Monday, March 12, 2018

Watching the slow decay, first written 2. Jan. 2009

Watching the slow decay.....
first written on Jan. 2, 2009

Mom and I sit, as usual, in the living room. The television is on in the background. She’s sitting in “her” chair, located in front of her now seldom used computer. It’s an older model, one of dad’s “hand-me-downs”.

I’m sitting next to her in dad’s big, comfy chair while he’s in the back room playing on his computer.

I arrived on New Years Day. Upon my arrival, mom knew who I was. Yet I have already noticed a few of her “slips” that my brother, Carl, and his wife, Alice, had warned me about.
.
Then she asks where I live. “Germany”, I answer.

“Where are you going from here?” she asks.

I reply as neutral yet as truthful as possible, “Back home to Germany.”

“oh, Dorrie lived in Germany, but she moved. I have no idea where she is now.”  There is no point in trying to correct her.

An empty tissue box lies on the table in front of her. In it are a few papers, a framed picture of my niece, Cassie, and her boyfriend, Anthony, plus some pencils, pens, and small scissors. Mom points to the picture.

“I don’t know the names. They left here and forgot to take the picture with them.”

“I think that’s Cassie and her boyfriend (who I haven’t met yet so I’m assuming.”

“They forgot to take it with them.” Mom insists.

“Mom, it was a present for you to keep.”

“Write the names down, I have to return it, they forgot it.” She hands me an empty envelope, I write down “Cassandra” and give it to her. She takes the picture together with the envelope and marches to the back room where dad is sitting.”

“I have to tell “that guy” (meaning dad).” Dad repeats what I had told her, but she won’t listen and gets mad because no one listens to her.

“They gave it to you as a present, to hang up somewhere,” I repeat. “Let’s find a place where we can hang it.”

“No! It’s not going here!” she then insists, since she doesn’t accept this place as her home. She then places it face down on her dresser, so it won’t get forgotten when she “goes home”.

She returns to her chair and her tissue box. She begins to sort the papers in the box. I also notice her placing the pencils and scissors into envelopes. I suggest she put them in the cup with other pen which sits next to the computer.

“But then they’ll be forgotten when I go home,” she whines. I humor her by telling her that the cup can be taken home with her as well. She thinks about that for a moment and accepts, then continues sorting the stuff in the box.

Later I’m sitting, writing in a notepad. The lighting isn’t great and she asks, “How can you see there, Dorrie?”

She again recognized me.



Sunday, January 21, 2018

Finally an up date....

Tales of an „old Folks home“
Written May 31, 2016; continued June 6

For almost 3 years now I’ve been living in an „old folks care home“. The reason is, not my age but I need care after surviving that very stupid airplane crash on March 2, 2013 and since then I’m committed to a wheelchair. I was almost paralyzed.
The people who work here are all quite nice, but living among other sick people, many of them old and „dement/Alzheimer“ cases get really frustrating at times. I’m just too young to live here. With the help of my kids, especially my daughter, Regina, I should be moving into a new home in August 2016. YES!!
It’s very difficult to watch some of those “oldies”, they can’t really be blamed….it’s a horrible situation to be in. No one voluntarily gets dement or suffers Alzheimer, but it gets so sad to watch these people get worse and worse over time.
We have luckily a good kitchen here. Some people eat their meals at their floor, but most go down to the main dining room. And here it at times gets very narrow because of all the wheel chairs and walkers. Most manage, but some have big problems getting around.
Let me give you some samples:
Mr. Zoll.: a former high school teacher. His wife is also here but they now are in separate rooms (I heard she, a dement person, threw him out). He’s generally quite nice but sometimes gets loud and complains. But I’ve learned to ignore such behavior…he doesn’t act like that on purpose.
Then of course there are the deaths that are expected in such homes…..
They offer lots of activities here but nothing of real interest to me, like playing Rummy. I used to really enjoy rummy, but here it’s boring!

January 2018
Well, my move went well….my house is great!! (thank you Regina). I have a Polish care person living with me, which really makes life easy. Normally they change every 2 months but 2 of them were not too good and won’t be coming any more. My present one, Renate, is simply marvelous! She speaks German well, which is great….my last one spoke it hardly at all and that made life quite difficult. I have no idea who will come after March when Renate returns home. Oh well, something will work out. Being in my own home I can invite people over and go for walks into town, when weather permits, for shopping or town activities (like the Christmas or Easter markets). There’s always my care person there to push my wheel chair. At the old folks’ home no one had time . That home is now pretty much booked solid with around 80 people living there yet care people not increased (a problem all over Germany).

Some dancers from my old dance classes came to visit me which was so nice, but some are dead in the meantime.

Soon it’ll be my birthday and I want to have a party like I did last year! I’m trying to keep busy….I read a lot and watch TV or videos or check the internet (like facebook). I have tons of books to read!! Some in German, some in English. And my kids come to visit often, which they couldn’t do in my first care home…it was too far away.

I also have much of my former belongings (dishes, clothes, etc.) Unfortunately, some stuff got lost in my last moves. *sniff* That Storage place I mentioned in an earlier post is torn down in the mean time and I think a lot of my stuff (like furniture and boxes of books, etc.) got thrown out.

Being in a wheel chair I’m restricted in travels….

I have a therapist who comes twice in the week and another one who comes once a week. With them I practice walking with a walker or on crutches! And it works, but I won’t be able to walk without help. There are good days when I think I could, but when I try then I realize it doesn’t work…..darn.

I also have a cat, Nellie, again. She was already 8 years old when I got her. No, she can’t compare to Shila, but she’s a good cat, very cuddly.

I have an Instagram account (I still try to keep involved in the internet lol) in the meantime, there you can see pictures of Nellie.
My biggest problem (besides not being able to walk) are meals, there are just too many foods I don’t like (mushrooms, fish, many vegetables) which makes it difficult for my care persons to cook.

