Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to the Grindstone

In spite of all my ideas and efforts to have Camp Bubbie and Saba end with a bang not to be forgotten, the girls had other ideas about the last days of camp. They wanted to stay in and do all the homey things we had done all summer. Thursday was a beautiful day and we spent the afternoon at Beachcombers. Brenna joined her cousins and afterward, everyone wanted to just stay at home and hang out. They didn't even want to go out for ice cream at Freddy Hill and opted to make sundaes at home. Friday morning was spent catching up on some computer work while finishing the laundry. They wanted to stay in and eat leftovers for lunch as well. I finished packing all of Sami's things and enough of Izzy's things to get through a week. Then we all napped for an hour or so. We picked up Larry Shipper (who was also invited) at home and headed to Alex's parents' home for Shabbat dinner and to deliver the girls to them for their vacation week. We left an hour and a half for the drive considering the Friday traffic, and it took us exactly that to reach their 55+ community in Cranbury, NJ.

They prepared a beautiful meal for us and the table was gorgeously set with their beautiful antique china and fresh flowers. The girls behaved like little ladies during dinner and Maury had only a mild heart attack watching them help Elaine clear the dirty dishes carefully, one-by-one. Maury baked challot that were especially delicious and we had a variety of salads and succulent baked chicken and couscous. Dessert was cinnamon babka and a stunning fresh fruit salad. Beth looked in on Mom who was not up to the long car trip and warmed a bowl of soup for her. She has not been eating much else.

We decided to sleep in on Saturday as it was the first day all summer that we would not be awakened by the girls by 7:30 a.m. Instead, Mom decided to go into the kitchen at 7:00 a.m. and accidentally set off the burglar alarm. We spent most of Saturday vegging out and trying to make up for lost sleep. The Sunday NY Times Crossword puzzle was not challenging and I finished it in an hour. I finally finished reading "Loving Frank," an historical novel about Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who influenced Frank Lloyd Wright's life and work, and with whom he had a scandalous affair while she was married to another man and the mother of two children. Being a bit of an FLW fan, and knowing the horrific details coming at the end of the story, I felt as if I were watching the Titanic right before the iceberg. It has taken me all summer to get through the novel, which I did not find to be particularly well written. The ending provided even more gory details than I had known previously and I did not sleep well Saturday night after that.

Sunday, Mom called us extra early on the phone intercom to say that she had gone into the kitchen, could not open the orange juice carton, and had gone back to bed without eating or drinking anything. I got up early and made us all breakfast. I spent about two hours walking around the house putting away and organizing all the odds and ends that had been left out during Camp Bubbie and Saba, laundering the girls bedding and making their beds. Then, Saul and I began to dig into all the work we had left for the week the girls would be gone. Mom was having a bad day. She drank her oatmeal through a straw. She barely ate any lunch and at dinner time she whined and cried that she would not eat or get out of bed. I spent an hour on the phone with Adele and Ken trying to decide how to handle the situation. I was afraid to give her the evening medication if she did not eat. Just as we were at our wits' end, she trudged down the hall with her cane and sat down at the kitchen table. We managed to get a bowl of soup into her and then she took her medication and went back to bed.

Monday morning, I could tell by her coloring that she was feeling better and she was up awaiting her visit by her nurse, Eric. Eric found all her vital signs normal and Ken had a phone conversation with him explaining her erratic behavior. Eric was sympathetic but basically said that you can't make someone do what they don't want to do. Every meal and every hour is a struggle for the last few days. Last night, Saul and I both had the idea to start giving her Ensure as a part of her diet. We went to Costco today after our eye doctor appointments and picked up a case while Saul was fitted for his new prescription eyeglasses. Whatever is wrong behind my eyes, apparently doesn't involve my vision in any way, thankfully. I have just finished my 10 days of anti-inflammatory drugs and the problem seems to have lessened if not disappeared. The eye doctor seems to agree with my internist that the problem is in the sinuses behind my eyes.

The rest of today has been spent on phone and computer. Adele stopped over in the afternoon with Erica, Brenna and Ava so that she could visit and Erica could wash and style Mom's hair. They were treated to a dose of my struggle when Mom again pleaded to be left alone and cried and refused to get out of bed. Yesterday, Ken arranged an assessment with a geriatric specialist so that, hopefully, we will know whether we should just leave her alone, or whether dementia, clinical depression or over-medication is the problem causing her to act this way and we can reverse the process somehow. Adele also called while she was here and arranged for Mom to see the new doctor who is taking over the practice of her retiring physician. Adele also notified her insurance company of the change. Right now I am so happy not to be an only child and to have the support of brother, sister and husband in this struggle. Sometimes, I am just too tired to deal with it and they are there for me. Most of my major computer work is finished as of this evening and Saul has been making progress preparing for the new semester which begins on Monday. Izzy will be returning for the week on Monday without her sister, who also begins school now. As much of a grind as this week will be, I am greatly looking forward to having her back for a few days to lessen the pain of separation a bit and stretch the summer a little longer.

1 comment:

sabasenders said...

We did do something special on Friday morning with the girls. We went to The Cracker Barrel for breakfast. The campers/girls loved the ambiance(lol). They had lots of questions about the different objects hung about the room. It was a lot of fun.
Yes I do miss them already.
When we were leaving the Weinberg’s after dinner, the girls were ready for bed. Izzy hugged me and whispered "lyla tov, neshikot hamot, v'homot ptitot. saba" Oh, I loved the spontaneity of it.