Happy early Thanksgiving

It was an early celebration for Thanksgiving at Maplewood Wednesday evening. They put on a wonderful dinner for the residents and their families. My daughter, Liz and I joined Frankie for a delightful meal.

When we arrived, the director asked who we were with and when we told her Frankie G, she said, oh I’m sorry, I took him home!! We both looked quizzically at her and she started to laugh! “Oh my goodness, he is so cute and sweet, that I would take him home in a heartbeat!” But he is waiting for you to have your dinner in the potting room. They had beautiful tables set up throughout the building. So off we went to Frankie’s room. But, alas, there is no Frankie in the room!! So off we went to find him. There he was in one of the common tv areas fast asleep in a chair! We gently woke him up and surprised him, but he just smiled at us and had no clue what was going on! After a short while, we got him up and went to our reserved table to enjoy dinner. It really is the little things that make you smile! As we waited at the table, he repeatedly folded and refolded his napkin, and he did it expertly! When dinner came, I cut up his turkey and he began to eat. Sometimes with his fork, sometimes with his spoon and sometimes with both!! Toward the end of his meal, he stabbed the roll with his fork and then didn’t know what to do with it! He would lift it and then put it back down on his plate over and over. We finally broke it up for him and he ate a few pieces. We take for granted the simplest things that he can no longer do! There was a woman strolling through the building playing the violin and the music was beautiful! Frankie was oblivious to her even being there, but hopefully he still enjoyed the music.

We took him back to his room and along the way, we stopped to say hi to some of his friends. He smiled and smiled! Back in his room, he was yawning repeatedly, so he laid down and we said our goodbyes! He said ok and we left with a very nice feeling about the visit❤️

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Play ball

After spending time with Frankie having lunch and taking walks and watching the OSU game, he wasn’t happy with me leaving!! I was a little concerned that he would be cranky the rest of the day and of course I felt bad leaving!! Just to show you how different the staff is at our new place, around seven thirty, I get a text from one of the directors, Emily, with this picture. She wanted to share how much fun Frankie was having with someone else’s grandson. She said this little guy adored Frankie and they were having a great time. Now, who does something like that?!?! This simple act of kindness brought such peace to me, I can’t tell you. She said Frankie has become one of their favorite residents in the short time he has been there and that he is always happy!! They truly are one big family at Maplewood ❤️

He also enjoyed going to lunch on Friday with his friends Danny, Ron and Joe! Such good friends to take the time to share lunch with him. They went to a nice restaurant just down the road from the facility. Even they said what a difference in his mood. Everything works out in its own pace when you realize God is steering you in the right direction. So very grateful.

In the meantime, I got to enjoy celebrating my grandson, Brennan’s 7th birthday 🎂. Absolutely love the joy he shows! We made some cupcakes Saturday and when I showed him how to frost them with the back of the spoon, he decided he needed to just lick the spoon instead! He looks at me and says, “you know Grandma, I think I’m going to be wild tonight with all this sugar!!!!” 😂😂😂

That’s all for now friends, thanks again for all your prayers and support, it sure is working 🙏❤️

Here I am

Well, it’s been a week since we moved Frankie to his new home and all is well.  It was a hard week as I was feeling guilty not going to see him, but I wanted to give him time to get acclimated to his new family of caregivers and fellow residents.  It also gave me time to get all his clothes washed and bedding that the other place had dumped in a pile for me to gather up!!!

The timing was perfect when I arrived, as his son, Mario had just arrived as well for a short visit.  He was able to help me carry the bags to his room.  As we passed the dining room, we saw Frankie sitting with two other residents finishing lunch.  We were able to scoot past him and get things away.  The head caregiver came into the room and introduced himself and proceeded to tell us what a delight Frankie was and if we needed anything or had any concerns, to let him know.  As Mario and I walked back to the dining room, we both agreed that the vibes here were so positive and how nice it made us both feel.

