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Wed May 06, 2015 at 08:35 AM PDT

Mama Do You Know Me ?

by Leah Sellers

Reposted from Leah Sellers by GreyHawk

After a series of almost undetectable mini-strokes, and an ongoing struggle with breast cancer, Mama developed a mild Dementia.  Some days were better than others.  But each and every day was a Life's Lesson.  A Life's Treasure.

Mama dies last June.  This our Family's First Mother's Day without our Beloved Mama.

Mama, Do You Know Me ?

Dementia is a cruel Dis-ease.
Gradually - day by day - memory by memory - your Loved One leaves you.
Slips away from you.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama is/was a Gentle, Sensitive Soul.
An Artist.  A Natural Teacher.
A wonderful and inviting Home-Maker.
She is/was the Comforting Hearth of Our Family’s Home.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama loves Being outside - out in Nature -
Working and Creating Life in her Flower and Vegetable Gardens.
Sunrises and Sunsets bring a Smile to her lips each and every day.
She always stops to say, “My, how Beautiful the World is -
How Wonderful !”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama did everything in Life for her Family - for her Four Girls
And their Children, and their Children’s Children
She raised them All with Love, Play, Art, Music, Adventure and Laughter.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama trained all of our Colts.  Even the Stallions.  She Gentled their Spirits.
She spent months building a Respectful Relationship with the young Horses.
Loving them - Working them - Training them, and eventually Riding them.
“Here Girls, this Horse is ready for y’all to Ride now.”
And then she’d firmly place the Horse’s reins in Our Hands.
“Be Thoughtful, Be Respectful, and Take Good Care of your Horse, and the Horse will Take Good Care of you.”
“And if for any reason you fall off, get right back up into your saddle and Ride your horse again.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama is a Painter and a Singer.  The Blood of Artists and Musicians runs Through her Veins - through All of her People’s Veins.
“And that same Blood of Artists and Musicians was passed on to her Four Girls,” she often boasts.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Now, Mama Paints only on occasion, when her concentration holds out
Or can hold onto a Project.
She has created a Daily Regimen for herself.
Rigid Ritual is important when Memory is failing.
Every day, she rises at dawn, and after a cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal,
She tends to and feeds her clucking Chickens, mischievous Goats, cavorting Pony, barking Dogs, napping Cats, chittering Hummingbirds, melodious Songbirds and Snorting Deer.  
Afterwards, she Gardens until it gets too hot outside.
Then she goes inside to take a brief nap, read, write letters and work on her Creative Projects.
When her Four Girls call to check on her she almost always says, “It sure is
Beautiful out here.  The Hill Country is so peaceful.  Sky as far as the Eyes
Can See.  I’m Blessed.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
These days Mama doesn’t want to go to any concerts, the opera, the Symphony, art shows, church or even out to visit with Friends.
“Its just too much of a bother.  Anyway, I can’t Re-Member People
Or Places from one minute to the next.  Sometimes, I repeat things I’ve
Already said two or more times.  Sometimes I get lost in buildings I used to Know like the back of my hand.”
When Mama admits these things to her Four Girls, she laughs with a glint of sadness - of something Lost in her soft green eyes.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“Girls, I’m worried about your Father.
He pulled his old Golf Clubs out of the hall closet
And tried to sell them to People on the Television playing The Price Is Right Again.  I cant get him to understand that the Television People are not real, And cannot hear a word he is saying to them.
I think he’s Losing his Mind.”
“I know Mama.  I know.  Did he get any fair offers for his Bag of Golf Clubs, Mama ?”
We looked at one another knowingly and laughed out loud.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“Where did you say we are going to, Baby ?”
“To the doctor’s office, Mama.
“That’s right.  That’s right.  I knew that.  I was just checking with you to Make sure that you knew what we were doing.”
“Is that right, Mama ?  Well, thank you for keeping me focused.”
“Sure is taking Bill a long tome to fix my little pick-up truck.  I miss
Driving myself around to get things done on my own.”
“Yes Ma’am, Bill’s still looking for all of the parts he needs.  I’m sure he’ll Call when he’s done.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama, got lost for more three hours one day last year while driving into Town for a few groceries, and some chicken and goat feed.
She drove aimlessly around on the back roads just a few miles from home.
She had forgotten to carry her cell phone with her.
She had no idea where she was or how to get back home again.
By chance, her Artists Eye Re-Membered a pretty Horse Ranch she was
Always commenting on, and luckily, she was able to find her way home.
She put a scare into everyone.
When her truck ‘mysteriously’ would not start one morning, the Family
Had it towed away to Bill’s never to return.
Every time Mama asks about the truck, we tell her that Bill will call when It’s fixed.  Oddly, Bill never seems to have the time to fix it.
And Mama has no Concept of Time anymore.
She’s constantly looking at her Lighthouse Calender and her brass Clock.
But neither seem to help her much anymore.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“Betty, pass me that plate, please.”
“Yes Mama.  But I’m Cheyenne, your daughter.
Aunt Betty still lives in Arkansas with her Family.”
Mama smiles, “I know that Betty.”
I smile back and passing her the plate say, “I Love you Mama.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“What’s that, dear ?”
“Nothing Mama.  The important thing is that I Know You.
And I Love you with All of my Heart - just as you taught me to Love.
Mama, I Know You.  And right now, that’s all that really matters.”
 

