Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Thoughts Are With Gramma

Wow! Hard to believe October is just about gone! These miniature roses came from my yard, and for whatever reason, are blooming like crazy right now. Our high was just 54 degrees today, our low is to be 39 tonight, so I thought I'd better get out there and get these shots before they're gone for the season.

So much has been going on lately, I don't know where to start. My grandmother is at the top of my list. She hurt her back and was taken to the hospital three weeks ago. Her stay with the hospital went well, but she was in need of rehabilitation before she could return to her home in an assisted living facility.

Gramma was transferred to a skilled facility from the hospital, and that's where things have gone down hill. This skilled facility came highly recommended by a social worker and my administrator I work with. I work in a hospital and felt confident in their recommendation. So, I have to be honest here, I'm feeling terribly guilty that this stay became a total nightmare. I was unaware of the facility's maintenance problems and unprofessionalism of some of their employees.

My Gramma cannot get around very well on her own. Her knees have been a problem for years. Her back was injured a few weeks ago at her assisted living facility when they were conducting a fire drill. In the haste of getting everyone safely outside, she was transferred into a wheelchair in an inappropriate manner, fracturing a vertebrae in her back. Afterwards, she was kept doped up on pain meds and in her room for all meals in hopes her pain would subside. After a week or so of this, she was sent to the hospital.

Again, the hospital seemed to be good for Gramma, she was doing much better, but she needed rehab before she would be able to go back to her home at the assisted living. The recommended facility turned out to be a disaster, and unfortunately, my Gramma is paying the price.

The call lights did not work in Gramma's room. My parents complained for days, six days to be exact, before Gramma was moved to another room with a working call light. During the time she was in the room without a call light, they gave her a dinner bell on her bedside table, one of those heavy brass bells. Her fingers are so crippled with arthritis, she could barely pick it up, let alone ring the bell without dropping it out of her hands. Not to mention, the facility is so big, no one could hear the bell even if she was able to ring it!

Add to all this, they gave her two different types of narcotics to manage her pain, at the same time. Yes, they were doctor ordered. The problem came when Gramma had adverse reactions to the meds. She started seeing things and people that were not there. She also became mean, striking out at others, something she's never done before. She called 911 from her room because a man was cutting through her door with a chainsaw. Terrifying!

The next day, my mother, recovering from her own chemo and radiation treatments, insisted on stopping the meds. Gramma was balancing her own checkbook just the week before. Now, she's totally out of it, having drug induced psychotic behaviors . Evidently, the nurse went ahead and discontinued the drugs causing the behaviors, but never followed up with the doctor to have the orders changed. The nurse incharge of my Gramma's care... well, I won't even go there! She was incompetent, rude and insensitive, to say the least.

What this facility did not know is, my mother is a Registered Nurse and knew exactly what was going on, or not going on. Gramma was starting to come down off the meds, back to her normal self. It took four days. My parents had my Gramma transferred as soon as they could. She had been there a week.

Gramma was transferred to a brand new Rehab center. All was going well. When a patient is admitted to any skilled facility, the admitting facility always does a full body check to note any abnormalities such as bruises, skin tears, etc. In doing this at the new facility, they found two, I say, TWO, of the narcotic patches on her body! The new facility also administered the oral narcotic meds as directed on the "transfer orders" from the first facility! Again, the nurse at the first facility did not follow up with a doctor to have the med order changed or removed! This was last Monday.

Gramma has been in HELL since! By Tuesday, Gramma was seeing things again. As the initial doses of these meds were not totally out of her system, these new doses through her into a deeper psychotic mode. Doctors were called immediately, meds were stopped again. Orders were documented this time!

My parents and I have been with Gramma around the clock, hiring a sitter for the late nights. Last night, she recognized me for the first time since last Monday when she was admitted to this latest facility. She was in and out. The drug used to counter act the narcotics started working and Gramma finally fell into a restless sleep last night. She hadn't slept in 48 hours. Today, she was doing a little better.

The nurse last night told me the drugs will take time to leave her system. Once she's back to normal she can start her rehab so she can go home. The way she's been the past couple of weeks, I didn't think she would ever go home again. Still not out of the woods, I pray she continues to come around. I'll stay with her again tomorrow, after work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Another Gorgeous Weekend

Along the Boise River, once again... one of my favorite photo opts places.My guy was home for the weekend, and then some.

