Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2007 09:43 PM
Subject: Family

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  We have been talking with
Mom and Dad for a long while telling them that we would help them stay
in their home as long as possible.  Everything we read and researched
told us that this would be the best thing, and when they eventually
had to move, to make one move.  That would be the least stressful.

Mom called 2 weeks ago to say that Dad's Alzheimer's  had progressed.
He has "Sundowner" syndrome, getting agitated and confused in the
evenings, as the sun goes down.  He had started getting so agitated
that he would stay up all night, talking incoherently, hallucinating,
and walking all around the house.  My Mom, as primary care giver, was
getting completely exhausted.    The time had come to do something.

We explored 3 options.  One was to have someone stay with them 24/7 at
their house.  Neither of them really wanted that.  Another option was
to put Dad in an Alzheimer's care center in Elizabethtown, with Mom
staying at home and commuting to and from the Alzheimer's care center
each day.  The third was to bring them both to Texas, either Houston
or Dallas.  As a family we decided the third option was the best.
Anne and I found a 4-star Alzheimer's Care Center within 1/2 mile of
our house, with a senior apartment complex right next door (they share
a parking lot!).  We were able to reserve a 1-bedroom apartment in the
senior apartment, and get Dad a bed in the Alzheimer's Care Center.
It all worked out very well.  We were hoping to give Mom and Dad 2
weeks to say their good-byes, but after we left, Mom called to say
that the two weeks were not going to work.

Anne and I immediately flew back to Radcliff, put them on a MedCoach
and sent them to Dallas, then raced the MedCoach back to Dallas.
Morgan T. drove up from Houston.  We all arrived within 30 minutes of
the MedCoach pulling up at the Alzheimer's Care Center.

 Dad is adapting well to living there.  It took him all of two days to
make friends and start feeling comfortable.  He is getting much more
physical and mental exercise than he has gotten in years.  They keep
the residents very busy.  We met their geriatric doctor, an
Alzheimer's specialist, who prescribed 2 Alzheimer's drugs for Dad.
Mom is living with us until her furniture and clothing arrive in two
weeks.  It is working out very good in that we are driving her
everywhere and she can slowly get used to the area, where the stores
are, how to drive around here.

Thanks for the offer.  Morgan T., Clifton, and Meredith are flying to
KY next week to pack and send down many of their possessions.  We are
hiring a moving company for the heavy lifting.  Clifton is driving
Mom's car from KY to TX filled with her immediate needs, then the rest
arrives in about 7-10 days.  Keep your fingers crossed that everything
will settle down, patterns will form, and life will return to normal
for both of them.

-Stewart Lynn

Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2007 07:06 AM Subject: Things I got a call from Morgan T. last night. He wanted me to get him reservations at a local hotel for Monday through Thursday here in Dallas. This time he is running away from hurricane Dean. Last time he and his family got stuck in traffic for hours and eventually turned around and went back home to tough it out. They lost power for several hours, but managed okay since hurricane Rita headed north before hitting Houston directly. It will be good having Morgan T. here on Tuesday because... All Mom and Dad's stuff arrives from KY on Tuesday. We are heading over to Mom's apartment today to clean and prepare it for the arrival. Morgan T. was in KY last week to oversee Allied Van lines Packers and Movers as they packed up everything from the first floor of their house, and a few things from the basement and second floor. We are all hopeful that Mom's mental faculties return when she gets settled into the apartment with her own stuff, and gets into a routine. On Friday's Creekside (the Alzheimer's care center) loads up some of the residents and takes them for a long drive around Plano and Dallas. We pick Mom up about 2:30pm each day. Yesterday she was sitting there alone when I arrived. She said Dad had decided to go on the tour, asked her if she wanted to go, "No, thanks", then loaded up into the van and waved good-bye! Yep, he is settling down pretty good in his new environment. Love, -Stewart Lynn
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 10:40 PM Subject: Current Status My mom has now moved into her apartment. She really likes it but she is adapting slowly. I've been encouraging (cajoling?) her to write letters home to let everyone know her new address and phone. She has been reluctant, but is coming around. I think she is getting more comfortable. Her new address/phone are: Maxine French xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xx Apt xxx xxxxxxx, xx xxxxx Ph: xxx-xxx-xxxx She won't let me put an answering machine on the phone, so it is hit-or-miss to catch her at home. She walks over to the Alzheimer's care center every day to be with dad. If you call I'd suggest in the evenings before (say) 9pm ET would have the best luck. Feel free to send cards or letters to my dad through my mom's address. She will appreciate getting the mail and hand carry