04.28.19 My Two Mothers, by Joann Snow Duncanson; and a personal note

Your Mom with dementia may still be here or she may have passed on. She will always be with you, as close as your heart. Bless us all in this journey 💗

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Two Mothers Remembered, by Joann Snow Duncanson

I had two Mothers – two Mothers I claim
Two different people, yet with the same name.

Two separate women, diverse by design,
But I loved them both because they were mine.

The first was the Mother who carried me here,
Gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.

She was the one whose features I bear,
Complete with the facial expressions I wear.

She gave me her love, which follows me yet,
Along with the examples in life that she set.

As I got older, she somehow younger grew,
And we’d laugh as just Mothers and daughters should do.

But then came the time that her mind clouded so,
And I sensed that the Mother I knew would soon go.

So quickly she changed and turned into the other,
A stranger dressed in the clothes of my Mother.

Oh, she looked the same, at least at arm’s length,
But now she was the child and I was her strength.

We’d come full circle, we women three,
My Mother the first, the second and me.

And if my own children should come to a day,
When a new Mother comes and the old goes away,

I’d ask of them nothing that I didn’t do.
Love both of your Mothers as both have loved you.

For support for this journey of dementia, join Memory People on Facebook. All the members, both dementia patients, and dementia caregivers, walk this with you, each step of the way. You are not alone. 💜

This is the link – Memory People on Facebook It is a closed group so you will need to join to see anything. I don’t necessarily feel that this is the “Best” Facebook group about Dementia but it is a very active group and you get to learn from others there.

On a personal note, the dementia I have has been on a roller coaster ride recently. I am still on the strongest dose of the medicine Galantamine. About two weeks after passing out due to my blood pressure being low I started taking my blood pressure medicine again. My blood pressure stopped being so low and is back to normal to a bit above normal. I am now taking my blood pressure every morning to see how it is that day and if I need the medicine or should skip it that day. This is so totally out of the norm for me and is just another weird thing my shrinking and holely brain is doing.

I’ve had difficulties recently putting my thoughts together or even having thoughts to allow me to write a blog post. Even things that other people wrote that I repost just don’t bring any thoughts to help me post it and share with ya’ll why I am posting it. It is a terrible feeling to start to do something I’ve done almost a thousand times now and nothing happens in my brain. I think nothing and that’s something that has been going on

from the beginning, just not all the time. I use to describe my dementia as not being able to think and that is a really accurate way to describe how it is sometimes. It’s not always that I can’t remember something, a lot of times it is that my brain won’t begin the thinking process to get to what I need to know.

I get great anxiety when I go to social events and want to talk to someone but then my brain stops thinking, I panic and can’t say anything. I just want to go in a corner and cry. I have never in my life had a problem talking. Anyone who knows me knows that talking a lot is probably something I was mostly known for. In addition, I can listen to others talk but when they get complicated with their talking my brain stops and I get anxious about what I will reply because I don’t know what they said. If this happens I don’t say anything to the person talking, just nod or smile every now and then and hope my brain starts working again.

I ask that when talking to me please tell me the basic substance of what you want to say not all the details leading up to it or surrounding it. Oddly enough I have always been a person who did exactly what I am asking people not to do. Please don’t avoid talking to me, just please try to understand how I handle conversations best. The frequency that all of these things are happening let me know that this small and holely brain thing is progressing. I am thankful that God has seen fit for this to be a slow moving brain thing and not a quick downward disease. I was first diagnosed in 2011 which is 8 years ago. Vascular dementia has a time span of between 8 to 12 years and I’m hoping I’ll be a special case and hang on longer than that!

I want others to learn about dementia from my experience but don’t want to sound like I am bitter. I do hate having this and would prefer to be able to think clearly and not have to avoid some social settings. But I know it’s all part of God’s plan for my life and He will be with me every step of the way. I did not intend to write so much today but when it comes into my brain I want to share! Hope each of you has a very Blessed Week!

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04.05.19 Roy’s Eyes and Heart

Many of ya’ll will remember Roy’s eye doctor issues last year.  The doctors said Roy needed a good pair of eye glasses to see if they would help with the various lingering vision problems.  Our new health insurance, People’s Health, covers eye glasses so we found a doctor in Amite, Dr. Wroten with Bond & Wroten, whom we visited to have our eyes checked.  We both liked him and ordered bifocal glasses.  Since having my cataracts removed a few years ago my vision has decreased a bit so glasses have made a difference for me.  They have made a difference for Roy also which we are very happy about. Since it seems that one doctor visit for us always leads to another different doctor visit this one did also!

Dr. Wroten’s office in Amite
Dr. Robert Mason

While Roy’s eyes were being examined he told Dr. Wroten about a spidery looking floater that’s been in his eye since the original surgery.  Dr. Wroten recommended Roy see Dr. Robert Mason in Baton Rouge who specializes in vitreoretinal surgery with the Retina and Vitreous of Louisiana.  Roy saw Dr. Mason who agreed the spidery looking floater needs to be removed and surgery was scheduled for March 14.