When we got to the dining room he looked up at us, stared at me but got really excited when he saw Mario.  It was so cute, he was trying to get up from the table and smiling.  We convinced him to finish his desert but after a couple bites, he was ready to to go for a walk with us.  It was so very nice to see him happy and calm.  After Mario left, Frankie and I went back to his room.  He proceeded to look through a picture album over and over, then went to stand in front of the tv.  I should have taken a video of it.  You know how you see videos of toddlers standing in front of the tv and they do a sort of wiggle dance?!  Well that was what Frankie was doing!  Shuffling his feet and wiggling his behind!!  It was the cutest thing, just like a little kid.  Then he went back to the pictures!  After a couple of hours, his friend, Bill Keller showed up for a visit and Frank said it was ok for me to leave now !!  So I told him I would see him later and home I went.  

It was a good visit and it is a comforting feeling knowing he is content and well looked after.  Sometimes we have to go through trials to get to where we are supposed to be.  Once again a reminder to trust and have faith that God is leading us in the right direction 😇👍🏻🙏

Time for a new start

When we walked into the new facility that Frankie will be residing, he looked at this sign and said, look that’s me!!!  A couple other residents that were leaving for appointments turned to him and said, hi Frank!!  He smiled.  It was a good beginning.

The day before, his cousin Carl met me at place he was leaving.  He was excited to go for a ride!  He wanted to know what I was doing!  I told him I was packin’ his things to go to a new home and he said ok!  So Carl took him to his son, Mario’s home to spend the night while my daughter and I got his stuff moved and all set up at the new facility.  Hopefully he was going to have fun watching the trick or treaters come and go!!

Yesterday, I picked him up around 9 am and he had fallen back to sleep on the couch.  He woke up, had some breakfast and I got him dressed and off we went to his new place.  He slept the entire way there!  He never sleeps in the car!  Always felt he had to watch my driving!!!  Once we got to his room, he said he liked it, sat in his recliner and fell sound asleep after the nurse had come in to check him out!!  It then became time for lunch, so one of the assistant directors came to get Frankie and we took him to the dining room and sat him at a nice table with other residents.  He smiled at people!!  I felt good enough to leave and give him time to get acclimated with the new people.  There is a different feeling of peace in my heart and I thanked the good Lord for that.  I was still sad on my drive home, because it was hard to leave him.  But I feel he will do well there, I saw firsthand how kind they are with all the residents.   So begins another chapter in our journey.  Life is so full of new chapters❤️😊😇

Happy Halloween 🎃 

This is my favorite witches hat, been wearing it for years!!  Passing it on to my daughter to wear tonight 👻  

It’s moving day once again for the Frankmeister! He will spend the day and night at his son’s home and then we will bring him to his new digs tomorrow!   He should have fun tonight seeing all the trick or treaters!  I am anxious to get him out of the facility now as the confrontations with the other resident is a daily occurrence!

Time to get myself organized and head over to get Frankie ready.  Sorry for the short blog today, but things to do, places to go 😂😊. 

Poke the bear…

That’s what was happening last night when I was with Frankie.  Another resident that Frank has an issue with just kept poking the bear (Frankie) trying to instigate a situation.  The sad part is that he too, can’t rationalize what he is doing.  Hence, a problem that can never be solved short of separation.  Therefore, we have found a place that we all feel will be better suited for our Frankie Bear!!  We will move him Tuesday to his new home and in reality, I am very happy to be placing him there.  Our one month trial was a great learning experience and a humbling one at that.  Knowing no matter how much you think you can control things, there are instances and situations that are just going to present themselves that you have absolutely no control over.  That is when you realize that that there is a better plan designed by a higher power that knows way more than you do!!!  Having faith and trust that things will work out for the best is a constant lesson we need to be reminded of.  Sometimes when WE think we know what is best, God let’s us fall down so he can grab our hand and pull us back up❤️

I was actually glad to see first hand what was going on between these two.  I always felt it wasn’t all Frankie’s fault, and now I know that is the case.  He certainly isn’t faultless in the situations, but if you poke the bear enough, he is going to react!!  I know now that those were the signs that Frank was not at the best place for him.  He will soon be somewhere that is very equipped to handle situations that may or may not arise.  And I am grateful for that.  Hopefully everyone will see the cuddly bear that Frankie is and no one will poke him!!!!😂 

Cold and rainy here, but I know the sun is shining somewhere!🌦☀️. Have a good weekend🍁🍂💕

Oops, never saw that coming!!