The weather was gorgeous! It was probably the last weekend we'll see in the 70's until next spring. I loved every moment of it. We caught up on us, movies, and family; his and mine. I was tickled pink when my son joined us on an outing with my guy's family. My son hasn't joined us on much of anything for almost a year now, so I was really happy to have him along. My guy and I also stopped by and visited my grandmother a couple of different times, she's had a rough go of it the past couple of weeks. And, the best part of this past week, my guy and I finalized our plans for Christmas. We're so excited!

October 22, 2005 -
Boise State Broncos vs. Utah State Aggies - Boise wins 45 - 21

Monday, October 17, 2005

Perfect Weekend

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous here in the Boise area. I had to get out and get some of this fresh air and, of course, photos.
Just a few miles up the road from my home is the Boise River, where I always find I can air the cobwebs of my mind and refresh my inner soul.
While walking along the path that follows the river, I found a summer swing hanging from high above the river. I wished I had been there a month or so ago, on a hot summer day when the kids were jumping from this swing into the river. It must have been great fun.The Boise River has been a great challenge for me in the fishing department. All the years I've fished this river, I have never had one catch. I think I'll stick to enjoying the beauty of the scenery and leave the fishing to Rebecca.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Feline Friday (a day late)...

Wigs... from my photo archives... Given to a wonderful cat loving family, she's been gone for about a year now, The gal who took Wigs home, works with me, so I get frequent updates. Wigs still loves to be perched high above whatever is going on, swatting whatever, or whoever, comes within swatting reach. Wigs still loves to eat with her paws, yogurt cups are her favorite.

Check out Steve's
Feline Friday, over at (sometimes)photoblog, and see other Feline entries. I do love cats, but have been invaded by Yorkies!

* BSU Broncos win again tonight, 38 - 21, over San Jose State Spartans. They're 2-0 in the WAC, this being their 28th win in a roll.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

BSU Broncos

We're off to see Boise State Broncos play Portland State Vikings this evening. The temp is 61 at the moment, and not a cloud in the sky! We were told there was a good chance of rain today. Whew!

Bronco Stadium sits along the Boise River at the east end of the campus. Breath taking views of Bogus Basin and the mountains are beyond the score board at the river's end of the stadium. Boise State University is a beautiful campus.

Photos Courtesy of BSU website.
Sunday, October 9, 2005 Update: Broncos won, 21-7! This is their 27 win in a row in the WAC division.


...more roses from my yard.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


My Journal will have "pink" in it all month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Fall... Change is in the air. The colors are bright and vivid. Here's another photo from my yard. When I planted my trees, I tried to find a variety of trees that would be real showy during the fall and spring.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New Journaler

Please stop by and see Stephanie's new Journal... She's excited to be starting her own Journal after reading lots of ours! Please join me in welcoming her to J-land.

Here's the view, peeking over my back fence, this past weekend! I love Autumn and all the colors. There's a bright red, I mean, fire red plant, just on the other side of our fence. I thought the colors of the trees, further behind the fence, being green and yellow, were beautiful with the red leaves making a great accent. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

October Begins

October ~ Breast Cancer
Awareness Month

My mom is in her third week of radiation treatments for breast cancer, and seems to be tolerating the treatments okay. She has another three weeks of these treatments to go.

Last weekend was my mom's 65th birthday. My dad wanted my son and I to join them at dinner out to celebrate. We met them at the restaurant of her choice, bringing her a beautiful, pink with roses, gift bag full of special items, just for her. She seemed mildly surprised to be receiving gifts, and was almost too embarrassed to open them in front of the strangers of the restaurant.

From all of the chemo and radiation treatments she's received so far, her skin has dried out terribly and her nails have discolored and curled in. Of course, she's lost all her hair and now wears a wig which looks as natural as her own hair.

So, self pampering items from shower gels, body lotions, to pedicure sets with mint fizzies to soak her feet in, nail polish, and a light pale pink lipstick and liner to match, were all in her gift bag. She may not be able to use the lotions until after she finishes with the radiation treatments, as her skin is very tender and vulnerable right now. But, she'll be ready for them when the treatments end. She couldn't wait to use her pedicure set and have my dad help with her toenail polish.

Dinner was wonderful. The manager and assistant manager have become personal friends of my parents and stopped by our table frequently to make sure we were treated like royalty and our food was perfect. In the end, our tummies were full and we all had a really good time together.

Taken today, the photo above is a rose from my garden.