Living Maintenance - Maintainers Weekly Chat March 17 - 23




Mudpie
03-17-2014, 05:20 AM
Good Morning! Bill is away so I'm starting the thread this week. A lot of us have been struggling with things for the last while. Let's hope whatever we are struggling with starts to resolve soon.

Good day and good week all! :cheer2:

Dagmar :cool:


BillBlueEyes
03-17-2014, 05:29 AM
That's an appealing plea for resolution to our struggling, Dagmar. I often observe that my struggles, once resolved, were closer to molehills than the mountains that I'd dreaded.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day - a big celebration in the Boston area. Unfortunately a big blow out drinking day for the zillion college students around.

Will have to read the Boston Globe this morning to learn all the names of those who walked and those who didn't walk in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade because Rainbow colors are not yet acceptable in parts of Boston. The negotiations got so sensitive that I'm not sure if Jen (CherryPie99)'s tutu would pass the censors, LOL.

Mudpie
03-17-2014, 05:31 AM
I got on the scale this morning. Funny how I'm relieved :shrug: that I'm a bit under 140 lbs. A year ago that would have made me furious and guilty and :o embarrassed. I realize that beating myself up for gaining weight during a winter that just kicked my butt is silly, for me.

I am ready to start taking the winter weight off though. My hankering for salad is an indicator, as is how tight all of my spring pants are right now. :stress:

And DH is probably about to receive a major wake up call in the form of his health crisis. He finally called for his blood test results (from Jan.) and the doc wants to test his blood sugar again as it registered quite high in Jan. Chances are good it's type 2 diabetes. It's a manageable condition but I'm curious to see if it really IS a wake-up call. All the rest of DH's obese family has ignored all of their health conditions partially caused by their weight. I hope he will be different but I can only take care of my own health.

That sounds mean but it's just the fact. I try to be healthy and I succeed about 80% of the time. That's quite normal I've read and I'm reasonably happy with it. I'm never going to be perfect and neither is DH. I can lead by example but I can't guilt or nag or force him to do anything. There is room for improvement in both our lives and I hope he takes an active part in his health from now on.

Dagmar :blah:


paperclippy
03-17-2014, 08:32 AM
Good morning everyone!

Jen, I am very impressed by your running! I ran my first mile in 2005 but I've never managed more than 4 or managed to run a single mile in less than 10 minutes no matter how much I've trained. I've pretty much accepted that my body just is not built for running. At one point I started trying to work up to being able to do a 10k, but then I just ended up with plantar fasciitis. :shrug: Once I get back to exercising I plan to start with couch to 5k again and at least get back to doing 5k's!

Dagmar, I hope your DH at least takes care of his diabetes if he ends up being diagnosed with it!

Bill, yes, Boston has a long Irish-American history so I'm sure St. Patrick's day is a big deal! To me it generally means two things: 1) the day that it's okay to plant peas outside, and 2) McD's sells shamrock shakes, not that I've had one since college.

It's cold again here today. I'm ready for winter to be done. I've been ready for winter to be done for a long time! Babies are doing well. They are starting to get bored really easily so we're taking them places a lot more. They haven't gotten sick yet but I'm sure they will soon -- yesterday we took them to a different library play area and there was a train table, so we put them standing at the table and both girls immediately put the trains in their mouths. :lol: Just babies being babies! They are sleeping very well now so I'm happy about that. Putting them on a clock schedule has been the best thing ever! Their days are now much more predictable and we have clear windows of time when it's pretty much guaranteed to be okay to have them out and about without running into mealtime or naptime.

I need to figure out how and when we're supposed to start transitioning them to less milk and more solids and what to do about their dairy issue. I think it might be okay to give them goat milk instead of cow milk if they still can't tolerate cow milk by the time we're ready to wean.

alinnell
03-17-2014, 10:40 AM
Good morning and Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!

Who was it that was having dog aggression problems? I think Andrea? Anyway, I want to recommend you find a trainer who employs the use of an e-collar and sign up for a session or two. We had our first lesson on Friday and I no longer have to keep Bogey on his leash while in the house. He doesn't chase the cats AT ALL and even my father-in-law who said he'd never bring his cats to our house again for fear Bogey would kill them brought them over yesterday and Bogey was a perfect gentleman with them. He sniffed them when they came up to him and just wagged his tail. He didn't even whine when they hissed at him. I can't tell you how the stress level has changed in both our home and office!

Mudpie
03-17-2014, 06:17 PM
Good morning and Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!