I love this image!  It just sums up life sometimes!  Makes me laugh and grounds me at the same time.  Moving along or flying on your broom stick so smoothly and SPLAT, a door gets shut right in your face 😂😂. You slowly slide down, stand up, brush yourself off and look around for the open door!  That pretty much sums up how I have felt this week.  However, it has always been my belief that when one door closes, another one opens up.  And since we can’t always discern which is the right door, God steps in and smacks us in the face and gently nudges us in the right direction.  You have to love His sense of humor!  No matter how many signs and gut feelings He gives you, you think you know best😳😜

So it is your inner compass supposed to be guiding you, but the Garmin lady is telling you to go a different route and you know inside it doesn’t really sound right, but you follow that route anyway.  Because after all, she is the map lady, she must know the right way to go!!  Boy oh boy, we can be so gullible!  

Back up a couple months ago, visiting different facilities, there was one place that just felt so right.  However, my ego wanted someplace more convenient, so I chose a place that seemed a good fit and very close to home.  During this last month, I learned a great deal about how facilities worked and I wasn’t always pleased, but accepted things the way they were, with a few exceptions that I needed to clarify with them.  Then Frankie had a problem with another resident, and things started to go awry.  It was clear to me that this particular facility did not know how to handle the situation.  Unfortunately, Frankie became the casualty, because he is unable to control his feelings.  I completely understand their point of view, wanting to protect all parties involved, I am just disappointed that they don’t know how to do that short of asking us to find a new place for him.  

My daughter and I had two appointments yesterday to visit and discuss our options.  We had visited one of the places two months ago, but at a different location.  Since we both became much more educated over the last month regarding how things work, we were armed for bear with very poignant questions.  You know how you feel when after some time, you realize you should have trusted your gut instinct about something?!  Well, that’s exactly what we found at our first appointment.  There is a huge difference in specialized dementia care and  what they call memory care.  Another lesson learned.  The location is not that convenient, but the care Frankie will receive is designed specifically for his needs, as they have experience with Lewy Body Dementia and have residents there currently with LBD.  His son, Mario, will visit there today to concur with my decision.

I can just see God up in heaven chuckling and saying:  you know, if you had listened to me the first time and trusted your intuition, he would already be here !🙄😂

But it seems I had lessons to learn and ultimately Frankie will be where he is supposed to be.  I’m just sorry I had to put  Frankie through this to finally find the right place.  As so many of you  have expressed, what is meant to be will be and I guess our experience through this was meant to be.

Lesson learned?  Don’t always believe the bill of goods you are being sold, that is their job to fill rooms!  But we actually talked with the wife of a resident there and feel reassured that this is the right place.

Just a minor splat  😊❤️

Have to keep smiling 

After shedding a few tears, I reminded myself to keep smiling, things will work out the way they are supposed to.  We were advised yesterday that perhaps we should look for a new facility for Frank as the current one does not feel equipped to handle his aggressive behavior towards one other resident.  Wow!  I totally understand where they are coming from.  I just wish that they had been more honest with me about not really having experience with Lewy Body Dementia, even after I continually stressed to them that LBD was his disease.  Lesson learned.  I just hate the fact that we have to uproot Frankie to start again somewhere else 😟

Safety is the number one concern for all involved and I completely understand.  So today we begin the process all over again.  I will say though, that after observing him in a facility for a month now, I am wiser and more knowledgeable about the process.  Maybe that is what was supposed to happen and Frankie will end up in a place that was meant to be.   Trusting and believing that everything happens for a reason is the only way I can think right now.  It will all work out for the best.  Because the bottom line is, it isn’t about me, it’s all about finding the right place for Frankie.  I just wish it had been the first choice.  Apparently God has another plan ☺️

Fortunately, Danny is picking Frank up for lunch today.  A great diversion for him.  Wish me luck and sound judgement in our quest to find him a new home.

