I’m feeling out of the loop…I haven’t read anyone’s blog for several days. 

We drove up to Rochester, MN yesterday, set up the camper and crashed…I think it was more mental exhaustion than physical…This morning, he had a 10am appointment with a blood sugar counselor … she talked to him about his out-of-whack blood sugars and how to do the testing and finger pricks…then the endocrinologist where we learned he actually has a tumor on each adrenal gland.  One is large, one is small.  He thinks at least one of these tumors is releasing excess adolsterone which is causing his blood pressure issues with his need for megadose potassium and his holding onto sodium.  He said that we would assume the large tumor is causing the problem but not necessarily…he has a couple of blood tests and another urine test but for the next 3 days, he has to eat mega salt in his meals…somehow this all works out to tell them something about the problem?  Then they are going to have to do a test where they put a catheter up thru his groin and into his renal arteries to try to determine which or both tumors need to come out…this test is only done by certain specialists so it will be up to 3 weeks before it can be done, thus another trip up here…then the actual surgery, then they will worry about his colitis.  They would like to do both surgeries at the same time but this might not be possible…one day at a time.  We also met with a dietician…guess what…..we don’t eat right.

2 1/2 inches of rain up here today…we spent most of the day inside the huge clinic so didn’t realize the amount of rain.  My bed had a couple of wet spots where the rain obviously blew in…naturally it was my bed.

Deb and Karen sent a treat bag with us…that was so fun…lots of treats, scrapbooking activities, journals…did I mention the food.  What a hoot.

We’ve survived a few stressful weeks, but our friends have been there loving us and supporting us all of the way.  We consider ourselves very, very lucky.

Until next time…..

Mom didn’t make it back to Newton for skilled care…she passed at 12:30 am on Friday morning…We buried her today at 11.  I am feeling peaceful.  I love my friends and family.

He and I are off to Mayo Clinic tomorrow…hopefully get this chapter of the book behind us too.

Until next time.

Helen is leaving hospice for skilled care at a nursing home.  Jenny says she is bionic.  Aunt Frances is a strong force in nagging her to eat and encouraging her to keep fighting and to keep fighting to live.  I only know because the hospice house contacted me because they are going to need a check since she is no longer considered hospice.  It will be interesting to see if either one of them contact me to let me know where my mother is living.

We are going back to Mayo next week…will be camping again at the KOA campground. 


Nina’s Mantras

You don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.

Today is the day…yesterday is gone..no one knows what happens tomorrow.

One day at a time.

You are what you think.

Onward and Upward.

Obviously a time for an exercise in my own preaching…

Phil had an uncomfortable day yesterday..that is what we will call it.  Parts of it were uncomfortable for me too because I knew he was so pissed off.  After fasting the night before for blood tests, he found out that he couldn’t eat until after a colonoscopy and upper GI scope today…how miserable..he was starving..I couldn’t really do anything for him because I think the fact that I was breathing in the confines of the camper irritated him…so I just checked out everyone else on Facebook and Xanga subscriptions then crawled up into my bunk and was quiet.  He’s much better today…more normal Phil…he announced about an hour ago that he is no longer hungry and that the hunger had been gone for awhile.  I hope his battle with colitis is nearing an end…Doc yesterday said that he may have some crohns also or instead??  He will have an abdominal CT tomorrow…

Mom should be moving to a hospice house today.  As she always is, she didn’t know if she would go or not..she has never understood that sometimes you don’t have an option.  Medicare will not pay for anymore room rent in the hospital so she has to go somewhere.  Aunt Frances, with her 93 year old mentality wants to take her home but absolutely cannot take care of her nor provide her with end of life cares she is going to need.  Mom told me the other night that Aunt Frances is very angry and has a quick fuse and I see that it is coming out.  I’m so thankful that Ryan and Jenny were willing and able to step in for me and take care of mom and the craziness there while I”m up here with Phil.

Jenny and Ryan are in Kansas City today.  A couple of weeks ago, Jenny accepted a promotion which will require them to move.  (Kathi – they will be in your area).  They are trying to find some place to rent but having a german shepherd is causing headaches.  Marshal is elderly and very sweet and never been agressive even when his sister, Daisy, the pom takes his toys.  I”m very proud of Jenny..I’m going to hate not having her close by but it will only be 3.5 hours to Kansas City…they are doing the right thing.

That is what is going on in my life. 

Until next time….

::Edit..Jenny just messaged me..they found a place.  She sounds “up”…

It will all end on an up note???

I use “up note” because I think it pretty much describes my mom as she is ending her life here.  “Up Note” because at the end of the song, you know there is that little question mark.  I feel very sad because I feel I finally received what I needed from my mother last night…I felt like she selflessly gave me her blessing to move on with my life and she told me that I was doing the right thing by going with Phil to Mayo this week instead of sitting around waiting for her last breath.  In fact, we left it that I would see her Friday unless she decided to die in her sleep which is what we both want.  Phil drove Aunt Frances home and Dana left us to have some time to ourselves and I found peace and forgiveness in myself as well as sadness and pain that my mother was going to die.  Now I just need to stop thinking…For the first time, we were able to talk about her death…openly…that it was coming soon, we talked about her desires for the funeral, she needed assurance that Jenny and Katy and I were happy and content; she cried at one point about the mistakes she may have made and I assured her that we all make mistakes….we talked about her religious beliefs and her relationship with God.  Aunt Frances read the bible to her a lot yesterday and she is hoping that she will do it again today.  You know, I’ve always learned that things happen in God’s time…that even though we think, perhaps, he isn’t listening when we want it now…well, I feel blessed that it happened at God’s speed.

Phil and I are leaving in a few hours for Mayo.  I will check in with mom on the phone until she doesn’t answer anymore.

Thanks everyone for your love and support…you have no idea what it means to me….


After 24 hours of sleep, I’m up…I’m feeling better…better is relative.

I called the hospital this morning to see if Helen had gotten any more pleasant.  She refused the ct scan of her abdomen to diagnose her chronic diarhea that she has been complaining about for 2 weeks and what caused her to go to the hospital in the first place.  I have no idea what they are going to do with her now.  When Jenny and I were at the hospital the other night, the nurse told me that the doctor was going to talk to her yesterday about her full code wishes…explain to her life after CPR at her age…apparently it worked because she is now a DNR.

He and I are going to Mayo Clinic in Rochester tomorrow…hopefully we will get some good news and relief for his medical problems…

I love my friends…other than Phil, Jenny and Katy, you guys are really my family.  It’s your words of encouragement that keep me moving onward and upward.

Until next time….