Monday, June 1, 2015

June Desktop Calendar

It's 11:32pm Sunday, May 31st, and I was seriously considering not doing a calendar at all. I cannot begin to tell you how exhausted I am, and frankly, the blog, the calendar, my quilting, aren't anywhere near the top of my To Do List these days. As some of you may know, Andy, my husband of almost 40 years, is in severely declining health. After 4 strokes and an aneurism, he's been diagnosed with Parkinson's Plus (yes, that's a thing - and not as good as you'd think considering the "plus") resulting in general loss of faculties, abilities, coordination, cognizance and memory, with the addition of dementia and hallucinations. Turns out that's the "plus" part.

Some days he's on an airplane, some days he swears that Donald, a childhood friend, is living with us...I never know where I'm going to find him or who he's been talking to. It's very strange, very sad, and very labor intensive. Sometimes it's funny and I can't help but laugh and just go with it. A couple of weeks ago, I walked into the bedroom after he'd been in bed for about an hour, and I kicked him right in the head. (That probably doesn't help his condition any, but at least I wasn't wearing my orthopedic nun's shoes!) He was on the floor, with no recollection of how he'd gotten there. Got him back into bed, left the room shaking my head and made a quick gin & tonic nightcap. Fifteen minutes later I went in to get ready for bed and he was kneeling by the bed with his arm and head wedged firmly between the mattress and the little guardrail on the side of the bed.

 "What are you doing down there??"
 "I'm stuck."
 "I can see that - what are you trying to do?"
 "The captain said for everyone to get out on the right side of the plane, and I got stuck."

Hmmm...wonder what that's about. Got him up on the side of the bed and turned on the lights.

 "Do you know where you are?"
So far, so good...
 "Where in Tomball?"
 "On the PLANE!"
 There was no convincing him that he wasn't on a plane, so, as I tucked him back into bed, I said, "Well, the captain said to stay in your seat until the plane lands in the morning."

And he did.
The next morning, he remembered the incident but couldn't figure out how the plane landed in the bedroom. It's big, but not that big!

Anyway - Andy's health has been on the decline for the past 5 years, and has gotten steadily and more rapidly worse, this past year. No matter my intentions, I only finished one (1) customer quilt in all of 2014, and halfway through 2015, it doesn't look like I'm going to beat that record. That's also the reason the blog has deteriorated into a once a month 'calendar' post - and that's it. I can barely force myself into that little bit. No time, no energy, no desire. My days are consumed with taking care of my husband and trying to manage the million-and-one things that have to be done.

All that, to say this: If I miss a calendar in the upcoming months, you'll know I just couldn't squeeze one more thing into my day. I'm still here - I'm just keeping my head down trying to make it through the day.

Now that the rains in Texas have slowed down a little bit, I've been watching the Virginia Creeper vine outside my bathroom window grow by inches every day. It's like 1962's The Day of the Triffids. IMDB it, if you don't know what that is. That vine is the inspiration for this month's calendar, still all in hexies:

Click to expand the image to full size, right-click and choose Set as Wallpaper or Background.
To really make the calendar "pop" right-click on your background and choose black. Your family and co-workers will be jealous of your awesome wallpaper! Be sure to tell them where you found it!
And if you've got room on your prayer list, and your knees can take it, please remember us.


Lotte said...

I am so sorry to hear about your husband, from personal experience I know that dementia creates funny situations, but when you're in them, you don't know if you should laugh or cry. I'm very thankful that you make this calendar, but so many other things are more important to do, so of cause just skip if it feels like it. Lots of kind thoughts from Denmark!

Sherrill said...

You may not even have the time or energy to read your comments and that is OK! But wanted to let you know I have sorta been where you are. My DH was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 2011--a BAD one!! He had surgery, chemo and radiation and then a myriad of other drugs for the next 7 mo and was doing OK when the tumor returned with a vengeance. After 3 more brain surgeries, treatments, rehab, etc., his cognition when downhill fast and I eventually brought him home on hospice. He died at age 66 a year after being diagnosed. Terribly sad what he went through in 1 short year and that his life was cut SO short. I love your calendars that you so generously provide but totally understand if that doesn't happen. Thanks and bless you!!

Patty Sliney said...

Diane, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's severely declining health. I'm a nurse, and it sounds like you and your husband might benefit from some in-home care. He may even qualify for Hospice, as your other follower discussed. Both of you need the additional support, it is exhausting for the caretaker, and you need to take very good care of yourself, as you need to be there to take care of your husband. Talk to your husband's doctor to see what his insurance will cover, for in-home support at the very least. For both of you. I have loved following your blog quietly, and love your calendars, and I just so very sad for you right now. - Patty

Diane said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Lotte, Sherrill and Patty! I visited a local Memory Care facility yesterday and have a couple more on my list. Not that we can afford them, but I just need to know what's out there. As it happens, one of the workers replacing some windows at my house today said his wife does hospice care and she'll come out and assess and give me her thoughts on whether or not we're ready for that. In addition, the crew chief said he's looking to add to his 4-man team and wants to know if MJ (23) would be interested. YES! The boy needs a job! So, today may just be turning in to a God-day. I'll take it!

Barbara said...

Diane, so sorry to hear about your husband's health. Will keep you and your family in my prayers. Remember to take care of yourself too.