it over to my dad in the Alzheimer's center. I took mom to a quilt show last weekend. Turns out that Plano, TX has a very active quilt guild. They had a judging with many tens of quilts (there may have been 60-70 quilts in the judging!). Mom was pretty critical. She doesn't like quilts that are machine sewn. She went hunting for the hand sewn quilts. There were only a few. We were hunting for a quilt ladder to display her many quilts in her apartment. We found this cranky old guy who makes ladders in his workshop near San Antonio. He had exactly what we wanted but was not willing to ship to us! He said if we were ever in San Antonio... But that's a 6 hour drive, one way, so it's not going to happen. I eventually found a craftsman in Pennsylvania that makes exactly what I was looking for in cherry wood. Ordered two. I'm looking forward to getting them and displaying my mom's quilts in her apartment. Dad had his second Dr. appt this morning. The Dr. has rescheduled twice at the last minute and I was just lucky the duty nurse called me to let me know that he was showing up today. I got there just in time to sit in on the appt. They have a traveling Dr. group that visits the Alzhemier's centers and nursing homes to provide frontline care to the residents. I like the doctor but I have to practice more to be forgiving of schedule conflicts and changes. Dad recognizes me but sometimes doesn't remember my name. He is constantly asking "Boy! When am I going home to Harrodsburg?!" He seems to remember Harrodsburg as home and not Radcliff, although he is always asking about his truck and the metal building out back. sigh. Anne has been _so good_ to help out with everything. I am very lucky. Love, -Stewart Lynn
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 05:16 PM Subject: Status of my father; other things... TIme for a status update. I'm not so good about sending these out, so bear with me as I bring you up-to-date on things here. My dad has been having pain while urinating off and on for about a year, since well before he left KY. Once he got here in Plano I scheduled him with a urologist. He met with him twice and he "scoped" him on the 2nd visit. Turns out my dad has bladder stones. Also he saw some restrictions in his prostrate. Normally it's day surgery, but he can't go back to the alzheimer's center with a catheter in, so the dr. decided to keep him overnight. His surgery was tuesday. Wednesday they took out the catheter, but his bladder would not restart, so they put it back in and kept him overnight. Same thing Wednesday. Same thing Thursday. It wasn't until Friday afternoon that he started peeing normally again. He got back to the Alzheimer's center in time for supper. The pain is gone. The prostate problem is gone. There is no cancer. All was well with my dad. During this time my mom spent her time with him at the hospital during the day. I would pick her up at her apartment and we would head over to the hospital. I would stay for a while, then come back in the afternoon to pick her up. I don't know if this caused the subsequent problems or if it was incidental. On sunday, after dad had arrived back at the center on friday, I got a call from the duty nurse that my mom was very confused and had asked her to call me. I went and picked her up and brought her back to our house. She was very confused with a far-away look in her eye. She said "I am not thinking straight. I am so confused." So she was aware that something was wrong, but couldn't get on top of it. She stayed with us from that point on until she saw the dr. He gave her a mini-mental test for dementia and she did very, very poorly. Something had happened. He suggested that she move into the Alzheimer's center for her own safety. Turns out she was very excited about this. She had been asking to move in there for several weeks so that she and my dad could be together again. We made the plans and moved her in. There was a fortunate circumstance at the center. One of the private rooms came available. They replaced the carpet, painted it, fixed the windows, replaced the bathroom fixtures, replaced the air conditioning system. It was like brand new! They moved in 21-nov, just before thanksgiving. Anne and I moved some of their furniture over and got them setup real comfortable. Dad was so excited and happy that he almost danced up and down the hall. Mom was also very happy. I have moved my mom's phone over too, so you can contact them at: Morgan and Maxine French xxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xx xxxxxx, xx xxxxx xxx-xxx-xxxx They are hard to catch in because they do all the activities the center has to offer and that keeps them both very busy. Okay, so the following Sunday I got a call at 5:15am. Dad had fallen out of bed and hurt his back. I rushed over and took him to the emergency room. Luckily he didn't break anything, but his back was very, very sore and bruised. When we got back to the center he found himself a wheelchair and has been wheeling himself around ever since. His dr. doesn't like that at all and set him up with some physical therapy to get him back on his feet asap. That started today. I'll call over there later and see how it went. It is very important that he get back up and moving. That's the parental update. I would really appreciate it if you would forward it to everyone who might want to see it. Take care and stay in touch, -Stewart Lynn