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Mon May 04, 2015 at 01:20 PM PDT

This Should Be Interesting

by michelewln

Reposted from michelewln by michelewln

I have Reid home from the hospital. The foot doesn't look as bad as I feared it would. He doesn't appear to be in pain and is glad to be home. Because of the long narrow shape of his foot I don't think the loss of the fourth and fifth toe is going to hamper him any.

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Sun May 03, 2015 at 07:12 PM PDT

Silence Won't Stop An Epidemic

by Besame

Reposted from KosAbility by GreyHawk

MAYDAY! Take A Bite Out of Lyme and Thunderclap for ME/CFS/ME are some of the campaigns occurring in May for NEID awareness. Also new, a major lupus study seeks participants.

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Reposted from Street Prophets by GreyHawk

This will be rather short as it has been the day from hell. Reid started feeling bad this afternoon. I dealt with diarrhea and vomiting. His blood sugar plummeted and he went into seizures.  The paramedics took him to the hospital. After a bunch of tests they have determined he has some pneumonia and an infection in the bones of the leg they operated on.

I have come on home because the stress is giving me a massive migraine and I needed to get home before it got too bad to drive. I don't know how long it will take to get him admitted but I left him in the hands of capable nurses who promised to take good care of him for me.

Again I'm asking for prayers, good wishes, and healing energy.

05/03/15 9:41 EDT - Just talked with the Doctor. They are going to have to amputate the fourth and fifth toe on the left foot as that is the source of the infection. They will be checking the other wounds at that time to see if something can be done to expedite their healing. They said for me to wait until this afternoon to come in and see him. He is in reasonably good spirits. I'm completely drained.

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by GreyHawk
I last wrote in January about the troubles of long-time kossack aitchdee -- you can see that diary here.

Since that time, with the help of many people here, she's made significant progress, but she still needs some help. I won't repeat her whole backstory, since it's in the linked diary; there's plenty new to tell below the fold, mostly from aitchdee herself with a little editing from me.

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Reposted from michelewln by michelewln

I wrote yesterday of my problems with the landlords. We may be able to get the car out tomorrow. Today however we got a 30 day eviction notice. Reid is still in the hospital and ill. We don't have money to move or fight them. I'm desperate. Can you help?

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Reposted from weinenkel by GreyHawk
Duke University scientists have potentially discovered new avenues for Alzheimer's and dementia treatments.
They observed that in Alzheimer’s, immune cells that normally protect the brain instead begin to consume a vital nutrient called arginine.

By blocking this process with a drug, they were able to prevent the formation of ‘plaques’ in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, and also halted memory loss in the mice.

What's more is that they were researching with a drug that has already begun human trials for cancer treatments—possibly paving the way for clinical trials in the near future.
While no technique that is tested in an animal can be guaranteed to work the same way in humans, the findings are particularly encouraging because, until now, the exact role of the immune system and arginine in Alzheimer’s was completely unknown.

The drug that was used to block the body’s immune response to arginine – known as difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) – is already being investigated in drug trials for certain types of cancer and may be suitable for testing as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy.

This follows on the heels of other recent breakthroughs in possible "plaque fighting" techniques for Alzheimer's patients.
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Reposted from KosAbility by michelewln
Because of a programming glitch this diary published the evening of April 4th rather than Sunday April 12th like it should. This is the regular scheduled KosAbility diary.
Caregiving by its very nature is stressful. As a caregiver you have the responsibility of the life of another person. I took my brother from being a noncompliant diabetic at death's door to being a controlled diabetic with multiple health problems caused by his initial noncompliance. I have taken him from 104 pounds to about 160 pounds. Unfortunately the years of not keeping his diabetes under control and 40 years of smoking has created lasting damage that we still have to deal with.