Who was it that was having dog aggression problems? I think Andrea? Anyway, I want to recommend you find a trainer who employs the use of an e-collar and sign up for a session or two. We had our first lesson on Friday and I no longer have to keep Bogey on his leash while in the house. He doesn't chase the cats AT ALL and even my father-in-law who said he'd never bring his cats to our house again for fear Bogey would kill them brought them over yesterday and Bogey was a perfect gentleman with them. He sniffed them when they came up to him and just wagged his tail. He didn't even whine when they hissed at him. I can't tell you how the stress level has changed in both our home and office!

You need to be quite experienced with dogs to use the e collar properly. Andrea I think Loki is your first dog? The trainer will really have to work with you all to get your timing right with the collar. But whatever method used Loki needs to work with a trainer ASAP. Any dog that's gotten away with biting a human once tends to be more prone to doing it again. The biting without punishment gives them a whole lot of power.

Allison And since all of you are less stressed so I bogey and so he's calmer and less likely to expend nervous energy on chasing the cats. All good!
BTW the sheperd/lab mix tends to be a very smart dog.

Dagmar :dizzy:

CherryPie99
03-17-2014, 08:44 PM
When a friend saw my tutu she was like " Everyone's going to think you're gay wearing that in a Shamrock Run!" I hadn't even though about the controversy lol.


Jessica - in a million years I wouldn't have thought I would have a natural running ability, but people tell me that I do... You would think that would make me happy but instead it makes me think "what if" and "if only"...

I NARROWLY avoided getting a shamrock shake today - I NEVER go to McDonald's but had to work in this morning in another office 30 minutes away. On my drive back I stopped there for a cup of coffee and ohhhhhh...... I used to LOVE Shamrock shakes!!! I may have cried a little :(

Tons of stress here - dh's 95 year old father fell and broke his wrist in 2 places a couple weeks ago. Since then he has started to go downhill mentally and it's become obvious that he may not be able to live alone anymore.


I love DH's sister but she is a classic example of a little knowledge being a very dangerous thing. She works as a SITTER at the local hospital and this has apparently led to her knowing EVERYTHING about all medical conditions and exactly what should be done. DH is so upset about everything... and as a in-law, it's hard for me to know my place....

JayEll
03-17-2014, 09:17 PM
Hi, Jen. Just wanted to pop in to add a thought. I've had elderly friends break bones and then "go mentally downhill," but what it really turned out to be was pain meds. Older people just can't handle them as well, and the meds build up. Before anyone decides your dh's father is mentally incompetent, see how he does without any pain meds--assuming he's had them. And look into the other meds he's taking.

Mudpie
03-18-2014, 05:24 AM
Jen :hug: re your father-in-law. Your DH should make sure all of his father's paperwork is in order - will, POA, and whatever else is needed in the USA. He should have it readily at hand too. I'm sorry but I'm being blunt as I went through the sudden death of a parent without a will or any paperwork ready (mom) and the drawn out death of a parent who only had what I forced him to get (dad). He was fortunate that a family connection was able to get him into a good nursing home other wise he would have spent his last year in a sh*thole.

If you father-in-law hasn't made burial arrangements this is also a necessary time to discuss them. It's one of the hardest things for a child to discuss with a very elderly parent (95!) but better he has some input and your DH starts preparing for this event.

Dagmar

BillBlueEyes
03-18-2014, 05:36 AM
Sending supportive thoughts, Jen, as you face the reality of the situation and the flood of emotions that comes with it.

CherryPie99
03-18-2014, 08:27 AM
Thanks everyone. DH is extremely close to his father. We intentionally bought a house 1/4 mile from him years ago and DH goes down and sees him every day and takes him in once a week to shop. If we hadn't moved so close I think Dad would have had to move out of his own house years ago. Since the broken wrist DH has been down twice per day and has been cooking him meals, cleaning up - it has been extraordinarily stressful for him. I think both he and his sister are in denial about how bad he has gotten. DH went down to see him on Sunday and he was all dressed and sitting there waiting for sister to get there to take him to his appointment - which was on Monday.

Jayell, I am aware of the elderly and medication issues - unfortunately he is not on any pain meds and the only new medicine that has been introduced was 10 days of antibiotics for an ingrown toenail so I don't think that is it.

Dagmar - DH's father is - or was - UBER organized. He has had a burial plot since DH was about 5 years old. He has an up to date will, executor, etc. etc. - at least we won't have to worry about that.