Before the surgery Roy had pre-op tests and visit with our primary care Dr. Hugo Valdes to get clearance for the surgery.  Blood work done at Quest was fine but the EKG done at North Oaks as usual showed Roy has extra heart beats but this latest showed more extra heart beats.  This is called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).  Because of the PVCs Dr. Valdes wouldn’t clear Roy for surgery until he was examined by a cardiologist.  He recommended Dr. Georges Khoueiry with the Heart Center of Hammond.

Dr. Georges Khoueiry

We saw Dr. Khoueiry who ordered a nuclear stress test and an Echocardiogram.  Those tests results were abnormal, possibly showing blockages.  The eye surgery was postponed at that point and an angiogram was scheduled. If blockages were found Dr. Khoueiry would put in stents.

Roy had the angiogram this past Thursday at the Cardiovascular Specialty Care Center of Covington.  Our son Chip, my sister Harriett and brother in law George were there with me.  Roy came back with good news that no stents were needed.  A slight blockage was found but not enough to need a stent.  Yay!  But there is still the premature ventricular contractions issue, so now we go back to Dr. Khoueiry on Friday, April 5th to look further into why Roy has these extra beats.

Just came back from Dr. Khoueiry’s office.  He gave Roy clearance to have the eye surgery.  He did not prescribe anything for the extra heart beats because they haven’t affected Roy’s heart.  He did prescribe cholesterol medicine to help keep the slight blockage where it is and not get worse. Sometime this year Dr. Khoueiry wants Roy to have a halter monitor to further check his heart beats.

Back to Dr. Mason now for the eye surgery. For someone like Roy who detests going to the doctor you can imagine how he feels about now.  He’s now seen 6 different eye doctors over the last two years.  Hopefully when this is over, Dr. Mason will be the last!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

03.26.19 7 things every good christian mom does, by Marisa at “Called to Mothering”

I’ve said before that I wish these types of encouraging information for Christian moms was available back when I really could have used it while my sons were growing up.  We did the best we could back then but had someone put this type of information before me I believe I would have been a better mom.  I hope all the young Christian moms I know will read this.  There are links within the article to other articles of hers about being a better mom.  They are all great and I recommend reading those as well.

There's no way to be a perfect mom, but here are at least seven ways to be a really good one! #biblicalmotherhood #christianmotherhood #momencouragement #christianparenting

What makes a good mom? If you ask 100 people this question, you’ll probably get 100 different answers.We often imagine someone who is always patient, available, and bakes cookies from scratch. Someone who never has emotional outbursts or gets irritated with her kids for making messes.

The ideal standard is hard to live up to. And Christian moms face this pressure even more. In our quest to elevate the role of motherhood and encourage one another that it is a worthy calling, we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of equating mothering with sainthood.

I can think of no mother I know who would even remotely qualify for this status. Because we’re all human. We’re imperfect, saved sinners just trying to do our best to raise children for Christ.

The good news is that there is no way to be a perfect mom, but many ways to be a really good one. Here are seven things every good Christian mom does (and none of them involve baking).

One of our most important and rewarding tasks as a Christian mother is helping our children grow in faith. It is so much more than just taking them to church on Sunday. We play a vital role in our kids’ discipleship because we are uniquely positioned to walk beside them daily in a close, loving relationship!

Reading the Bible consistently with them and teaching them how to apply verses to their everyday lives is paramount to their own walk with Christ. We should also help them establish the spiritual discipline of prayer and Bible study for themselves. Using the Scriptures to correct them and teach their hearts to obey God as you “sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” is key to your children’s spiritual development.

The other day, I flipped through a book my son had borrowed from the library. Its first chapter introduced a main character that had several negative traits such as deceitfulness and pride, as well as a plot that contained some dark fantasy elements. After I talked through the themes with him and we read Philippians 4:8 together, he decided to substitute it with a better choice.

As moms, it’s sort of our job to be nosy. It may not make us “cool”, but it will make us a great parent. We need to be aware of what our children are being taught, the kinds of media they’re consuming, and the peers they’re being influenced by. God gave us that “gut instinct” and we should listen to it! We have the power to influence and guide, and we shouldn’t allow culture to replace us.

We often get discouraged at our shortcomings and flaws, believing that we can’t reach our children because these would make us seem hypocritical. The truth is, our failures can still teach our kids, because they reveal our need for the very Savior we’re teaching them about.

They are also a great opportunity to grasp the meaning of “your grace is sufficient”. God can still be glorified, because when we admit we don’t have what it takes on our own to homeschool, or raise obedient children, or manage a home, God shows up mightily and we can give all the credit to Him!

Being a good mom sometimes means recognizing that we can’t do this mothering gig all by ourselves. The sheer amount of daily tasks is overwhelming, especially with littles. And besides, God created us to be in fellowship for a reason: to bear one another’s burdens, spiritually and literally.