Happy hump day ❤️

Glad you are here

What a cutie patooty he is.  He was so glad to see me yesterday and Lizzie as well.  His smile didn’t leave his face until we left and then there was his look of bewilderment came upon him!  Where are you going?  Well, you are getting a haircut and I will be back.  Are you sure?  Yes, Frankie, I will be back.  Ok!  Of course, I didn’t explain that it would be tomorrow that I would be back, but those simple little words were enough to satisfy him.  It sure would be nice if life were that simple!

Over the weekend, while I was in Columbus, I was dealing with the staff at his facility and his geriatric doctor about medications that may help  him with his aggressive behavior.  It can be a frustrating feeling knowing that you should trust what a doctor says would be good for him, but having that nagging tug in your heart that just doesn’t feel right.  The doctor prescribed an antipsychotic medication (seroquel) for him to take twice a day.  The nurse explained that it was a low dose, so I shouldn’t be concerned!  It takes a little while to get into his system, so the effects aren’t immediate.  So once again, we play a waiting game.   In my research, I have read that some of these meds are not ideal for people with Lewy Body Dementia, so the quandary is, who or what do I trust, the doctor or my gut instinct.  Obviously, since I have no medical training, I am somewhat forced to trust what he believes to be best for Frankie right now.  He also prescribed an anti anxiety medicine on an as needed basis.  According to the nurse, it is a fast acting med to relieve his anxiety when needed.  I really dislike being at the mercy of the doctors for a trial and error situation.  But as I have come to learn, medicine is not an exact science and doctors play the guessing game all the time.  Let’s try this and see if it helps!  If not, we will try something else!

From what I have gathered, it appears that Frankie has a problem with one resident in particular.  This fellow has a habit of laughing all the time and pointing.  Without the ability to reason, I believe that Frankie thinks he is laughing at him.  I think it sets him off and he becomes angry, even though this man does it to everyone.   I don’t think he means any disrespect towards anyone.  It is just one of those unfortunate situations that can happen when a group of people have memory issues.  So let’s hope and pray that the med the doctor picked will help Frankie cope better.

And that, my friends, is my thought for the day!

Have a good one and keep smiling, it’s contagious ❤️😊😁

New friends

The weekend was filled to the brim with valuable information that I still haven’t processed thoroughly, but the best part of it was acquiring a new friend that Frank’s son Jon had suggested I meet.  She is Kate Harvie, pictured here with her book that is the proof copy.  What an inspiring young woman and a beautiful soul.  As it turns out, she actually went to high school with my niece Amy.  They casually knew each other as classmates!  Six degrees of separation people!  That just blew my mind because you never know who is going to come into your life, or for what reason!  She had traumatic brain injury from a car accident and you would never know it.  She fought to survive and has succeeded beyond the possible.  What a blessing to call her my friend now. 

The conference was an incredible reminder that everyone has a story, and that includes me.  Sometimes we trudge along in life and think my life isn’t so special, it isn’t very different from thousands of other people.  Yet, what I learned this weekend was I am wri n that thinking!  Every single one of God’s creations has a unique story to tell.  We all have purpose in life, it’s just believing in ourselves enough to tell our story in the hope of helping someone else feel that they too, can relate and find strength to face what life throws at them.  So, I feel fortified to tell my story about this journey I am on with Frankie, as I have been doing with all of you writing this blog.  Sharing our feelings and lessons we learn is a great testament to the power we hold inside to help others.  And isn’t that what our life is supposed to be?  Besides living life the best way we know how with the graces of God, but to reach our hands out to help pull someone out of the storm they are experiencing.  What a gift that is, even if it is only one person you help, to know you played a roll in helping someone along this road of life!   

The guilt I was feeling not being with Frankie during a tough time for him this weekend, was alleviated by the lessons I learned.   I do believe that God puts things in our path for a reason and I am grateful for that, because I am in a constant state of wanting to always learn and grow.  It was very rewarding and humbling to meet so many inspiring people.  The name of the conference couldn’t have been more spot on:  Igniting Souls ❤️