Friday, August 23, 2013



This was my mom in 2010 celebrating her 86th Birthday. At that time Alzheimer's had already made it's mark upon her. Mom will be 89 years old tomorrow and as she has aged, so has the progression of Alzheimer's. These last 2 weeks have been pretty stressful, and for me many tears have fallen from my eyes.

Last week mom went from an ambulance to the emergency room, and then was admitted into the hospital. Only to find out  that she had terrible arthritis in her knee, which left her unable to walk. Today she is in a rehab program at a nursing home, a place she will not be able to leave. This has become her "new" home. Although I knew it was inevitable, I did not think that this was how it would happen. My mom never mentioned to anyone through all these years that she ever had any pain in her leg.

Mom is incapable of following the physical therapist's instructions. She is now wearing a diaper out of necessity, and not because she is incontinent. Since she  has no way of walking she cannot get to the bathroom. Trying to explain any of this is too complicated for her to understand. Given the disease and her age I truly believe that mom will probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

I need to take a deep breath and take hold of my emotions, and pull myself together and wipe away the tears. Mom was given medication since she was babbling which makes me wonder how quick she might become a "zombie". She can still speak and although it has been difficult for me to collect my daily kisses, I am hopeful that they will return. She has always been able to bounce back. Facing reality, probably not this time.

 I was able to have her spell several words with me this week. Which left me knowing that she was still capable of thinking. She spelt for me beautiful, sunshine, education and fabulous. Needless to say she actually spelt each one correctly. We also sang "you are my sunshine," as she said and I quote her, "oh how I love that song."

As hard of a week this was for me and my brother, I can only imagine how difficult it was for her. I am sure there were moments  where not only was she confused but frightened as well. I guess the one good thing about this disease is that as quick as the thought appears, that is how quick it disappears .

I am saddened that although the nurses and staff seem nice to mom, they somehow do not really understand how to try and communicate with her. While she is still verbal, mom did not respond when the nutritionist asked what food she would like to eat. When I see someone with Alzheimer's even if they can no longer speak I find a way to relate to them. Behind their glazing eyes is a person who is still alive and breathing. More training needs to be done in hospitals and nursing homes across this country so these workers can understand this horrific disease.

I have seventeen long days until I get to see mom, and I wish that I will never have to leave her. Unfortunately this cannot be . So for the days that I will be with her, I must try to enjoy every passing moment that I can share with her . I know that if my mom could understand what was going on ,she would try to comfort me and tell me, not to worry .

As time goes by each second of everyday my mom is slipping away. It hurts me terribly, yet I must except the truth. I pray that mom's last days, no matter how many she has left she will be able to feel all the love that I have for her.

My Mom My Hero Book is for the special people we love in our lives. Great reviews .Available on Amazon & Kindles worldwide.

Friday, August 16, 2013



 My mother so sweetly whispered these words, "how much do you love me, for I love you more than anything in the whole wide world." I questioned how did she go from telling me two days ago that you can never love too much, to now lying in a hospital bed unable to move her leg .

Intellectually, I do know and understand that life can change in a split second, yet the doctor's diagnosis of mom's knee needing a replacement, really took me by surprise. It actually sent shock waves through my body.

When Elaine her caregiver, entered  mom's home on Tuesday morning she found her unable to walk on one leg. Her home was in shambles and there was green jello found on her living room rug, in her bed and all over her clothes.

Was she having another UTI ? She had just finished her antibiotics a few days ago. In addition
she was unable to walk. Elaine was afraid that she would urinate all over herself, since she could not help mom to the bathroom.  She said that nothing looked bruised, although she thought it was best for mom to go to the emergency room. I agreed and she called 911.  Elaine then followed the ambulance as the medics took mom to the hospital.

Several hours later as I was keeping abreast of the situation, I was told that mom had fluid on her knee.  The doctor said this condition has probably been going on for sometime now. Shock # 2. Yet just a few hours earlier while speaking to mom she sounded good, as we giggled about the green jello. Even as I questioned her, she said she had no pain in her leg. My mom has complained about having back pains for as long as I can remember, but never once did I nor my brother or her caregivers, ever hear of her complaining about pains in her leg.

While speaking to the doctor he was discussing surgery, except not recommending it at her age. Instead he thought what would be best would be to drain her knee. The physical therapist also thought that she should go to a nursing home for rehabilitation. My brother said that maybe this was a blessing in disguise, since we are presently trying to get her into one of these facilities .