DH will be spending most of the day with him today taking him shopping and to an MD appointment - I will be anxious to hear how it goes...

alinnell
03-18-2014, 10:19 AM
Dagmar~you are correct that learning to use an e collar is hard. But just his wearing it has calmed him down immensely. Last night we went out to dinner for my birthday and I put both dogs in my bedroom. As we were driving home I thought to myself "I didn't check under the bed for cats before I put the dogs in there." Yep, Ringo (the most reactive of my cats) was under the bed. Totally unscathed. And our office feral cat is no longer afraid of Bogey--still cautious, but that's fine.

Sorry about your FIL, Jen. A note about a burial plot: when my Mom died, she had her plot next to her mother and father (she had all the paperwork from when she was a child). She wanted to be cremated and then interred next to them. Instead my Dad opted for burial at sea (a VA benefit) which was cool as they send you a DVD of the whole ceremony. The reason my Mom couldn't be buried with her parents was that the cost of it all. We're talking thousands of dollars to transport her ashes and then digging and all. Even though it was my Mom's last wishes to be buried there, my sister and Dad opted otherwise. And my Dad is just a bit younger than your FIL and we'd love for him to be in an assisted living center but he won't budge.

Mudpie
03-18-2014, 03:24 PM
The older folks get the more they seem determined to stay at home. I can understand that but at a certain point it becomes impossible and they are a danger to themselves.

My godfather is the exception to this. He downsized from a two storey house after his wife died and he began experienced dizzy spells from a heart condition. He enjoyed his apartment for two years but now has moved into an assisted living situation as he's fainted twice, resulting in injuries with a lot of facial bleeding, and had no one to check on him. He still has an apartment (smaller) but he has help with housekeeping and cooking and a social centre he can go to when he wants company. Sensible!

I am looking forward to having other people cook, clean, launder, and do whatever they can for me. I am going to be shameless in my requests for assistance when I get old. :p

neurodoc
03-18-2014, 09:37 PM
Really interesting conversations here.

First of all, this: "I started trying to work up to being able to do a 10k, but then I just ended up with plantar fasciitis" is priceless. LMAO in sympathy. I too s*ck at running. It's a joke in my family that the only "runner's high" I ever get is the euphoria I feel when the run is finally over.

Next, I had to google "e collar." We have our first dog trainer session on Thursday, and I will definitely ask her what she thinks of them, and if she uses them. The trainer comes highly recommended by the behavioral Vet I consulted last fall about Loki's resource guarding, so I'm optimistic that she can help us make him more consistently calm and friendly (especially around children and large burly men).

Finally, Jen, I am a geriatric neurologist- my entire patient population consists of people like your father-in-law. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. But I echo what Dagmar wrote: "The older folks get the more they seem determined to stay at home." At 95, even if his mental acuity is perfect he really shouldn't live alone because of physical limitations. There are social workers through community organizations (e.g., in my area there is a "Tri-County Office on Aging) that may be able to help him come to terms with a more supervised (assisted living) setting- sometimes it's easier to accept it when it comes from a neutral 3rd party instead of family.

Mudpie
03-19-2014, 05:29 AM
Andrea I'm :lol3: at your comment about "runner's high" - I understand completely. I too "suck" at running. I was a good recreational jogger though - did 6K 5 mornings a week with my large dog. Took us about 45 minutes every morning.

I ran along the boardwalk while she ran at the water's edge and in the park. We saw some glorious sunrises and had beautiful scenery. I was able to shut off my brain's protests at running and let my body take over by the end of the first K. My body enjoyed trotting along and my brain was then free to problem-solve - mostly work problems of how to translate a designer's vision into something that a press could print.

The good old days. Can't let a dog run free down there now. And my body will no longer tolerate jogging. I've tried several times and I always pull something, even with stretching and warmup before I start.

I still enjoy walking the boardwalk at a brisk pace with one dog. The poodle and I do that 3X per week.

Good hump day all!

Dagmar :cool:

Dagmar

CherryPie99
03-19-2014, 08:22 AM
Finally, Jen, I am a geriatric neurologist- my entire patient population consists of people like your father-in-law. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. But I echo what Dagmar wrote: "The older folks get the more they seem determined to stay at home." At 95, even if his mental acuity is perfect he really shouldn't live alone because of physical limitations. There are social workers through community organizations (e.g., in my area there is a "Tri-County Office on Aging) that may be able to help him come to terms with a more supervised (assisted living) setting- sometimes it's easier to accept it when it comes from a neutral 3rd party instead of family.