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 08:53 PM Subject: Re: Bible from my Mom and Dad's house My folks are doing well. We had them over for lunch on Saturday. My Dad is moving much better from his fall out of bed several weeks ago. His physical therapy is over and he doesn't complain about pain at all, and I don't see any sign that he has any permanent affect from it. whew. Both he and my Mom have severe short-term memory loss. They walk several times around the center after each meal. I got a call from Sharon, one of the duty nurses there, that someone had tripped or pushed Dad down last week and he had a scrape on his arm from it. I went over there and talked to them about it. Both Mom and Dad remembered that it happened, but neither one could remember who had done it! That's wild. Also, other residents were around and remember it happening but nobody could remember who had done it (or even who it had been done to). Sharon thought she knew who probably did it but she couldn't be sure. They are rarely in their room. The center has lots of activities going on and they both take part in everything. Your best bet to catch them at home is about 7-8pm in the evening, or at 6am in the morning. That's when I have the best luck. Sometimes Dad answers! Mom will have wandered off down the hall to look for something or talk to someone and he is alone in the room (that would have _never_ happened in KY. I was really glad to see Mom letting go a little). Love, -Stewart
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 02:11 PM Subject: Further status update We have been picking up mom and dad on Saturday mornings and bringing them over to our new house. We talk and talk, and we fix a good lunch (they call it "dinner", evening meal is "supper"). Dad has become a very sensitive eater. He can't eat anything that is tough (in the least), or that has a strong flavor. Even orange juice tastes like vinegar to him. Tomato sauce doesn't taste good any more. At first we tried ham sandwiches, but that didn't work out at all. Next was tuna fish sandwiches, better. Then chicken corn soup, one of my mom's old favorites, and that worked very good. We matched it with cheese, crackers, cherry tomatoes, and ice cream to polish it off. They both love their ice cream! Dad tells me now that someone at the center ("...over there where we live...") has told him that he will be going back to Kentucky soon. "Who told you this Dad?" "I can't remember." "Was it the Dr?" "Might have been!" He is very excited. He tells this story every time we meet now. I always tell him that we will move him back to Kentucky when the Dr. says he is ready. I tell him that he has Alzheimer's and that it is incurable, but we are always hopeful. I think he understands, but he still hopes he can move back some day. Love, -Stewart
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 06:00 PM Subject: Mom has fallen Mom fell and broke her wrist. When my flight landed in LAX at 06:50am Tuesday morning I had 3 voice mails waiting on my cell: 2 from Tina at Creekside, one from Morgan. Mom had ballen in her room and hurt her wrist. Tina said it was really swollen, black and blue. Since it was Tuesday, Dr. Stringer was there. He looked at it and thought it was probably broken. Tina wanted to know if I wanted to take her to the hospital or if they should call an ambulance. Since I was on the airplane, I couldn't get the message, so they went ahead and called the ambulance. She went to Plano General at Coit & 15th. Tina got ahold of Morgan in Houston and told him, then he called me and also left a message. I called Anne and asked if she could drive over and sit with Mom at the hospital. She did, then called me to tell me that Mom's wrist was broken and needed setting and a cast. Mom saw Dr. Roger Z. Taylor, Orthopedic doctor, 1212 Coit Rd, Suite 105, Plano, TX 75075, 972-964-6900. When Mom and Anne left the hospital they went to Rockfish and had fish sandwiches with fries, and a piece of pie. While in the hospital Mom had a lot of pain in her wrist and elbow. They gave her morphine for the pain. Anne got Mom home in the afternoon. Creekside staff had pain meds for Mom in case she needed them. Mom said later that it hurt some, but not a lot.
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 08:15 PM Subject: First appt with Dr. Taylor Dr. Roger Z. Taylor 972-964-6900 Orthopedic 1212 Coit Rd Suite 105 Plano, TX 75075 Mom was moving pretty good when I arrived at Creekside. We loaded up in the car and headed over to Dr. Taylor's office. It is about a 10 minute easy drive. Here are my questions, his answers. How long will she have to wear the cast? 6 weeks. 4 weeks then change out to a more flexible cast that will allow motion in the elbow. Can she get it wet? No. Keep it dry. Will the swelling in her hand go down? Yes. The swelling is normal. Is it set correctly? Yes. He looked carefully at the x-ray. He said that normally he would operate, perhaps put some screws and plates in there, to get the wrist back to normal. However, with Mom's advanced age, he suggested we not do that. Will she need rehab when the cast is off? No. The appointment took about 1 1/2 hour, mostly waiting. I got the impression that they did not know we had an appointment, so we had to wait a while for the Dr. to fit us in.
