August 1, 2022

positivity (with a hint of 'they still make me nuts), "let's fatten you up," & deja vous timing


First off, thanks for the thoughtful messages for my mom. The family dynamics have almost driven me nuts, but this weekend has been calm and uneventful, so I'm going to focus on that. 

*sharing some of the nonsense later, because it helps lift the weight and it's entertaining, is it not? Stay tuned. 


We are all grateful that Mom's mini-stroke was indeed mini and that the whole thing resulted in her receiving long overdue, but vehemently refused, medical care. I'm happy to share that she is home and agreeing to take the few medications that the doctors really wanted her to take. She feels good and is perky. She even went with Ann and Dad to a follow up appointment at Dad's GP . . . as if she's accepted this wonderful doctor as her own. 

Pinch me. 

On the cooperative front:  she's using a walker as a precaution. She's going to Coach's clinic for outpatient PT due to weakness in her right arm and hand. 

She's also carrying a cell phone for the fist time in her life. It isn't a legit cell phone. It's part of a heart monitor thing. She must keep it within 5 feet for 30 days while  she wears this 'knob' type thing attached to her chest. The cell phone reads the attachment thing. My folks have never owned a cell phone. Have I mentioned Mom's stubbornness? They are adjusting to charging a device each night. Mom wears the cell phone in a passport holder around her neck. 

Coach and I both feel that since she's started taking meds (4x a baby aspirin dose, something for cholesterol, and Zoloft for anxiety which lead to her stroke, worrying about getting her license renewed - Zoloft also supposedly improves mobility) she seems mentally clearer, less spacey and confused. The lost memory thing is not undone, but she seems different . . . more like her formerly engaged and tuned-in self. 

thanks GIPHY

If you've seen the movie Mean Girls, then you might appreciate that I've convinced Mom to start eating 'Perfect' protein bars. She didn't want anything to do with Ensure or any other meal replacement shake when the hospital's dietician suggested it. My guess is that she associates Ensure with caring for her elderly mother and aunt. 

Perfect bar nutrition facts from the company website.

Her appetite has diminished, but we are trying to urge her to eat something to keep up her strength. I buy Perfect bars for my kids. Reg likes them after he works out or plays in a basketball game. They have a lot of protein, but they also have loads of carbs.

I told Mom that one of the cute little guys I sit for eats these (he does). I told her that they taste good and as a bonus they have the protein she needs. I told her to try to at least eat half of one a day, and she is doing that. 

What is even happening?


Mom and Curly
from a distance.

Dad is apparently reading: 
then he can watch
Better Off Dead when
he needs a breather from
such light reading.
Coach, Curly and I walked over Saturday night and Mom was glad we showed up because she wanted to go outside and walk a little. It was a beautiful night and she pushed her walker along for a bit enjoying some fresh air. I brought over our copy of Better Off Dead for Dad, since he was bummed he missed the beginning the other night. 

Sunday morning I went over and sat with Mom so Dad could go to mass. We are not leaving her alone just yet. I snapped a photo of Dad's typical reading selection along with the copy of our DVD. 


Note the computer and laptop watching him
 from my ancient end table. That end table
 stores so many tot toys in my daycare, but the
 day I end my daycare I will be ready to
 get rid of my two eye sore end tables. 
Reg had his extended 3 day EEG test Monday-Wednesday last week. The doc was trying to capture one of his deja vous episodes. They wonder if he has a seizure disorder which could explain the deja vous feeling and the difficulty attending in school, etc. 

He couldn't shower, go outside, workout, shoot hoops FOR THREE DAYS. It was a challenge, but in typical Reg fashion he complained minimally and went with the flow. 

Unfortunately he didn't have a SINGLE episode.

Maybe he always wanted
 to have a pony tail?

This is what it looked like
 when I took off the  gauze
and removed the
 electrodes at long last. 
Yesterday? After he caddied, he came home and told me that he'd woken up and felt off. Like a deja vous thing was about to happen. While he waited to caddy, he threw up. While he caddied he drank a little water and threw up again. He felt the deja vous presence all dang day. When he got home, he slept for 2.5 hours and woke up feeling much better. He said this was the worst it has been since the very first time when it all began early May of '21.