Thanks so much, Andrea. I think Dad would love to live in an assisted living facility, believe it or not. BUT sister in law is an extremely powerful personality and that discussion is OFF LIMITS because ALL assisted living facilities are horrible and terrible and where people die immediately because the conditions are so bad. And, oh, yeah, Home health care aides do nothing but stand outside and smoke and are useless, so we can't have one of those.

Can you tell I'm a little frustrated?

Jen

silverbirch
03-19-2014, 08:48 AM
:hug: Jen. And much sympathy.

FWIW, I sometimes say things like "That's not true", "We don't know that" and "Let's not let our imaginations run away with ourselves". I can sometimes stop these very unhelpful assertions and move them into more positive channels. I'm sure you do this in a professional capacity all the time. It might be time to bring your professional ability into play in the family context. (I'm speaking from a certain amount of experience here. :) But my reputation goes before me a bit in the family ....)

JayEll
03-19-2014, 09:26 AM
FWIW from me as well: "Assisted Living" is not the same as "Nursing Home," and a lot of people haven't figured that out yet!

We have some really nice Assisted Living facilities in Florida, and I'd love to be living in one, but so far independent living is working OK. The time may come when it is not. I hope I won't be in denial when that time comes.

It sounds like your father-in-law wouldn't need a great deal of help. Assisted Living would be ideal for him. He would have his meals and cleaning done for him, and regular check-in on him. Plus he would have social and recreational activities. My mother really enjoyed Assisted Living once she got there. She went to the exercise class every morning--even though she had never been someone who exercised. It's all geared to residents' needs.

I think if your father-in-law wants to go, and your husband wants him to go, and you want him to go, then your sister-in-law is outnumbered. Look into what's available and prices, and take your FIL to see some places. SIL can go along or not, as you think best.

Mudpie
03-19-2014, 09:31 AM
Jen Again this sounds petty and mean-spirited but could SIL's refusal to allow dad to move partially be because such a facility would take away some $$$ from whatever she stands to inherit when Dad dies? One of my former clients went through this with her children - nasty!

Dagmar :dizzy:

CherryPie99
03-19-2014, 10:17 AM
Silver - oh, but she DOES know because she is a SITTER and she sees it ALL THE TIME!

JayEll - You are exactly right - Dad is able to bathe himself and cook his own meals (once the cast comes off) and generally can function pretty well, so assisted living would be perfect. But he will NEVER argue with sister in law over this and DH won't either I don't think. Are you available to come talk with her? LOL :dizzy: I would go head to head with her, but he's NOT my father, either so....

And Dagmar, no, I have no hesitation in saying that this has nothing to do with money at all. She loves him very much and doesn't need his money even a little bit. It has more to do with her being a control freak know-it-all. She is now talking about wanting him to move in with her and her husband which dad would HATE because she will just be hovering over him all the time.

Sorry all for totally hijacking this thread with family drama!!!

traveling michele
03-19-2014, 10:23 AM
Sorry Jen you are going through this. After my mom died we moved my dad into assisted living. We were worried he would die within a year as his health was much worse than my moms. He actually improved a great deal due to regular meals and medications (rather than him forgetting to take or taking the wrong amount). He lived almost 8 years in assisted living and outlived all of his relatives by far. I hope you all can find some peace and an arrangement that works for everyone.

alinnell
03-19-2014, 10:36 AM
My Dad complains all the time that the dinners he fixes are boring and often tasteless. Most of the time he heats up frozen dinners but he refuses to pay for some of the better ones, sticking to the very inexpensive (and yuckier IMO) ones. His "girlfriend" comes and cooks 2-3 times a week and for that he is grateful. He often takes her out for meals as well. I think he equates assisted living with nursing home, even though his mother lived in an assisted living center for years. He's just stubborn.

I look at assisted living centers here and just think that there is no way we'd be able to afford to live in the nicer ones. Wow! They can be expensive! Granted there are less expensive ones, but they aren't nearly as nice.

Andrea, good luck with the dog trainer! Let us know what you think of her.

the only "runner's high" I ever get is the euphoria I feel when the run is finally over. LOL! Me, too!

