I loved it that Alwas chatty today, but I hate what is happening inside. We are becoming quite…
I loved it that Al was chatty today, but I hate what is happening inside. We are becoming quite constricted on what Al can eat anymore. Solid foods are out. puree and mashed is in. Red sauces are out, causing him heartburn because he barely eats. Creamy foods, puddings and ice-cream and milk make his mucus worse, thus he chokes and coughs.
All I seem to be able to feed him is mashed potatoes. Tonight he ate about five bites of macaroni and cheese. He was able to eat it, but it was a bit of a struggle for him. He is so thirsty the past three days. He just can’t seem to get enough fluids.
I was explained to that at this time of his life thirst is a big issue. I am not sure why. If any of you know let me know please.
His arms are contracted so that they always look like he is praying. I keep putting them to the side of his body but they just creep back to the center of his trunk.
He didn’t do bad today. I didn’t hear much complaining. Mainly heartburn and his heels hurting. His heels are constantly on pillows but he is complaining of foot pain. I also was told that at this stage of a person’s life, with his oxygen level being now 74, that he will feel a tingle in his feet from lack of circulation.
What else will happen before he is out of pain? I don’t know, but I am hoping that some of you thinkers out there can help me with a more appealing menu for him. I will be going to the grocery store tomorrow or Sunday.
Well it is a few days until Thanksgiving Day. My turkey is thawing in the refrigerator. Wednesday I will be doing all the work I can do in preparations with food that I can because I can no longer stand without pain for too long.
Our menu here at home is going to be like this.
Layer lettuce, crumbled fresh bacon, peas, shredded cheese until you are out of ingredients. Cover entire dish with mayonnaise. Store over night.
You can make home-made yeast rolls or cheat like I do and purchase frozen bread balls. Let them rise and fry them in hot oil until each side floats. Smother them with butter and jam.
Cook a chicken. De-bone and save broth. Mix three eggs, add several pieces of bread. I usually use about a half or over of a loaf of white bread. Mix with eggs, add a stalk or two of cooked and diced celery. Add chicken pieces. Add one can of cream of mushroom soup, one can of celery soup. Mix. Add enough broth to get it to the consistency you wish. Bake for half an hour at 350 degrees, maybe a little longer, depending on your desire of crispness.
Macaroni and cheese, homemade. I cook my macaroni, then add 2 cups of shredded Colby cheese, a stick of butter and a little bit of milk. It makes it nice and stringy. Then I make a white sauce by melting three tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Then add about two to three tablespoons of flour. Stir constantly until it bubbles. Slowly add milk then until you get it the thickness you want. The key is to make sure the flour and butter are smooth before adding milk, and don’t add too much milk, adding won’t hurt, trying to back track won’t work.
1 cup flour, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup nuts.
Mix and press in a 9×13 pan Bake for 15 minutes 350 degrees
1 cup cool whip, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 8 oz. cream cheese
Blend together and add to first layer when cooled
2 packages of instant pudding, your choice of flavor, we always used butterscotch, made with only 3 cups of milk instead of 4. add to second layer
Top with rest of cool whip and garnish with nuts
6 regular size Snickers Candy Bar
6 apples I used Red Delicious… Granny Smith would also be great
1 (5 oz.) package Vanilla Instant Pudding dry, do not prepare
1/2 cup milk
1 (12 oz.) tub cool whip
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
Whisk vanilla pudding packet, 1/2 cup milk and cool whip together until well combined.
Chop up apples and Snickers.
Stir chopped apples and Snickers into pudding mixture.
Place in a large bowl and drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.
Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Well, I met Al at the bus and as I was pushing him up the ramp, I told him I had a big surprise for him. He didn’t say anything.
I got him inside and pushed him up to the waiting cars. He said,”Wow, are these for me?” I said yes and I know I was dancing like little pigs and I was smiling from ear to ear. He looked at them but didn’t touch any. I talked to him about them but he said nothing. I asked him if I could take his picture holding one and he said yes. I placed one in his hand and snapped the two photos above.
That was it, it was over, all done with , dance gone. I guess I am in denial. I expected the old Al. I want to pretend somewhere deep in my mind that he really isn’t that sick. He is just a little sick.
I thought I was adjusted, but I guess not. Al liked the cars, I am sure of it, but me, I crumbled inside because he wasn’t dancing that pig dance with me. There were no big grins or laughter, no spark in his eye. I asked him three times before I got that smile you see, and as soon as the snap was done, the smile left.
