Sunday, June 13, 2010


About an hour ago a storm blew in which fits my mood; way too many personal storms last week, so the dark clouds and wind are indicative of my emotions. Stacy had a bit of a hiccup; two minor seizures meant that something was amiss in her system. It's difficult to be thankful for a seizure but in Stacy's case it helps me figure out what might be wrong. Her language skills have never developed enough to be able to tell me the symptoms she's having. "I don't feel well," is about the best she can do. My gut reaction was a UTI, but of course on Thursday the kidney doctor wasn't in the office Stacy goes to. And the main concern is always kidney rejection so we needed to go to Loma Linda, nearly two hours away. Would she be admitted? And if so how could I have mom with me? Mom's sister, shock, said that she'd take mom. Huge relief. We spent about eight hours in the ER and happily the UTI didn't warrant a stay in the hospital; her blood tests were negative for potential rejection. Loma Linda University Hospital is a trauma center for most of S.CA and crosses the border to include AZ. so the tension levels there are high and that added to my stress. After receiving a round of IV antibiotics and "the word" from a transplant doctor we headed home on the freeway that always makes me anxious; the I10 is fraught with accidents mostly involving semi trucks.

And there is mom who has decided to become more inventive with how she deals with Alzheimer's. Did you know that bathrooms are "notorious for being able to be used as kitchens?" I sure didn't, but it seems that if you pile used Kleenex on the bathroom floor and try to light it with an unlit candle you'll have a way of cooking food. She had a plate to cook on and a bottle of rubbing alcohol on the counter. Anyone who thinks that Alz is merely loss of memory doesn't have a clue as how unhinged the brain can become! Nothing makes sense to her anymore; she can't problem solve the simplest of things and wanders around the yard constantly trying to make sense of where she is. Yesterday, the gravel in the yard wasn't gravel but had become layers of nuts that she was going to eat; she was angry when I insisted that let go of the handful she was carrying to her room, she'd spent of a lot time getting just the right ones. Leaves on plants are lettuce and abundant. . . . Her latest minute-by-minute behavior problems don't leave me a lot of free time to create anything and that makes Gail one cranky person.

This morning, while attempting to calm myself down, I walked around the garden and photographed some "Nuggets Of Joy." From the top down are Mexican Bird-of-Paradise; the first time I saw that plant was the first spring here in the desert! Brilliant orange on a lacy plant. They grow like weeds here and we had to have them, but they can take over the yard so we decided against them. We now have two in pots near the front door and as soon as mom decides that the blossoms will look better in her room the plants won't be as showy. Mom picks everything including green tomatoes that she was going to eat, everything, even if it isn't food, is meant for her eating pleasure. When the Bird-of-Paradise blooms it opens a little at time. Up close it's really magnificent. The color theme by the front door ended up being orange, not something I would have intentionally chosen, but when we fell in love with an African Geranium, the second photo, we had to have that one as well. It loves heat. And the next photo is of the first Plumeria bloom. They shout tropics to me and seem out of place here, but Roger had to have them. They're thriving so well that I had to move the pots from in front of the windows to walls on the side of the house; they were blocking the windows with their glorious leaves.

Our boy, Spencer, who thought that if he had dibs on the table I wouldn't put it out in the garage. Stacy used the well-worn table for a nightstand until her sister brought out the nightstands that match the dresser she gave Stacy a few years ago. I now have the steam pot I use when I dye fabric on the glass topped table. And yes, Spencer is one very large cat! Doesn't he look like he's saying, "Don't mess with me?" He is the greatest cat, or is MizRiley the greatest? Or was Zeus? We've been lucky to have amazing lovable cats.

Sally Huss nails it again: "Tune yourself to happiness and adjust the frequency when you get out of sync.


queenopearls said...

Storms of nature and life need rainbows thereafter. You are one who appreciates so much and creates rainbows, of sorts, in your yard and in your art.
The sunset piece is awesome and the red series beautifully energizing.
Oh Spencer is such a kingly soul on his platform of power. :-D
Mega love and hugs!

Anonymous said...

OH Gail- you've been in my thoughts lately- and now I know why. Such deep struggles. Yet in the midst- you still create with your photographs. Thank heavens for the camera!! Your flowers are beautiful, your baby, Spencer is fabulous!
Your Mom's disease continues to progress- Alzheimer's is indeed so much more than memory loss.
I hope Stacy continues to feel better.
I'm glad you are talking about it- so we, your friends can support you.
p.s. Your new design looks GREAT!!!

Julie said...

The flowers are glorious and I hope they give you some comfort while life is so difficult for you. I'm glad Stacey's health problem was sorted out and wasn't more serious. Well done you for getting you both to the treatment centre and back safely!

It sounds as though your Mum's Alzheimer's is getting pretty advanced. In this country you have to really fight for support and respite care. Is anything available to you over there? You must need eyes in the back of your head to stop your Mum eating something deadly. It's more than one person can do to watch someone 24 hours a day. My heart goes out to you. I hope Spencer is a cat for a cuddle, he looks as though he'd be good at it, or maybe a bit heavy? ;o)

Take care of yourself xx

Joyce said...

That sounds like a stressful week all right. I'm glad you have cats and flowers to help you back to serenity.

Marilyn said...

Gee. Gail, you've been really stressed. I never realized that Stacy's communication skills were under-developed. I obviously don't know the whole story. I empathize with you dealing with your mom. My mom became immobile and lost language skills before she could get into too much trouble. Terrible disease!!!!
Your photos are beautiful. I love the plumeria juxtaposed against the bird of paradise.
Sending you light and love,