CalCounter1003
03-19-2014, 04:27 PM
Jen, sorry, this all sounds very frustrating. My parents were in high school when I was born so I'm lucky that my mom is still young even though I'm 52! Dad died when I was young, he was a party guy. Great dad, just a product of the times. But I do have a MIL situation that is getting close to the stage you are in with your FIL so I'm taking in all this great advice and hoping things work out well for your family.

neurodoc
03-20-2014, 10:13 PM
Well, we had our session with the dog trainer tonight. She gave us a lot of information but promised to write it down and send it to me as well. She wants us to put a collar and leash on the dog to wear all the time in the house, so the kids can move him off the couches or away from their stuff without having to touch him. She also showed us how to take the leash and get him to do what we want without actually looking at him, just giving the command (down, or come) which she said would reinforce our dominance over him. And each DS is supposed to spend 5 minutes a day training him to sit, stay and fetch, so he gets more accustomed to obeying them. There was other stuff too, but I don't want to bore you all. The point is, she thinks he's pretty trainable and that he is exhibiting mostly fear aggression, for which she doesn't recommend an e-collar. We're going to try her recommendations for a month and then she'll come back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed; my oldest DH (15) is really really down on the dog right now since he got bitten a couple of weeks ago and keeps lobbying for us to give him away, but he used to love and snuggle the dog all the time, so I'm hoping that a few weeks of training will make him more comfortable again.

CalCounter1003
03-20-2014, 10:38 PM
Andrea - our small dog - gets the same way. If I don't stay on top of him, when he sits by me, he guards me. No one can come near me. So I use the spray air can. I forget what it's called but it just sprays air very loudly. He hates it and all I have to do is show it to him and he won't growl or show any aggression and I agree it's fear along with protecting me. Then we will go for a few months and I'll forget and he will start growling at anyone coming near me, so I get out the bottle again.

In other news DD is home for Spring Break but she got quite sick for 2 days. This has happened several times now -- when she gets home from college at Christmas and Spring Break! She always has so many exams prior to coming home that I think she just wears herself out. She went to one of those walk in clinics and it was strep, so she got antibiotics. Unfortunately, my throat is hurting now too! Hope I didn't catch it. Taking off tomorrow from school to hang out because she won't be home until August. Even though I will go see her in Monterey, it still makes me sad it will be so long for her to be home. Guess I better get used to it because she will graduate in a year and it is very unlikely she will live in Florida. She officially accepted the Monterey job and immediately heard from one of the New York city jobs! Oh well! She will have lived in NY for 4 years once she's done with school so getting to see CA is great - and the job out there sounds really good. I told her to ask them if they would have a fall internship that is PT because her work study job is not at all related to her major and pay isn't that great.

So DS and his GF are getting another dog tomorrow. A rescue dog - a German Shorthaired Pointer. They already have one rescue - that we got right after DS graduated from college when our Golden Retriever died. The two have played and get along well but they wanted to wait until Friday night so they would have the weekend to spend with him. So when they go out of town, guess who watches the dogs at our house? yep, it's DH and me!

alinnell
03-21-2014, 11:40 AM
Andrea~good idea with the collar and leash. I find that Bogey listens to me better when he has his leash on, even if he's just dragging it around. I hope this helps the aggression issues.

My DD has two cats and I get to be their babysitter whenever she goes out of town. We haven't had them since Christmas so I'm not sure how Bogey would react with them but my FIL brought his cats over Sunday and Bogey was fine with them. And then this morning he chased Ringo for no apparent reason.

DS comes home tonight for his spring break from college. He goes to UCI and they just announced that President Obama is delivering this year's commencement speech. Too bad DS doesn't graduate for 3 more years. So my son is just over 6 feet tall and the kid on their basketball team is (I think) 7'8". They have a class together. DS says it hurts his neck to talk to him! Too funny, but I guess that's how my MIL feels when she talks to me!

Shannon in ATL
03-21-2014, 02:54 PM
I'm tired today. I feel like I'm going around in big circles and not really getting anywhere.

Mudpie
03-21-2014, 04:39 PM
I'm tired today. I feel like I'm going around in big circles and not really getting anywhere.

:hug: Shannon. I hear you. I feel like I've been doing that for all of March so far. :faint: But spring IS coming.

My cold is really starting to kick in and I have to go and do a combined dinner walk with 5 dogs. They two groups live around the corner from each other so i thought it easiest to take everyone at once. The only one I have any concerns about is the yorkie mix. He doesn't get out with other dogs and can get quite aggro. I already know the 2 goldens will be afraid of him. And since it is 4 male dogs there will be a great deal of peeing all over everything.

TGIF! After the walk dinner, Vikings, and then cold meds and bed. Bleagh - I hate being sick on the weekend.

Dagmar :tired: