Sunday, October 11, 2009

A New Schedule

We have a new support schedule that includes a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons which is turning out to be a God-send for me. Lizzie also has a new (what's called ...) Trainer who comes up with terrific ideas about where to take Lizzie for social entertainment. Today they are shopping at craft stores and yesterday they hung out at Whole Foods for lunch and all other fun things Whole Foods offers its customers on Saturdays. My sister is a go-go girl in that she LUVS to be on the go so much so that I cannot keep up with her! So to have someone to help entertain her rather than watch her stand at the door endlessly waiting for me to take her somewhere is a blessing without a doubt! Thank you Cathy! And one of these posts I will tell you the story of arranging such support which is still a primary intention of this blog. Until then ... we'll be thankful for each and every day we have together and for those who He sends to help carry us through, right?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Refreshing Morning

I can't believe I slept until 10:30 this morning. When I saw the time, I sprang out of bed to check on Lizzie who I thought for certain would be tossing, turning, and frustrated that I had not yet came in to say good morning. I was a bit nervous for a moment when I saw an empty bed in her room and yet the house was still so silent. Much to my surprise (and quite frankly I am still in awe), she was totally dressed and ready for the day sitting at the kitchen table sorting through some mail, and when she saw me, she said, "Good morning twin sister. What should we do for breakfast?"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fixation or Concentration?

Lizzie's support trainer told me that Lizzie was talking nonstop about a Larry today, and of course Lidia wanted to know who is Larry. So I asked Lizzie who she was talking about ... "Larry who?" "You know who," she replied. "No, no I don't ... Cousin Larry?" "Oh come on now ... you know who." Hmmmm .... don't know any other Larry's .. oh wait! "Larry C___?" "Yes, I TOLD you so," she exclaimed with total glee in her face. WOW ... I finally got it! LC was her very first State of NV Social Worker who she hasn't seen in many many years. Lidia told me Lizzie was looking for him all day today and wanted to phone him as well. So I explained to Lizzie how he doesn't have that job any more and that Janet took his place. She was most upset to hear this bit of news. Finally, Lidia said, "Listen ... he's not around any more and that's just the way it is." Then the classic response ... "Don't tell me that! Now I have to find someone ELSE to concentrate on" ... followed by a big sigh.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Good Laugh

A few days ago I told Lizzie, "let's go for a ride to our favorite hangout," and she is always up for that. This time as we walked along the sidewalk to the car she stopped, put her hands on her hips, and said, "We're NOT going to the airport, ARE we?"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicago Here We Come!

For the past two summers I have given serious consideration to visiting our hometown of Chicago, Actually, five years ago I gave serious consideration to moving BACK to Chicago; however, at the time, the entire idea felt so overwhelmingly monstrous that I tossed it aside. Besides, I didn’t have a job nor a place to live in Chicago, and I did here in Reno. So her we are … pondering whether or not Lizzie can make such a trip for a few days.

This past year has been stressful to say the least, and my soul has longed for a sense of “going home” (on this earth). I also have been plagued with the thoughts of “I want Lizzie to see our relatives and them to see her before it’s too late.” I eventually got to the point of “I want to go and that’s it. Lizzie will just have to suck it up and come along!” I placed our suitcases prominently on the dining room table for a couple of months to get her psyched-up and prepared for the trip all to no avail. All I heard was “I’m not going.“ “You can’t make me.” “They should come here.”

Eventually, our departure date arrived and though she protested vehemently as the days approached, this day she calmly got herself into the car for the trip to the airport. Once there, Liz announced “I’ll go this time but it’s the last time.” She sat quietly in the wheelchair I had waiting for her as we began our walk through the airport. Lo and behold, we see our dear friend Joann! She was traveling that day as well and what a blessing it was to see her! She helped me manage Lizzie in the chair and our carry-ons as we proceeded through security and to our gate. We had smiles and laughter galore and what a great start it all was because she added that aspect of familiarity to a rather new type of day to Lizzie.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thinking About Chicago

Lately my cousin Paul and I have been fantasizing about having enough money to someday move back to the Chicago area and even to buy the house we spent so many years in on Washtenaw & Leland.

So a few nights ago I scouted the job postings board for my professional organization for something in Chicago and found one on Michigan Ave that sounds like it has potential for being a good match for me. The scary part is that I actually entertained the idea for about 35 minutes. The question always arises about what would I do about my sister and my animals? Then FEAR set in ... UGH

Last night I stayed up until 1:35 am looking for houses in Chicago and found a cute one on Washtenaw near Devon. I wonder what that neighborhood is like these days. Though not the same neighborhood per se, it would be full circle for me. Here in Reno, I woke up just a short while ago to a bright sunshiny day ... in the 70's ... no clouds ... no bugs ... no humidity ... beautiful views of snow-capped mountains ... I think I have lost my mind!

All my decisions revolve around Elizabeth. I know in my brain that living in Chicago would be terrible for her health because she struggles with upper-respiratory stuff in cold weather. Moving out of state would mean I'd have to start all over with state funded supports which is a story in itself and one of the primary reasons I started this BLOG.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Elizabeth has become quite the drama queen these days in that her sensory perceptions are exaggerated to the point of total imagination. Today I dropped the dog's stainless steel water bucket on the outdoor patio. Since it was a 70-degree day, the patio door was open, and the sound of the clanging bucket was loud even in the kitchen. So loud that Elizabeth was certain it hit her on the head. She clasped her head in her hands and cried out that she'd been hit by something. "That hurt," she said repeatedly until I came in the kitchen and told her the pot hit the floor and not her head. She seemed relieved and went about her task of reading the newspaper.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Been A While

It’s been a long time since I have blogged about my sister and that is not because she hasn’t provided me with material. It is simply that I have had my own life struggles of late, and because I have been trying to get ALL my blogs updated. I am back in the swing of it all now, though … so here we go!

Back-tracking to the holidays (2008), I can tell you that this one went by Lizzie like a bird in flight. This was the first year ever that she did not get into the planning and anticipation of the season. She did not notice that I did not decorate the house this year (a first for me) with anything other than a small 4-ft. tree I found at Costco that is decorated, has lights, and is flocked in a pretty pot. She did not want to see any of the few Christmas cards we received. She had no interest in preparing for Santa in any way, shape or form; nor did she want me to read the story of our Lord’s birth from the Book of Luke. When Christmas morning and time to open gifts arrived, she just looked at them and walked away. I asked myself: did she forget about how to do Christmas; or is this a reflection of the personality-change-thing common to AD patients?

As I mentioned in a post on my Friendships BLOG, I decided to do Christmas differently this year, and I am so glad I did so! Off with the old traditions and on with the new! We went to our cousins’ house on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day we DID continue with the established day with our dear friends the Clarks and company! Liz kept saying, “It can’t be Christmas. It’s not December yet.”

It should be no wonder to anyone why December 26th is one of my most favorite days of the year. It became so when Christmas was just not as happy as it used to be after losing our parents. Then my marriage ended and no one was around to help me make it special for Lizzie. And now she doesn’t care any more. I often wonder if a year will come when I look forward to the holidays again.

Sunday, March 15, 2009