for people to say what’s on their mind and that can offend so many.

THE FIRST AMMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There was a time that people couldn’t freely express their opinions publicly, before the internet. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but when reading public opinions on social media, blogs or anywhere on the internet, keep in mind that this is freedom of speech. If you don’t want to hear someone’s opinions, block them or stop reading. I once heard that 90% of people offended are offended by something that wasn’t meant to be offensive.

I found myself careful about what I post and respond to. Not just because of predators or stalkers but because I don’t want to offend anyone. So at the ripe young age of 51, I find myself somewhat quiet and boring.

People post about something topical, like Bruce/Kaitlin Jenner. People are entitled to think whatever they want. I remember reading a post that to me sounded like someone expressed that they didn’t think it was appropriate for this to be the main topic of the news. That’ doesn’t mean that they agree or disagree with Bruce becoming Kaitlin.

When reading posts, tweets or anything, take it with a grain of salt. Remember, if you don’t like what someone thinks, it’s ok. The world would be a very boring place if people all agreed everyone debated everything said. Get a thick skin and read with a grain of salt. Keep in mind, when you are reading, you are reading without tone of voice. Sometimes a wrong inflection can change the meaning the author was trying to portray. Think about what you are getting upset about. Is it really what you want to waste your time on?

Dementia and A Fake Husband

Link

I think about Dementia and what a horrible disease it is. I’m watching a family member whom we’ll call Aunt Shea losing all quality of life. Her husband died about 8 months ago and we’ve discovered Aunt Shea has more than dementia, she has dementia and a fake husband. In some cases the fake husband might be ok, but in this case the fake husband has a girlfriend. Every day when she calls me to tell me her husband left her for another woman I ponder whether or not to tell her that her husband died. If she’s happy why bother telling her. But the problem is she thinks he’s having an affair. So I tell her. Today was the day she knew he had died but wanted to know if the fake husband died too. I had to go with the flow and decided not to say yes or no and said I didn’t know.

The hard part about this is we didn’t know about the dementia because she and her husband hid it so well. His kids helped them too, so Aunt Shea’s side of the family had no idea how bad things were. Unfortunately it is very common for people use coping mechanisms so that people around them don’t really know what’s going on. In this situation the hard part is that means we are grieving both her husband and the woman Aunt Shea used to be.

There are many coping mechanisms that people with dementia use to handle everyday life. Notes around the house, pad with reminders, shuffling papers, double, triple and quadruple checking things. Those are just a few of the things Aunt Shea has used to help her feel like she has some control in her life. She’s a very stubborn woman and won’t admit anything is wrong nor will she see a doctor. As the days go by it’s become clear to me and the rest of the family that she has been hit by the daunting disease.

Now we are working diligently to find a place for her to live where she can enjoy the part of the life she has left. She is calling me 2 – 4 times a day unless she’s with someone else. The calls are usually about her husband leaving her for another woman. Sometimes she has hallucination’s of people coming into the house and has since changed the locks. When she’s here, I spend most of the day reminding her that her husband died. When watching TV, it can’t be a show with a complicated story line because her memory is so short she can’t remember the story line. But a good comedy is great. Laughter is great for anyone, and she loves to laugh.There are lots of lessons to learn about dealing with dementia. It’s amazing! Now that I’m involved with dementia everywhere I look someone is affected by it.

There are so many resources out there. Ask people, search the internet, Call the department of aging and you can even check with the Alzheimer’s Association. They are a great resource and can give you help and direction.

 

 

Trust Your Gut

Nobody knows you like you. That said, always trust your gut. I broke my foot 6 weeks ago. I knew it was broken the minute it happened. I stepped on a plastic bottle. It was a Boost Bottle, nice and strong. One that my foot didn’t crush, but instead broke my foot. I had a couple of errands to finish up and then I went straight to the hospital. Yup, a broken foot, the 5th Metacarpal with a nice long fracture.

My gut told me it was broken and I was right. The doctor I chose put me in a cast right away. Time to build up the muscles in the rest of my body. I went back 2 weeks later and the doctor said it got worse. Just a fraction of a millimeter. Hmmmmm. Ok. Now I’m back in another cast. Toes were out and dangling and that just didn’t seem right. I called my doctor’s office and they said it was fine and that’s the way they always put on a cast. I said ok and went on limping around.

So three weeks goes by, I called to get in and they said it got worse. I refused a cast and got a boot. I was told not to put any pressure on my foot and come back in three weeks. AHHHHHHHH! I wanted to scream so very bad. I left and found another doctor. A week later I was in another office and the doctor told me its fine. He pressed down on the broken bone and there wasn’t any pain. Even though the x-ray showed a line, he explained that it will show up like that for a while. Bones heal, but on the x-ray it looks like there’s still a line there because the bone takes a while to soften up and smooth out. I’M FREE! Well, that’s what it felt like as I walked out with my crutches in hand and both feet on the ground.

The moral of the story? Trust your gut. You know your body and yourself. I knew it couldn’t be broken and going to get a second opinion is just what my gut ordered. Remember, you hired the doctor and you are paying them. If it doesn’t feel right then you should go get another opinion.