So frustrating and concerning. The test, by the way, will cost us around $2,000 AFTER insurance. I haven't heard any results yet, so maybe the equipment gathered helpful data despite the fact that he didn't feel the deja vous stuff. 

If I had hair to spare, I'd be tearing my it out. 


We took all 6 kids to dinner last night at a trendy Mexican place. So good. The idea: we aren't going to Yellowstone, let's carve out time for a family meal out. This is harder than it may sound, but it was more togetherness than we would've accomplished at that elusive national park that shall not be named, since Ed wasn't planning to go out west. 

Was your weekend full of funny 80s movies? Did you manage to avoid reading books about the building of the Roman Empire? 

Do you eat Perfect protein bars? Or drink ensure for that matter? Are there things that you swear you will never do when you are elderly, like my mom who insisted:  I WON'T TSEE A DOCTOR? For me? I swear I will continue to try to dress sharp. Ugly, sensible shoes are non-negotiable. 


Wendy said...

I'm so happy your mom is doing better and taking some of your suggestions! But ugh, how frustrating that the EEG didn't catch the episode that Reg had. It always works out that way, doesn't it?!

Better Off Dead has always cracked me up ... I want my two dollars!!

Ernie said...

Wendy- Yes TWO DOLLARS! It is hard to believe that my mom is on board with everything.

Unfortunately Reg woke up not feeling well again and this time he shared this with me before he was on the golf course. I suggested we go to the ER.

While we were still on the driveway he had a major seizure. It went on for what felt like eternity. Very scary. I'm at the ER now. It took a team to get him out of the car because he was so confused and fighting. They are running tests. He finally woke up and talked to me a few hours later which was a huge comfort. Prior to that, I was a mess. He said THEY BETTER FIGURE THIS OUT NOW. I believe they will.

ccr in MA said...

Oh, Ernie, how scary! Yes, they had certainly better figure it out now. Poor Reg and poor parents.

Busy Bee Suz said...

First: SO happy your mom is already showing improvement.
Laughing at the Mean Girls protein bars.
Your Dad goes in deep into his ready. WTH? Is that entertaining? I suppose he just loves history.

Second: Reg!
Oh my goodness. I remember you mentioning this, but I didn't realize it was THIS big and scary. Praying that they figure out what is going on soon. Poor kid. Poor worried mom. Does anyone in the family have a history of seizures? I have one cousin and his brother's child that both struggle with them.
Please keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Glad your mom is doing better - have had the same type of moments with my parents in the last year. So stubborn!
And I've been there with the child with the "weird" feeling, throwing up, seizure stuff. If you find you "need a guy", HIGHLY recommend Dr. Bryan Bertoglio at St. Alexis/Alexian Brothers along with Dr. Abdul Mazin. Both fantastic. Praying for Reg and good outcomes!

Kara said...

It's great that your Mom is willing to be helped!

I love 80's movies, but this weekend we watched some newer releases. On Hulu, we watched Jerry & Marge Go Large- I highly recommend. It's based on a true story and it's delightful. On Disney+ we watched Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, at the request of our kids, and it was super cute. Lots of 80's and 90's references.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for Reg and that you get answers now. This mom stuff is hard. I took one of my kids to the dr today to get meds for depressed and anxiety.

As for your parents and siblings, my only advise is to focus on your relationship with your mom and dad. I come from a large family with some strong personalities too. When your parents are gone you don’t want to have any regrets for what you didn’t do because of someone else. Keep spending time with them and doing what’s right for you.

Suzanne said...

Oh my gosh how frustrating that the deja vu event happened AFTER the test! ARRRGGGGHHHHH! I really hope the test did capture some useful data. And I'm glad to hear your mom is doing well.

Pat Birnie said...

So glad to hear that your mom is doing better and is being somewhat agreeable. Wow re Reg - so scary. My youngest had 2 grand mal seizures when he was entering puberty - nothing since thank goodness, but it is very upsetting to witness. good luck getting answers.

Beth Cotell said...

I used to love that movie! I want my two dollars!!!!!

I just saw your comment to Wendy about Reg. I am praying they are able to get this figured out! Poor Reg. Poor you!

Kari said...

I am thinking of you and sending lots of love as you deal with Reg's seizures. I know that you have access to an abundance of high-quality medical facilities and hospitals in that area, so there is no question that he will be cared for. Xoxo

Ernie said...

ccr - That is our hope. Seeing the ped neurologist tomorrow.