I pushed him to the new clock and he looked at it. He asked a couple of questions and then it was gone too.
I wanted to sit down and cry. I want my old Al back. I want to hear the chatter and the laughter again. I pushed him up to the table and he waited for his supper. I gave him Kiwi for the first time. He hesitated but he did eat it. I think he could take it or leave it. I had a pork chop and he is refusing meats unless they are mushy. He also doesn’t want me to puree them either. He says they look funny.
So he had a hot dog cut up with ketchup, mashed potatoes, cut-up tomatoes, and hominy. He ate the hominy, tomatoes and kiwi because he could use his fingers. He ate two bites of mashed potatoes but since he had to use silver ware, he gave up because he was too weak to use the utensils.
I was reading the Hospice book today on signs of someone in their last six months. I hated it so much that I recognized a few of Al in the symptoms. Al used to drink a lot, but anymore he drinks less than half of what I pour. His appetite is definitely down, which the book said thirst and appetite decline as the body does. It also said not to force them or to shame them if they don’t eat well.
After supper I asked him, “Do you want to go back over to the couch and play with your cars?”
“No, I want to brush my teeth and go to bed.”
Well that was that. Somehow I have got to get my mind in the right setting because I am sitting here licking my wounds expecting more but receiving less.
I guess I will look at the positive in this. He is here with me at home. He ate and drank some. He did the smile for the camera. He waved at me when he saw me from the bus when they were letting him down on the lift.
Finally, Sunday has arrived. I woke up early. Put the coffee maker to work. I glanced outside and I saw a peek of sunshine coming through the clouds. I am impressed. The outdoor thermometer says it is 20 degrees. Awesome! It is double digits.
I love Sundays. A day to spend with others in the assembly room. A day to sing and speak. No silence for today. I can wipe that off the calendar for today. I see that we are going to have ice and rain this afternoon. I am going to go pick up Al and let him pick out a place to eat. I am sure we will be back and I will be home before the ice comes and strands people inside their homes.
I say hi to mom and dad, and my grandparents and cousins as this is the day of the week that I would normally be visiting with them after church. If I listen very hard I can hear mom telling me she loves me. Is that her or is that my desire to speak to her again?
I would inhale deeply as I walked into Grandma’s house. The smell of fried chicken would just make my mouth water. As I glanced around her tiny kitchen I would see home-made biscuits sitting on top of the stove to help keep them warm.
In the big cast iron skillet there would be gravy simmering. She would use the left-over drippings and bits of meat and stir flour and milk and oh the memories of that poured over some nice home-made mashed potatoes. I know, we don’t eat gravy today. It is bad for your health. I don’t even make it anymore. But you have to admit it was really delicious wasn’t it?
Grandma would never let it go to waste. After everyone was done eating she would be found lingering at the table dipping pieces of biscuits or bread in the gravy until it was gone. It can’t be that bad for you. She is 96 this year.
There would be frozen corn and canned green beans from the garden and sliced tomatoes that were guaranteed to cover a hamburger. For desserts there was at least two pies. Usually an apple and cherry or we sometimes received peach or black raspberry.
After everything was tidied up we would sit and chat for what seemed hours. We never ran out of things to say. All of us women and the little kids would stay inside and the men folk would go out to the barn or walk the land.
By the time supper rolled around no one was really hungry so piecing was the meal. Make your own supper. I am sure Mom enjoyed this as she didn’t have to cook. If you started cooking at the age of 21 and cooked until you reached the age of 65 you would be cooking for 528 months and 27,456 weeks of your life. What is the answer if you go ahead and figure out how many more times it is if you break it down into seven days a week and three times a day. Anyone have the answer? It is no wonder women all over the world love to be waited on by once in a while by having others cook for them.
Wow, those were the days! Today I have not done the math but how many of us eat out more than we eat at home? Busy schedules of taking kids to activities. Working and then adding over time on top of that. I can’t even begin to think about all the reasons we eat out instead of eating at home. Do you think this has anything to do with the huge weight gains over the years?
Well I have talked so much about those home cooked meals I am not getting hungry. I think I will go make myself a couple of eggs and one slice of whole wheat toast and start on my second cup of coffee. I will talk to you later on. Have a good morning!