Caregiving is literal life and death sometimes. I have lost count of the number of times in the last year where I had to get his blood sugar up from dangerously low to normal. The worst time being last March when one of his doctor wanted a colonoscopy. What that doctor failed to understand is what a cleansing diet and no insulin could do to a patient. Reid's blood sugar dropped to 32, he collapsed on the floor with grand mal seizures. I thought of the Karo syrup in my kitchen and was feeding him that, listening with the door open for the paramedics, and trying to follow the instructions from 911 on my cell phone's speaker.

Caregiving is not for the squeamish. You have to be prepared to clean bedside commodes and urinals. You have to be prepared to clean the rugs when he can't get to the commode and has diarrhea. You have to work to get urine smells out of carpets when his hands don't work because of the neuropathy.

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Thu Apr 09, 2015 at 04:35 AM PDT

We Are The Rail...

by nicolemaschke

Reposted from The Final Chapter by GreyHawk

Mornings have always been magical times for me. When out in the woods, mornings are the times when Branfionn and the fairies come out, greeting the new day, as they then fade back into the mushroom circle.... away from the things of man....

And every morning brings with it, a new day ... of discoveries, failures, successes, new friends, old ones, confusion, growth, stress... breathing in... breathing out....

I've always loved the mornings. They always remind me that, no matter what, life will move on....

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Sun Mar 22, 2015 at 07:07 PM PDT

You guys are the best

by One Pissed Off Liberal

Reposted from Community Fundraisers by GreyHawk

We had a fundraiser for fineena a couple of days back and you guys kicked ass. I can't tell you how thankful I am for your kindness and generosity. These qualities are the finest the human race has to offer and this community overflows with them. It does my old heart good to see it.

"Be kind whenever possible. It's always possible."

The Dalai Lama

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by GreyHawk

Her name is Fineena. Many of you know her. She's been around since '08 and is known for her personal generosity and enthusiastic participation in our community. She's also known for the cool scarves she makes by hand. She sells them here. This would be a great time to stock up on handmade scarves. They make wonderful gifts.

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Reposted from Gwennedd by 2thanks

irishwitch is needing our help. She's been in exile in GA for the past 10 months due to the bottom falling out of her and hubby Ben's life. Now they have the opportunity to move back to the place they love best, New England. They have a friend they can stay with until they find a place to live, but they need help with the moving. Neither one of them are in the best of health, and packing all their worldly possessions in a U Haul and driving it across country for two days is going to be extremely difficult for them.

In April of last year, she and Ben encountered some very difficult times. Ben had heart problems and required a quintuple bypass and extensive recovery and physical therapy. irishwitch was very sick at this time as well. Meanwhile, the house they'd been persuaded to purchase went into foreclosure and they were evicted. In the process of moving, irishwitch hurt her back, exasperating an old injury that is still causing a great deal of pain. From there they went to live with Ben's mother. Not the happiest of arrangements, but they managed.

Very recently the MiL's health has become so bad she's moving into seniors housing and kicking irishwitch and Ben out. That's fine with them (to a point), and they decided they want to go back to New England and be with friends. They want to live their own lives again. They can do this. They have a friend who will put them up until they find a place to live. The problem is that neither irishwitch or Ben is really all that capable healthwise of loading up a U Haul and driving it and 4 cats for 2 days across country to get to their new home.

This is where our help comes in. In order to get movers to load their things up and move it for them, and then possibly store it for them until they find somewhere to settle, it will cost $2000.00.

I'm hoping the generosity of this community rises yet again to help these two out and ease their journey to a new home.

irishwitch and Ben say they are not worried about finding a place and say they can save enough to afford the rent and damage deposit, but they simply don't have the funds to hire movers. I would like to see if we can raise a little more than the $2000 to give them some help with getting that apartment.

irishwitch also insists that she will pay everyone back, so she wants everyone that contributes to put in a comment how much they've put in, and she'll make a list.

Her hubby also requests that anyone wishing to contribute via snail mail contact him at this number:  770 - 851 - 8639 or message irishwitch, and he'll give you the address.

Go to: https://www.paypal.com/...    Paypal account number is: benjamin7972@att.net

I'll thank everyone in advance for whatever help you can give, especially for  tips and recs.

irishwitch's friend, texasmom, has been an invaluable help in getting this fundraiser diary together, and will be along to help with comments as will irishwitch.

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