Date: Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 7:37 AM subject Mom's condition I dropped by over at Creekside yesterday afternoon to drop off some groceries and see how mom was doing. She was sitting on a chair in the lobby, head dropped, sleeping, alone. I went over and woke her and sat down beside her. She was lethargic and confused. I talked with her a long while. She said that she was too weak to walk and I could tell she was pretty scared. I got Summer and Jamie. We talked for a while. Jamie had already seen this change. It started on Sunday, 5 days after she had fallen , so it is something new. Jamie has scheduled mom for physical therapy. It will start ASAP. I asked if she was on any pain killers or sleeping pills... No. Her meds haven't changed. I asked mom if she had a headache, runny nose, sore anywhere, congestion... Nothing. She had seen Dr. Stringer yesterday morning, but had neglected to tell him that she was so weak, and he didn't pick up on it. Jamie is going to call him and schedule a blood test. In the meantime we located a wheelchair and got her into it. I went and got dad, who was in the room watching TV, and brought him down to the lobby. We worked through the details of getting mom on the 2-hour watch, where a staffer will drop by every 2 hours and check on her 24/7, to make sure that she gets to the bathroom when she needs to. Dad seemed pretty with it yesterday, he understood what was happening and was willing to help as much as possible. We'll see how it goes.
Date: Sun, Mar 9, 2008 at 14:45 AM subject: Mom's better Anne and I drove over to Creekside yesterday to take the folks some groceries and see how they were doing. Morgan and I had bought them a small refrigerator, Magic Chef, from Home Depot just before Christmas. The last couple of times I was over there it was not cooling correctly. Last Sunday I picked up a new Sanyo from Best Buy and took it over to replace the old one. I threw away all the perishables and transferred the other stuff over, then took the Magic Chef to our old house, just down the street, for the bulk pickup which was to occur that next Monday. Today we had replacement groceries for the fridge. We arrived to find them in the room taking a nap. Mom was mobile again! The wheelchair was gone, and she was up and walking. She said that one day that week she just got up out of the wheelchair and started walking again. The staff took the wheelchair and Mom was back to normal. We asked if she was walking again with Dad after each meal. Yes, they both answered. While we were there Dad complained that he had lost two of his coveralls. Anne and I dug around through their closets and found a large bag of dirty clothes, and a clothes hamper full of dirty clothes. Dad's two light blue coveralls were in the hamper. Anne grabbed them up and took them down to the front desk to get them into the laundry. One of the staff dropped by a few minutes later and returned the bag and the clothes hamper. In the meantime I dug through Dad's clothes hanging in his closet and found the two dark blue coveralls that Morgan and I had found in a garment box last Saturday while we were digging through their things in storage. Dad did not recognize them as his. He held one of them up and proclaimed that it was way too large for him to fit into. I told him to strip down and put this thing on, which he did. It fit perfectly. We pointed out that he had these in KY and wore them all the time, but he didn't remember it. He was actually pretty excited to have two more pair of coveralls, and there are very nice, navy blue, almost "dress coveralls"! Since Mom has been unable to walk since her fall and broken wrist, I have been postponing her appointments with Dr. Taylor. She has another one this Wednesday at 09:30am. I am planning on taking her to this one. It may be long enough to get that cast off.
Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 07:56 PM subject: Greetings for the Holidays It's been several months since my last update. My folks are doing okay generally. My Mom has mostly recovered from her broken wrist, weakness, and back problems. They are both physically doing pretty well, mentally they are fading quite a bit. My father is losing his spatial awareness, doesn't know where things are or how far away things are, and his time awareness, doesn't know what time it is, or when it's time for meals, etc. My mother has almost completely lost her short-term memory, and she is very quiet, not talking much. Neither one is in any pain, they are in a very nice apartment, safe, clean, well-fed, and enjoy the activities that go on (all the time!) at Creekside Alzheimer's Center. They have their TV, phone, photos on the wall and in albums, their own furniture, etc. We have them over to our house almost every Saturday for lunch and to play with the cats. I had high hopes that they could help me with some gardening but that did not work out, so we mostly sit on the front porch, talk, and relax (and eat ice cream!).
Date: Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 10:52 PM subject: Mental state declining Mom called last night to ask me to come over right away. I talked with her a bit on the phone and could not understand her agitation or need for me to come over. She was not injured or afraid, so what was it? I hung up promising to call her right back after talking to the nurses station. I called Caroline at the nurses station to find out what was going on. She said she would head right over to their apartment and see what was happening then call me back. Several minutes later she called back. Dad was suffering from severe "sundowners syndrome". He had forgotten Mom! Caroline suggested I come over and talk with both of them. I drove over. Dad recognized me immediately, even knowing my full name. He was very agitated. He was talking non-stop, most of it incoherent. He said he did not know that woman, pointing to Mom, that his wife was somewhere else, or probably dead. After talking for a while he decided that she had died and we had already had her funeral. Mom sat quietly in her chair just looking at him. I took Dad down the hall for a walk to see Caroline. After some discussions, Caroline suggested we prepare another bed for Mom to stay in that night. That have a very nice "demo" room they use for marketing. We set mom up in the room with her toothbrush, nightgown, etc. I sat with her for a while. She was very quiet, not agitated at all. I don't think she really understood what was happening. Periodically she would say she wanted to go back to her room and I would have to again explain what was going on. Eventually she settled down. At this point she told me that Dad had been having these spells for several years back in KY. She had kept it secret. She said that it sometimes would last all night. I went back over to my see Dad in the apartment. He was still a bit agitated so I sat with him for a while. He never really calmed down much, talking incoherently. I talked with Bertha, the evening nurse, before I left to ask if she would watch them close and make sure everything went okay in the night. I called Bertha in the morning, about 5:30am, to see how it went. She said they were both still asleep in their separate rooms. Everything went smoothly in the night. I called back at about 08:30am, when they both should have been having breakfast. The duty nurse checked on them in the lunchroom, they were there and seemed to be doing fine. Dad remembered her fine and showed no real effect of the night before. I called Mom about 10:30am to see if she was back in their room. She answered right away. Everything seemed to be back to normal, however she had no memory of my visit or anything that had happened the night before! In fact, she couldn't remember that she had just eaten breakfast, thinking the staff was still preparing it. I don't think she remembered any of the events of the night before, including spending the night in the other room. I stopped talking about it, cheered up my conversation, changed the subject, and she immediately followed suit, talking much happier. I will need to give this some further thought...
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 05:14:12 -0600 Subject: Parents Status Hello, Good to hear from you! My folks are generally doing okay. They are healthy, safe, get good food, and are well taken care of at Creekside. Both of them are having dementia issues and problems with their memories. Last week my Dad forgot who my mother was again, and couldn't recognize his apartment. He convinced himself that someone else lived there, even though he recognized all the furniture, photos, quilts, etc. He knew something was wrong with his thinking and that really stressed him out. At the same time he did not recognize my Mom, thinking that this was not Maxine. We sat and talked with him for a long while, took him out for a long walk, and he calmed down a little. The next day he was more or less back to normal. This last weekend my brother and his wife, Morgan and Mary Jane, came up to visit. We had my folks over for lunch Saturday and they generally did fine. Morgan and I drove them home in the afternoon and sat and talked for a while. Once back in their apartment my Mom had no memory of having been at our house just 1 hour earlier! She knows she has memory problems, but is not particularly worried about it. It is what it is. I hope all is well with you and your family. Anne and I are doing fine. Anne's company went through a very serious layoff last month, but Anne wasn't hit. My company is doing fine with no indication of any layoffs to come. Take care, Stewart
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 17:18:17 -0500 Subject: Re: Mom and Dad Hello Cousin, My mother went into the hospital Saturday night. She has been getting progressively weaker over the last several months. Saturday she was so weak that she couldn't hold a fork to her mouth. The hospital did many tests and eventually found that she had Pulmonary Embolisms, blood clots in her lungs. Her O2 level was only 85% (should have been 98%). They gave her O2, then started her on blood thinners. They did more tests and found out that both her legs had DVTs (Deep Vein Thrombosis), with the left leg having many more. These form clots that move around in the body, many times ending up in the lungs. The blood thinners and O2 have done wonders. She is stronger now, talks much, much more, and is almost ready to head back home. My father has been at a loss without her around to give him his cues. But he endures, and the support staff at Creekside are very good at helping him out and keeping him busy. I'll email you more when mom gets back home. -Stewart
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 20:23:17 -0500 Subject: Re: Mom and Dad Today my mother returned home, to the Alzheimer's center. My father is _so_very_happy_ that she is back. She is still very weak, and is on oxygen, and blood thinners, but she is more alert and coherent than before, and very happy to be home again. -Stewart
