In an ideal world I'd update promptly following one of our travel adventures, but as it is I'll try and recall things as best I can.
I got to Autumn View Gardens with plenty of time to pick up my mom for our trip to Ohio. I'd packed up all of my mom's cold-weather clothes and left just one outfit in the closet for her to wear. So I wasn't thrilled when I saw that somehow the aide had pulled an outfit out of the box of winter clothes. But whatever, not a big deal. So just a quick bathroom trip and we'd be off. Unfortunately, she was completely soiled and required another outfit change and a major clean up. By the time we finally made it out to the car, we really had to hustle to make the flight.
When we got to the airport, we were still okay...until we realized we'd left Nathan's car seat in the car and then my mom decided that she was NOT going and refused to budge another step. It's funny though, no matter how crazy things got, I never really felt overwhelmed by any of it. I mean, when the worst thing has already happened, nothing else really seems like that big a deal.
And besides that, it always amazes me how helpful everyone is to me when I'm traveling with my entourage. TSA didn't make me unstrap Nathan from his Ergo baby backpack when we went through security and both he and my mom were able to keep their shoes on. Apparently the latest regulations say that passengers under 12 and over 75 don't have to take their shoes off. I told them that I appreciated that, but that my mom was only 64 and they just waved me off with a pointed, "she's fine."
The important thing was, we did make the flight, even if it was just barely!
Nathan was a champ on both flights and I didn't even have to break out the baby Benedryl. I wish I could say the same for myself, as I got smacked with a bout of airsickness and Delta had NOT provided either me or my unfortunate seatmate with courtesy bags. I was able to threaten Nathan for the rest of the day, "If you keep acting up, I will barf on you....and you know I will!"
Upon arrival I rented an overpriced luggage cart for the first time in my life to get all of our stuff to the car rental (totally worth it). It turned out that I had not printed out a required voucher for the car rental and was going to be charged an extra $80ish for I'm not sure what exactly, but I allowed myself the luxury of a few tears at this point and the problem magically went away.
Finally, we got to my grandmother's and started the process of settling in there. My grandma already has 24-hour nursing care, so the plan was to add a second caregiver to the daytime routine from 10 am - 8 pm and have both the ladies sleep in improvised bedrooms downstairs.
Issue #1 came when my mom had trouble staying asleep in the family room. The light from the kitchen (where the overnight caretaker sits) may have been the problem or the noises made by my grandmother's dog or just the novelty of the situation and the unfamiliarity of the caregiver...whatever it was, the young woman was coming upstairs every half an hour or so to let me know my mom was awake again and very agitated. I'd sit with her for a bit, get her calmed down and then head back upstairs to try and get some sleep. Of course, come morning, her memory of the situation was that I had kept coming down to wake her up! Somewhere in the wee hours I finally brought her upstairs to sleep in the room she usually does when we're there.
I remember thinking that night that this solution was just not going to work and regretting that I'd allowed myself to be talked into dragging my mom all the way out there. I wanted to be optimistic, but I just couldn't imagine leaving her with strangers every night when she is so fearful and anxious.
The next day must have seemed terribly confusing to her, what with the sketchy sleep, two new caretakers, her sister, mother and daughter, three dogs and Nathan running around. Heck, I was feeling a little overstimulated by it all!
It's getting a bit late here though, so I'll continue the narrative tomorrow...