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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some Fun, Some Not So Fun, Some Sad--July Update

July began with me not feeling well. I was aching from head to toe. There was no cold or sneezing, just a deep congested cough coming straight from my chest. I knew immediately the weather in June made a home in my lungs with bronchitis. An appointment with my doctor and a chest x-ray on the 15th confirmed it. I was put on antibiotics for two weeks.

My daughter, Stacey, and her family came up from Alabama for a visit on the 24th. They visited with us all day on the 25th while Mom was at club. Two Feather was cleaning up the branches from the big oak that was left lay by the loggers in the lower yard.

Stacey’s husband, Dennis, was throwing the small branches onto the wagon and Stacey drove the Mule behind the house where we threw the branches and brush over the hill in a large gully.

Trinity and Quenton helped throw branches, too. Tux, Stacey's dog, had to get in the action, too. They were having fun helping Pap Pap and Bammaw clean up GG’s (great grandma’s) yard.

On the 26th, Stacey, Dennis, Trinity, and Quenton came over and spent the entire day visiting with Mom and on the 27th they came back again with Angel, Tim and Katie and visited most of the day.

I managed to get everyone in the picture. Of course, there are two people missing in the picture; I was taking the picture and Two Feather ran up to our house to bring Ricky the raccoon down to meet the family.

Angel and Katie met Ricky in June. This is a picture of them.

The kids loved petting him.

Mom thought he was adorable and held him on her lap for a while. Her eyes lit up when he crawled onto her shoulder and squeaked.

She thought it was great that we nursed him back to health and that he was so small, cute, and cuddly. She just loved him.

I snapped of shot of Angel and Stacey playing ring-around-the-rosy with Katie, Trinity, and Quenton. Shortly after, the girls announced they were leaving because they knew Mom was getting tired. They planned to go out for dinner and left so I could get Mom something to eat and keep her on her schedule. It’s times like this that I miss being able to get up and go and spend more time with my kids and grandkids, but I’m very thankful that they recognize the signs of Mom growing tired and understand the need to keep her on her schedule. Mom is only able to take so much out-of-routine and more-than-normal crowd around her for so long. You caregivers know what I mean; anything and anyone out of the ordinary seems to mentally fatigue our loved ones that much more.

Monday the 28th I took Mom to day care and I went to my doctor because my bronchitis wasn’t much better. He gave me another seven-day prescription and insisted that I take care of myself for a change. I wasn’t getting the rest I needed for the antibiotics to work properly. It was either place Mom in the ALF or I would end up in the hospital and have to place her anyway. I called the ALF to take her in the next morning. After I dropped her off, I went to my house and slept and rested the rest of that day and all of the next.

Angel and Stacey wanted to go to the local amusement park, Kennywood, on the 30th. Angel, Tim, and Katie were meeting us there after work. I told them Two Feather and I would go along and watch the grandkids while my daughters and their husbands rode rides that the munchkins were too small for. After all, I’d only be walking around and the temperature was in the high 80’s so what harm could it do?

Two and I took the kids to Kiddieland to ride the kid’s rides. Trinity, Quenton, and Katie had so much fun riding the rides. I rode a few of the rides with them.

While Angel, Tim, Stacey, and Dennis rode the roller coasters, Two and I bought the kids drinks and a funnel cake with powdered sugar on it. Between sharing the funnel cake and talking with our grandchildren, we kept them occupied until my daughters were off the rides.

I thought it was cute that Angel kept calling me from the cell phone asking if we and the kids were okay and letting me know where they were in line and how long it would be before they came back.

The day was beautiful. I even road a few of the rides, too. I rode on the King Kahuna, which swings up in the air and upside down. There was a harness that came down over the shoulders and locked in position and it had handgrips to hold onto. It wasn’t too bad.

I love amusement parks! I love roller coasters and thrilling rides, but I can’t go on those type rides anymore since I have a plate in my neck. I’ve never been afraid to go on any ride…ever.

The last ride of the day, before we left, was the Phantom’s Revenge. I’m thankful Angel had gone on it prior to her convincing me to go on one last ride. She said I’d love it and she went on it with me. She hadn’t bothered to tell me there was no harness or handgrips. It was a long panel of seats in a row—something like movie theater seats. The only difference was it had a skimpy seatbelt and it swung high up in the air. Not too bad, I thought as it started swinging. Then, Angel said, “It’s not over yet!” When I asked, “What do you mean?” She giggled and said, “You’ll see.”

The ride swung higher and higher, and my heart felt like it was in my throat when the next swoop took us so high that we were facing the cement beneath us. I couldn’t wait for the ride to be over! Never in all my years of riding amusement park rides has there ever been a ride I wouldn’t go on again. There is now! I won’t even repeat what came out of my mouth as my heart jumped in my throat with each swing. When I walked up to Two after I got off the ride, I said, “That was terrifying! There was nothing to hold on to. Never again!”

Angel asked someone take a picture of all of us before we left the park. I'll have to get that picture from her.

It felt good to get home, take a hot shower, and cuddle up on the couch. I was tired from walking all day, but we had a wonderful time.

On the 31st I asked everyone to meet us at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. I wanted to take them all out to dinner to celebrate Angel and Tim’s wedding anniversary (which was on the 29th)
and Stacey’s birthday (which would be on August 3rd). Stacey was leaving on Friday morning and I wanted to be able to spend time with everyone before she left.

All in all, July wasn’t too, too bad. My bleeding ulcer is being treated with two medications. The abnormality in my blood was diagnosed and I had another small surgery at the beginning of the month. There are a few other things I need to take care of that I wouldn’t mind telling my friends about, but I really don’t feel comfortable putting it out here for nosey eyes to read. Let’s just say, things are going as well as can be expected and I will persevere!

On another note, a dear friend of ours passed away, another friend’s daughter had a gorgeous baby girl, our loving cat, Coffee, died this month, and the logging was completed on July 7th.

Be back as soon as possible with the next update. I’ll try to cram August and September into one post so I can get back to regular posting. Keeping all of you in my prayers.

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Blogger Lori1955 said...

I'm sorry you have had these problems with your health but at least I'm glad you have the option of putting mom in an ALF during these times.

I'm glad you were able to get some fun time in with your family. When I was younger I used to love those wild rides but as I have aged I find them more and more terrifying. Maybe it's because when we are young we think we are indestructable.

10/12/2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger ~Betsy said...

It's good to see updates from you! I'm glad you are getting stronger.

There is not a single roller coaster at Kennywood that I will ride! Yikes!!! My style is more Idlewild! =)

10/12/2008 10:30 AM  
Blogger Frank Baron said...

Condolences on the passing of your friend and your kitty, Jo. Glad to hear that at least some of your health issues are clearing up. At our age though, it's always something isn't it?

Take care girl. :)

10/14/2008 2:13 PM  
Blogger Ray Wong said...

Sounds like July was a bittersweet, difficult but also rewarding month. I'm glad you're doing well all things considered. And Kennywood! Gah, I haven't been there for ages. I'm jealous! I want to try the Phantom Revenge! LOL.


10/15/2008 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Unique said...

I'm glad you updated, Joanne. We get worried about you. I'll be sending you a letter soon.

Real paper, an envelope, and even a stamp! ;)

10/29/2008 10:11 AM  
Blogger rainbowheart said...

Hey Joanne,
I am so sorry to hear that your kitty and your friend. It was so good to see a post from you. The racoon looks so sweet and healthy. You have been on my mind I know if the weather is cold and freezing here in the South that it freezing where you are. Any snow yet? Please take care of yourself. And please stay in touch. Miss ya..peace, love and happiness.

11/21/2008 10:24 PM