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 06:28:39 -0500 Subject: Re: Aunt $ Uncle Good to hear from you. How are things with you and your family? Things are difficult here. My mother developed Pulmonary Embolisms 3 weeks ago. In the hospital they discovered Deep Vein Thrombosis in both her legs. There is really nothing that can be done for her except blood thinners (Coumadin). After much soul searching we have admitted her to Hospice Care where we will make her comfortable at home. She has been in and out of the emergency room and hospital since then fighting this life threatening condition. At the same time my father fell and fractured his femur up near his hip. He had surgery to put in a pin and two screws, then to rehab for 10 days, arriving back home last Friday. He is doing okay, but forgets that he has a bad hip and so is a fall risk. We have someone with him all the time now to help him as he recovers. Both of them continue to decline with their Alzheimer's, dementia, and memory loss. My mother rarely speaks anymore, and has absolutely no short-term memory. My father can't remember that he fell, or that he had surgery. He recognizes me and Anne, because we are there all the time, but he doesn't recognize Morgan T. when he comes up from Houston. Take Care, Stewart
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 15:40:13 -0500 Subject: Re: Parents No real change. My mother is doing very poorly. The combination of her pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis in her legs, liver problems, combined with the dementia have left her bed ridden and not very alert. The staff at Creekside, and the hospice care Dr.s nurses and aides, do everything for her. She is in no pain and sleeps a lot. My father is recovering very slowly from his broken hip. He forgets that he broke it and attempts to stand up without help. This is not good. The nurses and aides have to watch him all the time and make sure that someone is with him. We have hired a sitter to stay with thim at night and make sure that he doesn't get up from bed and fall. His physical therapy is going slowly for these reasons. The 10 day stay in the hospital, and the residual hip pain, combined with my mother's condition has left him much more confused than he was before. It seems he has forgotten his apartment at Creekside, forgotten where the lunchroom is, the activity center, and the people. Many times I don't think he recognizes me, Anne, or mom. Anne and I go by there every couple of days to sit with them and visit. I always stand my dad up and walk him carefully up and down the hallways to get more exercise in him. I have been working closely with his physical therapist to coordinate our exercise sessions (so we don't go on the same days). -Stewart
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 07:33:23 -0500 Subject: My mother's condition worsens People, This weekend was very bad for my mother. She developed another blood clot and cellulitis in her other leg on Friday. The hospice nurse and Dr. assessed her and determined that she has sepsis and that she may only has a few days left. They now have someone at the Alzheimer's center 24/7 to help my mother be comfortable. My brother came up from Houston this weekend to help with things. My father doesn't understand what is going on, and it is interrupting his normal routines. He is getting very confused and agitated, so we have to be very understanding and helpful to him as he deals with the changes. -Stewart
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 09:53:42 -0500 Subject: My mother rallies ! People, I thought I'd give an update on my mother's condition and my status. Last weekend the Hospice nurse and Dr. had assessed her and determined that she was near death. They put her on continuous care to ease her passing, and to help us to deal. She had multiple symptoms, non-responsive, terrible clot/infection in her leg and foot, jaundice, and she hadn't eaten much in several days. My brother came up and we put plans in place. On Monday and Tuesday she rallied! She ate a little, was a bit more aware of her surrounding and more alert. I had a long conversation with our Hospice Team Lead about this. She said that it was common for a person to approach death then rally, and repeat this cycle perhaps several times. I returned to work Wednesday. Then I received a phone call from the Hospice nurse thursday morning. My mother was doing much, much better. My wife and I went over at lunch to visit her. She was alert, talking, aware of her surroundings, asking what had happened to her leg and foot. My mother had not spoken entire sentences for months! Something had changed. I asked her what had happened? She said something happened last night. She couldn't figure out what had happened, only that things started to clear up in her mind, and when she woke thursday morning she could think more clearly. Perhaps a clot cleared in her brain, or in her lungs to allow more oxygen in? It's all guesswork. The Hospice team are telling us to enjoy the interlude and don't be surprised if she reverts back. She still has DVT in her legs and clots in her lungs. Those are not going away and will continue to affect her. -Stewart
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 17:22:10 -0500 Subject: More status on my mother Anne and I went over to visit my mother at lunch today. She was much less responsive than yesterday. She couldn't easily construct a sentence and could not feed herself or hold her own water glass. She was much worse than yesterday, although not as bad as before. I asked her "Are you thinking as clear as yesterday?" long pause, then haltingly "No, I am not thinking clearly." Later, in the lobby, we talked with the nurses Sylvia (Creekside) and Cathy (Hospice). They determined that the nurse that sits with her at night had decided to give her Hydrocodone for pain, even though she is not in any pain! We think she decided to do this because my mother was not sleeping. Once the nurse gave her Hydrocodone she fell asleep and slept through the night. But that stuff is very strong and can totally confuse an elderly person. This is our theory and may be totally wrong. Sylvia is going to leave a note for the night nurse at Creekside while Cathy is going to brief the Hospice night nurse, then see what happens tomorrow. BTW, her leg and foot were much, much better today! The deep red was receding down her leg and some normal skin color was showing though on her ankle. -Stewart