Reaching out to ask a friend or your husband to take some of that stuff off your plate will allow you to decompress and relax a little. When you’re recharged, you’ll be a happier, more focused mom.

Whether it’s getting up before the kids in the morning to do your quiet time, or after they go to bed, spending time alone with God is vital to your motherhood lifeline. We can’t pour into our kids day in and day out without being refilled by the Spirit.

A good Christian mom recognizes her utter dependence on God for all the things that mothering requires of her. She knows that a habit of being in God’s Word every day will give her a renewed mind, as well as the fuel she needs to make it throughout the busy hours with her kids.

One of our biggest responsibilities is pulling out the weeds of bad behavior, and it seems like a never ending task. As soon as you prune a few, others ones grow up right in the same spot. It can become discouraging, and sometimes we end up feeling like failures (see Point #3).

But those behaviors and attitudes are actually excellent ways to point each child to Christ! When they keep disobeying and express in frustration that they can’t be good, we say “Yes exactly! That’s why Jesus came to redeem you by His death on the cross”. In those moments, we can present the Gospel very clearly to our children.

Finally, a good Christian mom knows that prayer is one of the best parenting tools at her disposal. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

Prayer brings God’s power and blessing to our kids’ lives, and it can lead them to genuine, godly repentance. It equips us to fight the spiritual battle for their hearts and minds, something the Enemy desperately wants to take over.

We can influence and impact our kids for eternity by kneeling with them and showing by example that since we trust God with our concerns, they should too. When we don’t have all the answers, we can lead them to the One who does!

 

Being a Christian mother is extremely hard.  I made more mistakes than I ever want anyone to know about.  I am now a grandmother and take that responsibility as seriously as I did being a mother. I don’t want to make the parenting mistakes I made, with my grandchildren. I want to be the kind of grandmother that takes seriously the points in the article above.  You may no longer be a child’s mother but are now a grandmother like me.   Our influence in their little lives must always direct them towards learning all about Christ.

This quote below makes a strong statement.  

Children becoming strong Christians is the most important aspect we should devote our lives to as grandparents and parents.

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

03.07.19 To the mom who keeps going, by Rachel at Finding Joy

While this is about moms who keep going in all phases in life, I hope that all of the young and older mothers at our church read this. You all just keep going and ya’ll amaze me by showing up every week at church with clean clothes on, kids dressed, probably everyone had a bath (!) and you didn’t kill or maim one of them on the way to church or in church.
There are several young children that sit in front of us at Trinity. A couple of Sundays ago when we were getting ready to pray I noticed that everyone of them bowed their heads to pray. That says a lot about you moms and dads bringing your children up to respect and know God.

I have two grown sons who were raised at Trinity so I know how hard it is getting it all together to come to church. Our lives back then weren’t nearly as complicated as young families lives are now. I won’t start naming the young ladies I’m thinking about because I’ll miss someone. You are wonderful Christian motherly examples and I hope others see that in you as well!

This is for you. Yeah, you.

You might think it’s no big deal. You might not even realize the power in your ability to keep going. But I see you. I know that strength. I know the nights of no sleep met with mornings of tired. I understand the give and the take. I know the heartbreak and the love.

And I know that sometimes it’s so easy to dismiss that we keep going.

You keep going.

That family of yours knows that you keep going. That is such a gift. A life gift. A hard thing.

It’s hard to keep going when the cards all crash in. But you keep going.

It’s challenging to keep going when relationships fail. But you keep going.

It’s scary to keep going when you don’t have answers. But you keep going.

It’s lonely to keep going when everyone else seems to have it together. But you keep going.

It’s frustrating to keep going when things keep messing up. But you keep going.

It’s tiring to keep going when you get no sleep. But you keep going.

It’s humbling to keep going when you feel overwhelmed. But you keep going.

It’s simple to dismiss it.

But you keep going.

On good days. You keep going.

On bad days. You keep going.

On great days. You keep going.

On irritating days. You keep going.

On normal days. You keep going.

On throw-in-the-towel days. You keep going.

On exhilarating days. You keep going.

On so-so days. You keep going.

On first time days. You keep going.

On last time days. You keep going.

On vacation days. You keep going.

On work days. You keep going.

On never-get-a-break days. You keep going.

On just-a-mom days. You keep going.

You keep going.

You may get to the end of this day and look at your day and wonder what on earth did I accomplish today? But you are only looking at today. You are missing all the days that got you to this day. All the days where you kept on going. All the days when you didn’t know if you would make it through. All those days. So maybe your to-do list has a hundred things checked off or maybe it has none – but it does have this – you keep going.

Sweet, sweet sister.

The weight of the world will try to tell you that you need to do more, be more, change more, love more, give more, show-up more, but sister, sometimes the world misses the most powerful part of you.

You keep going.

So hold your head high. Be proud of you. Love your days. All of them.

You know what is amazing? This story, this life, this adventure – you are such a beautiful part of it. For so many. For your friends, your children, your family.

Because you keep going.

~Rachel at http://findingjoy.net

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!