Ernie said...

Suz - Long day. Yes, he does love history. Most family vacations when I was growing up were centered around history. Snooze fest. ;)

I still can't believe the level of cooperation we are seeing in my mom.

We were told that the deja vous thing was likely a mild seizure disorder, it would never progress into grand mall . . . then here we are. Grand mall today. Scary as all get out. No family history. Hoping that the doctor has a good outlook tomorrow.

Thanks very much for the kind words.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I am surprised that when we saw a pediatrician last year the deja vous thing didn't trigger more of a response from her. The pediatrician we saw this spring was all over it.

I appreciate that. I think Dr. Yadava is excellent, but I will keep those names on file just in case. Thanks.

Ernie said...

Kara - It is a relief that Mom is doing so much better and that the stroke was so mild, but so necessary to get her headed in the right direction.

the 'go large' movie - must check that one out.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - So sorry to hear that. I hope the meds will help your child. You are so right - this mom stuff is SO hard.

I feel like we should have coffee - you sound like you 'get it' with the big family dynamics, etc. That is exactly what I've decided to focus on. I live walking distance to my folks - so we are popping over more and more regularly and finding time with them when my siblings aren't around. It makes a difference. I thought the exact thing - I don't want to have any regrets. Thanks for the encouragement.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- I know, that was so frustrating. He had a rough day yesterday but told us after he'd been caddying all day. he had a grand mall seizure this morning as I was driving him to the ER. Terrifying. Hoping to get answers tomorrow when we see the pediatric neurologist.

Ernie said...

Pat - Yes, all feels great on the Mom front, but scary on the Reg front. It was impossible to sit by and watch my boy have that seizure. It was awful. I would like to think that they will stop. I'm anxious to see the doctor tomorrow.

Ernie said...

Beth - Thank you. I do hope it is a straightforward solution and that we/he can manage it without having to go thru more seizures. So incredibly scary.

Ernie said...

Kari - Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I've kept busy getting ready to go to Lake Delevan with Coach's family on Thursday and getting college kids ready to go back to college. No time to really think. I can think after the amazing doctor tells us more. You're right - there are some great doctors and hospitals around.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Ernie, omg, I am just on vacation and am behind on my blogs and OH MY GOD. I am sorry I am just catching up. I am so sorry about your mom. Holy crap, that is a lot to deal with and then Reg too? You have all my sympathy and I sure hope they can figure that out.

Sending lots of love and good thoughts.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thank you. I hope you are enjoying vacation and that the water isn't too cold when you jump in on a dare.

It has been an emotional couple of weeks. We leave tomorrow to go to the same place with Coach's side that we were at with my side in June, just for the long weekend. I should probably pack a spare set of contact lenses. I've cried more in the last few weeks than I have in a long time. This pair of contacts might fail me at any moment.

My mom is doing really well, and while I would never wish a mini stroke on someone - this has been just what she needed. She had two brothers who had majors strokes and were confined to wheelchairs years ago. I think she now 'gets it.' She is cooperating and is brighter in her eyes than she has been in months. I'd begun to feel like I'd lost her, but she may be a little forgetful but she is not AS forgetful and she seems to be more engaged and more herself.

Reg's situation is a bummer, but at the same time we were looking for answers. Now we have them. I try not to think about those 2 minutes when he was seizing in the front of the car. It was a terrifying ordeal. The doc yesterday was all encouragement that this might be his only seizure. He might be seizure free if he stays on meds. Meds have little to no side effects. My kid slept in today. He's never been able to do that, and that is part of what was going on. He has a lot of gas, so we all used to say that he maybe had celiac disease. We assumed that was what woke him. ;) He cannot drive for 6 mos after just having gotten his license. That is a blow for all of us, but better to be safe than sorry. Thanks for your kind words and internet embrace. Much appreciated.

Debbie said...

So sorry you're dealing with so much! Seeing your kid seizing.. words fail me. Awful. Hoping for best. Xx

Ernie said...

Debbie - Thank you. It has been a nutty few weeks. I felt so powerless when Reg was having the seizure. I did manage to remain calm and talk to him the whole time, letting him know I was right there. This must've been something I saw on TV. I later learned he couldn't hear me, but it was all I could do.