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 04:58:10 -0500 Subject: My parents I received a phone call from the Alzheimer's center Friday, 8pm. My father had fallen and hit his head hard. They had him transported to Baylor. After a CT scan of his head, neck, and x-ray of his lungs, they found a small bleed in his brain, and a small fracture of his jaw. They admitted him. They repeated the CT scan on his brain Saturday to see if the bleed was continuing or spreading. No. And the fracture of his jaw did not appear to be significant nor was it causing him any pain. They plan on releasing him Tuesday afternoon. Monday morning I received a call from the Alzheimer's Center at 7am. My mother's condition has again worsened. Once again my brother and his wife drove up from Houston. We spent the day with her, pausing briefly to visit my father at Baylor. Her Dr. visited her Monday at the Alzheimer's center. The Dr. and the Hospice people think the end is very near now, but frankly, anything can happen. I will be out Tuesday to get my father moved back home and to be with my mother. I will check in periodically. -Stewart
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 07:41:06 -0500 Subject: My mother has passed away My mother passed away yesterday. She had been fighting dementia, pulmonary embolisms, DVTs, and her Dr. recently discovered gall bladder cancer. She had been on hospice care over the last 2 months, in and out of continuous care. I created a log of my folks adventures in TX here - We had quite a controversy over whether to tell my father or not. His Alzheimer's is advanced. His mental capabilities are at a very low level. After talking with hospice staff, Creekside staff, and thinking carefully about it we decided to tell him and let him see Maxine before they took her body away. Unfortunately he had fallen very hard last Friday and had been transported to Baylor hospital for tests. He had a small bleed in his brain that did not spread or seem to affect him in a noticeable way, and he had a small fracture in his jaw that also did not seem to affect him. We had to expedite him out of the hospital yesterday to get him back to the Alzheimer's center before they took the body away. BTW, he turned 90 years old on August 21. He understood what was happening, at least initially. After saying his goodbyes Anne and I took him down to another part of the center to look out the window (his favorite place to sit and think). We sat there for about an hour talking, and he gradually forgot what had just happened. He forgot that he had been in the hospital. He forgot that Maxine had passed. He returned to his carefree, upbeat self, telling jokes and stories. As we were leaving the center I heard him yell "Mother! Is it supper time yet!!?" sigh Maxine's funeral will be this Saturday in KY. Visitation will be at Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home (Radcliff) on Saturday, September 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Funeral services will be on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Vine Grove Baptist Church. Burial will follow at the North Hardin Memorial Cemetery in Radcliff. -Stewart
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 08:07:07 -0500 Subject: Video of my Mom and Dad! Tells it like it was Look here - Maxine heads to the Gold Vault Inn!
September 8, 2009 Maxine Milby French

Maxine Milby French, loving wife, devoted mother, and caregiver to many, went to be with the Lord on September 8, 2009, at the age of 85 years. She was married to Morgan French and their marriage was blessed with two children. Maxine was an active member of the Vine Grove Baptist Church for many years. Maxine, who spent most of her adult life in Radcliff KY, was born on June 21, 1924, in Gabe KY. After her father died of typhoid fever when she was four, Maxine developed an independent spirit that served her well throughout her life. She was a graduate of Greensburg High School. In early 1945, Maxine was selected to participate in the Nurse Training program run by the U. S. Army. Maxine always described this as a very exciting time of her life, moving from Greensburg to Louisville, and then Lexington, to complete her nurses training. Maxine received her Diploma in Nursing at the Nazareth School of Nursing, Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington KY in June 1948. Since World War II was over, Maxine didn't join the Army. Instead, she joined the nursing staff at Central State Hospital in Danville and worked there for a number of years. Maxine married her husband of the past 55 years, Morgan French on June 10, 1954 at Fort Knox, KY. From then until Morgan retired from the army in 1962, she traveled with him to various army posts in the United States and Germany. Once her children started school, Maxine returned to nursing at the Ireland Army Hospital at Fort Knox where she worked until her retirement from Civil Service in 1983. Maxine will always be remembered as a loving wife, a wonderful Mother, a terrific Grandmother, and someone who just couldn't sit still. She was always doing something! Whether it was quilting a new quilt, growing a garden over in the woods to 'feed the deer', working around the house or taking care of her family, she was constantly on the go. Only in the last year of her life did she slow down and let others do for her. She had a wonderfully optimistic attitude that always kept a smile on her face and filled the lives of others with happiness. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, the late Edward Jefferson Milby and Iva Ethel Judd Milby of Gabe and four brothers. Maxine is survived by husband, Morgan French; two sons and their wives, Morgan and Mary Jane French of Houston, TX, and Stewart and Anne French of Allen, TX; and two grandchildren, Edward Clifton French and Meredith Holly French, both of Baton Rouge, LA. Maxine is survived by a sister, Roxie Nell Milby Hinton of Bowling Green KY. Funeral services will be at the Vine Grove Baptist Church at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at the North Hardin Memorial Cemetery in Radcliff. Visitation will be 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 12 at Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home in Radcliff. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are made to the Vine Grove Baptist Church.

Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 6:39 AM Subject: Re: parent My father is moving to his new apartment this Saturday. We got him a nice studio, down the hall from their old aparment. The new apartment is very nice, has a wonderful view out back to the trees and lawn. Morgan T. is driving up from Houston and we will move all his stuff while he is at lunch and doing activities Saturday. His condition continues to decline. He has forgotten so much, both short term and long term. He is very unsteady on his feet. Many times when we visit he doesn't know me or Anne. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that slowly destroys a person's mind. We keep him comfortable, clean, fed, and visit him often. The staff at Creekside is wonderful. We know them all and trust them. It was also good to see you at the funeral. I wish we had more time to sit and talk.
Date: Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 6:30 PM Subject:Re: Dad's health No real change since last time. Generally pretty healthy for 90 years old. Some constipation problems, inner ear problems, memory problems, etc. The Creekside staff love him, and he seems to enjoy all the activities and attention. Good to hear from you.
Date: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 11:41 AM Subject: Re: Uncle Morgan, Good to hear from you. Not much change. My Dad is doing fair. He is in fairly good physical condition but not so good mentally. He doesn't remember things well anymore, short term or long term, and has a hard time stringing words together into sentences. I don't think he recognizes me anymore, and he definitely doesn't recognize Anne or Morgan T or his grandchildren. He isn't in any pain, and he is among a lot of very caring people at Creekside, along with some pretty interesting and funny residents. Here's wishing that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Date: Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 7:22 AM Subject: Re: Family ... My Dad is doing okay. Nothing really has changed any. Since we hired a nightly sitter, a person who sits with him all night to make sure he doesn't fall when he goes to the bathroom, or get disoriented and wander around then fall, he has done very well. We visit often. I started a little notepad of "remembers" that I go through when I visit to job his memory about all things Kentucky.
Date: Tue, May 4, 2010 at 5:56 AM Subject: Re: Uncle Morgan No real change. He is well fed, reasonably healthy, clean, happy. I was by there yesterday. We sat and talked for a long while. His memory is very, very poor. I don't think he remembered me at first, but recognized me better when we started reminiscing. Hope all is well.
Date: Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 3:22 PM Subject: Re: Your Dad No real change. He continues to live at Creekside Alzheimer's Care Center. He must use a wheelchair as he is a "fall risk" without it. He is cheerful, talkative, clean, warm, and eats well. He likes his caregivers and the activities there. They always have lots going on. He has no idea where he is, how much time has passed, he does not know that my Mom is gone, he has a difficult time remembering who I am, who Anne is, he can't recognize Morgan T. at all, or his niece and nephew, and so forth. The Alzheimers is progressing. ...Did I ever send you photos of his room at Creekside? Here they come... I hope all is well with you and your family.
Date: Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 7:20 AM Subject: Re: Family Good to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and your family. My Dad's Alzheimer's is progressing. He doesn't recognize Anne or me much when we visit anymore. I read him stories, remind him of Radcliff, his dogs, his lawn mowers, his KY home, he smiles and enjoys it, but I don't think he remembers much. He doesn't talk much anymore either. Otherwise he is in pretty good health. No major injuries, no pain, he eats well, and is clean. Take Care
Date: Sun, May 8, 2011 at 6:28 AM Subject: Re: Family Information There is slow mental degradation with my Dad. He is 91 years old now. The last several times I visited with him he did not recognize me, nor understand where he was, nor was he able to hold a conversation. I sat with him for a while and told him stories, sometimes getting a reaction, most times not. His physical health is pretty good. He is just getting over a spring cold. I hope all is well with you and your family.
Date: Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM Subject: Morgan passed away yesterday My father passed away yesterday. He was 92 years old. He had a long eventful life, lived exactly like he and my mother wanted. I am glad I had the opportunity to care for him in his later years. He will be missed. Here's a pointer to the obituary on our web site. We'll be adding more as we dig through the photos, videos, and audio recordings. We have a _ton_ of audio recordings. (The funeral info is at the end of the obituary).
Anne posted this on Facebook March 2, 2012 - "What a stirring ceremony honoring Morgan French, Stewart's father. A full military send-off with a 21 gun salute, a 2 star general presenting the flag to the family and even a fly-over of sorts if you count the tornadoes skipping around (but missing) us. The National Guard was invited to stay for the chicken dinner but had to leave since they were activated due to the weather. A truly memorable occasion for a man who is a national treasure."
Here are some references to my father, Morgan French. ----- The Lexington KY NBC affiliate TV station did a short story on my father Feb 27, 2012. See it here - ----- Video of my Mom and Dad being themselves! ----- Morgan's obituary: ----- Bataan Commemorative Research Project: ----- Morgan's Prisoner of War experiences: ----- Morgan's "Story of a Lifetime" (note that these are audio recordings. Each take a few minutes to download, so please be patient): ----- Story posted in the Radcliff News Enterprise March 2, 2012. 20120302_News_Enterprise.html