My ex lives just around the corner and often comes by to help with something, which I really appreciate.

Today is Sunday…ugh (stores closed TV program terrible).


Monday, March 21, 2016

sorry....it's been a while

I thought I'd finally make a newpost! I have plenty of time to post, just no real motivation...sorry folks!

I'm still living in a care home, whih does have its advantages. But living evey day with old folk, many who are "suffering" demencia or Alzheimer, really gets annoying.

Physically I'm doing MUCH better...no constant pain (what a relief). I can even walk, with the help of a walker and therapist.

If all goes well, I'll be moving again in August....this time into my own home! YES! A care-person will be hired to move in with me. I so hope we find a nice one.

So, enough new news for today.... I do get tired very quickly.

I never thought I would praise facebook, but it helps me keep up-dated with everyone...

Dorrie/Westy

Friday, August 9, 2013

When fate almost kills you

as most of you know, I had a bad airplane accident on March 2, 2013. The pilot died of his injuries----I survived (when you see the pictures.....you wonder that they rescued me at all). Sorry but typing on my laptop is difficult so please be patient with me. More to come.........

(the picture accidently got removed....grrrrrrrr)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I miss Shila.....

On Januar 15, 2013, my lovely kitty, Shila, died in her sleep. She had been ill for some days and since she was nearly 18 yrs old we expected that it wouldn't be long. She was the best cat anyone could wish for .... I was always amazed at how clever she was and you could look her in the eye and tell she could THINK, just like humans.

I miss her approaching me when I come home. And when I think about her last days, I start crying as if she was a child I had lost (ok, in some ways she was ... pets can definitely become adapted family members, and are often emotionally closer then some family members). No, I won't get a new cat.... any cat would just get compaired to Shila and none can compare!

This is one of my favorite pictures of her, when she still had two eyes (we had to remove the left one in December 2012).


"Helping" me do a puzzle..... 2012


She died while sleeping in her favorite basket....

In other news..... 2012 was a year of so many changes that I need to write a dozen entries to get you guys up-dated! Maybe some day I'll get the blogging mood again. I just hope that 2013 will be a bit more relaxing..... but knowing my life, it won't be!

Dorrie

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's been a while.....

...since I last posted and life has been a virtual roller coaster ride! Finally, my move out of my (perfect) apartment to my new home is cmpleted..... it was more then stressful! Imagine trying to merge two complete households without either willing or wanting to throw THEIR stuff out! It ended up that most of my stuff is stored in a huge factory which my new boy friend's son owns..... and by chance located just 100 meters from my old apartment! Fate? hmmmmm

There were moments when I wished I hadn't taken this step, but in spite of his age, R. is fun, funny, and tells me daily how glad he is to have found me.... something I missed the past years. And it's so nice not being alone at night and having someone to cuddle in the mornings. But there were days when his age showed (did I mention he's 82?).... shall I say STUBBORN!? :-)

He is accepted by my kids (VERY important!), and I'm accepted by his (he has 3 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren, and 1 great grandson). It's nice to be able to visit family events as a couple and not as a single.....

Before you-know-who I had a 7 yr. relationship with a great guy, Tommy. We separated because of my move closer to where my job was, and 110 km far away. And due to other reasons, we split, yet I never forgot him. I had been trying to find out if he still lived in our apartment or moved and whether he had a new partner (fearing he may, I didn't dare call at his place). I searched for hints in the internet, found his daughter in a German "facebook" but didn't dare contact him. I thought maybe we could get together again if I ever split with you-know-who, but then came R. but I still didn't give up hope. And then I got a call in July from his best friend. I knew right away why he called......Tommy had died of multiple health reasons. I went to his funeral..... his sister gave a talk and mentioned me, though we never met. It seems that he didn't have a new relationship after me and his sister had tried hard to contact ME after his death! Luckily his friend called my former office and I happened to be there to return my keys when the call came (fate?). The worst emotion was seeing that small urn with his ashes and realising that that was all that was left of the person I once loved.... of the arms that once held me, the body I once held and loved. DAMN!  Too late...... Sometimes fate sucks....

My cat has adjusted well to her new home. She was always an indoor cat and for the first time discovered... GRASS! And she actually loves walking in the rain! She has her special patch of clover she lays in. And R. has become really attached to her. It's so cute to see the cat houses and feeding stations he has built for her! (because her food got eaten by porcupines, we had to make a raised food station). She eats more, has gained weight, and has a nice thick winter fur coat now.

I'm not as much online as I used to be anyway. Yay, the former blogging whore has mellowed. *sigh*

I do check my favorites regularly (=every day at least once) but don't comment often. I'm trying to keep up-dated with everyone but don't always manage.... sorry.

OK, that's enough for now. I'll post pics some day.... promise!

Dorrie

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finally an update!!

Has it really been MAY since my last entry? Geeeeez, that's sooooo unlike me! Well, the blogger me I used to be.....

And a lot has been happening. As of TODAY, I am now on permanent vacation... in other words, early retirement! YOOOOHOOOOOOO  My good-bye party on Juli 3rd at the office went really well. I'll stop by tomorrow to turn in my office keys and ID's.

Last Friday was my daughter's 36th birthday! She arranged a lovely party, which went really well in spite of pouring rain (standard condition here the past weeks.... more like April then July! grrrrrr)

It's decided.... I'm moving, again! I have until end September so that gives me enough time to get things in order. The new place doesn't have internet yet, which is one reason I haven't been blogging or even keeping up on facebook.  I hope to get it installed this coming weekend.... we'll see.

This is a view of my future home. It has a huge yard in the front and back.



Anyway..... that's my world at the moment. I'll keep you updated once life slows down! (LOL)