Being a long distance caregiver has me now feeling lost, somewhere in outer space. I just wanted to jump into my car, rush over to her, and hold her hand as she waited in the emergency room. How many days would it take me to drive 1200 miles ? It's moments like this that living so many miles apart becomes  more difficult.

 I  continued to phone the hospital and was updated every few hours by her caregiver. I was able to speak to mom again and I joked with her that she might be able to meet a doctor and marry him. Mom said, " Oh no, I have a husband who is so sweet, kind and handsome." "Okay mom what's his name?" His name is "Gilbert Jeffrey Elian." As she said his name I was touched, for this is my brother. When I shared this with Gil, he was surprised. He commented that although he visits her every week,  she usually does not remember his name. Well today, he had the honors of being her one and only.

The fact that she does not remember my dad (who passed away eighteen years ago) her husband of fifty years, does not upset me. What upsets me is everything that I do know. Fact-Mom would be moving into a nursing home quicker than I imagined. I wonder if she will also be in a wheelchair or will she be able to walk again? Somehow she always has been able to bounce back. I have told her several times that she is the "bionic woman".

Yesterday and last night I was feeling all right, yet when I awoke this morning I felt heavy and sad . I have been weeping on and off for several days. This is quite different from how I do handle mom's illness. I feel like a part of me is missing. There is a pang in my heart that will not go away. Yes everyone in similar situations have shared with me that this is best for her. I cannot escape feeling guilty and questioning how can I do this to her.

Although my heart is aching for how many miles we live apart, I need to be thankful that my mom is still alive . I have choices, and I know that I must return to the world of being grateful and celebrate who this woman is, and how she deeply touches my heart. It was not always like this yet I now feel privileged to be her daughter.

My Mom My Hero Book is for the special people we love in our lives. Great reviews .Available on Amazon & Kindles worldwide.

Friday, August 9, 2013



I am a long distance caregiver. My mom has Alzheimer's for nine years and her younger brother passed away from Alzheimer's five years ago. My mom will be 89 years old mid August. Out of her getting ill my love has been transformed. She will be going into a nursing home within 60 days which does break my heart. Otherwise my mom, who has become my hero, brings a smile to my face each and everyday.
Touching video only 2 1/2 minutes long.

Friday, August 2, 2013



Last week mom was having another episode with a urinary tract infection, better known as a U.T.I.  It seems as if every 2 weeks the infection has been recurring. I have become a pro at recognizing the symptoms almost instantly. It's as simple as my mom mentioning that she is having some back pains along with her not wanting to end our phone calls.

At most other times she is not capable of having any lengthy conversations. Recently, she has trouble connecting her words with her thoughts. I usually can distinguish what she is trying to say, although she has trouble expressing it.

Last week as the infection developed we had a more lengthy uplifting phone call. She was able to express all the love she felt for me and how much she missed me.  As our call came to an end tears of joy fell from my eyes.

At the moment she called me her sweet ,beautiful daughter my heart melted. Mom's voice sounded so gentle as she spoke these loving words. Everything seemed to connect in all the right places ,as if her Alzheimer's has disappeared.

There are so many things about this disease that fascinate me, that with this behavior it just adds to the list. Why when the U.T.I. starts is mom able to continuously speak making sense and sharing
past memories.

She becomes animated and thrilled as she reminiscence's about these images and the thoughts that are so real to her. How can this infection effect her  and have her bounce back to life?

I was overjoyed with these calls until I realized that this was the beginning of the infection. The U.T.I. would then cause her to be up all night and wander around her apartment as if she had just swallowed speed.  After this for the next several days out of total exhaustion, all she wanted to do was sleep.

These conversations that once had me rejoice, now have me saying "oh no, here we go again." Unfortunately, all I am left with is an yearning for these more fullfilling moments.

The words of love that we are now able to share with one another were not always present. Life can be strange for after mom became ill, my love for her tranformed into an unconditional one.

I wish that I could remove this disease from her, yet we know this is impossible. Instead, I hold onto a love for her that is never ending. A love and respect for this special lady who today has become my hero.

My Mom My Hero Book is for the special people we love in our lives.
#1 on Amazon Best Seller's in Memoirs (June 2013) fr/e books
Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.