It’s Been A Long Time

To all who were following my Blog, please accept my sincere apology for being gone for so long. So many things have happened since my last post in May but mostly it has all been about my Mother. As so many of you already know from following Breeze Hill Farm in other places, I lost my Mom on Monday, November 22,2010. Allow me to take this time to write about her a bit.

My Mom and I had a great life together..she was Mom but she was also the best friend any girl/woman could have ever asked for. Shortly after my life began, November 23, 1956, it was just Mom and me. My father, who I refer to as “the sperm donor” left us when I was only 6 months old and was never part of my life, so it was just Mom and me. She worked hard all of her life..first to give me all that I needed as a child and then after because all she ever knew was to work hard. She never had a date when I was a child..no revolving door men for me to get use to. She said, “let me raise my child first..there will be plenty of time for men later”. The day I had my first date..she had hers. When I was 18, she finally remarried, a man that was evident, the love of her life. During her life she told her Father goodbye and her Mother, her Aunts and Uncles, and many of her Cousins. The greatest loss though was her husband. You see she waited for all those years..raising me..and was only fortunate to have him for 13 years. But in those 13 years they lived and loved like it had been just them forever. She was only 54, but there was never another to take his place.

Mom was a generous and giving person. If she had it, it was yours. Many times I found myself a little jealous at just how selfless she was and she tried as hard as she could to teach me to be the same (didn’t work out all that well, as she was also teaching me to be independent and to stand my ground).

After becoming an adult, I began to realize what a truly amazing woman she was. She would work, cook, clean, read me stories, let me read stories to her, took me shopping, played basketball with me, taught me to ride a bike, issued firm warnings about my behavior..even spanked me 3 whole times in my entire life (I more than deserved each one!), held my hair back when I drank too much the first time, held me in her arms the first time my heart was broken, supported me in everything I’ve ever done in my life, loved me whole total and unconditional always. My Mother never said she was disappointed in me ever. In the years since my Step-Father’s passing, she and I became tried and true friends. We went to the grocery store together on Friday evenings but always started our evening with dinner out. We talked on the phone daily. Sometimes serious but mostly just chatting.

When we bought our farm, she loved to come out for the weekend..she loved animals and wanted to be around them as much as possible (something I never knew). When I’d take her home on Sunday’s she would cry as we pulled out of the driveway. I always made her a part of our farm..naming animals, making additions, losses, every part of our farm life was shared with her. When other Mom’s were buying their daughters pretty things for themselves and their homes..Mom was combing the pages of the NASCO, Tractor Supply and L.L. Bean catalogs for my gifts. One day she asked me..not that long ago if I even had a dress for her funeral. I don’t remember my answer at the time but sadly, the day she died I had to go to a department store and buy a suit.

I cannot believe how much I miss her. I miss our daily talks and I miss the light in her eye when I would talk about the farm. So many times I’ve picked up the phone, dialed her number and hung up. If it is ever possible to be too close to your Mom, I’m afraid I was. When sadness becomes so very overwhelming it’s odd but our animals seem to know. The dogs are all over me all the time, the sheep and goats seem to just want to hang (not that crazed, Oh she has a bucket), our pig and llama seem to be saying..it’s OK we’re here. I love the warmth and love they have in their eyes..unconditional love.

So many people have said how horrible it was to loose Mom the day before my birthday. My response to that is, I was the recipient of her one last selfless act..How a great a gift to be given than to see the end to the suffering that had become her life. She had been so sick and miserable..her once vibrant life had become nothing but her illness. There was no amount or wishing or praying on my part that could turn the page and make her better. She had fulfilled her time here on earth..she was tired and it was time for her to go.

Mama was an angel here on earth and because of my upbringing I can only believe she is an angel gracing the halls of heaven.

I love you Mama.


 

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“The 5 Mile Long Post”

I am calling this entry “The 5 Mile Long Post”. There is a lot of catching up to do in many different areas, so let’s get started.

First, my Mother bless her heart. This is the main reason I’ve dropped out of existence for a while. Several weeks ago, things got very bad for her and I ended up moving in with her. As with how her health problems have been since November, things had gone from bad to worse. After yet one more ER visit, the ER Doctor got me on the phone. He told me that my Mother was in Advanced End Stage Lung Disease (this was news) and that I “needed to grow up and accept the fact that she is dying and that she and I needed to get use to it”. What a nice man..that I might add, last I checked is still on Administrative Leave! He sent Mom home saying that there was nothing wrong with her. Two days later she was admitted to the hospital for what would end up being a seven day stay. (nothing wrong with her, eh?) On the seventh day I took her to a Rehab Clinic for treatment of Steroidal Myopathy. She was there for 1 week and was sent home. Did I happen to mention that Mom has lost from 165 to 121 pounds since November and can no longer walk?

After 4 days at home, she fell. Now she is in a Skilled Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center. Her estimated time there is 6 weeks. I now have a little break.

I’m finally back at the farm full time. It is amazing how much has been lost over these past months since Mom started going downhill. My business has suffered to the point that there is no income being generated at all. Because of promising orders would be filled, then emergencies that took me away from the farm, I am a bit “gun shy” now about trying to promise anyone anything. There are so many calls to make, emails to answer and at this point I’m not sure what to say…sorry just doesn’t seem to cut it. So wish me luck with this task.

Even though Mom is in a facility, that doesn’t mean that my responsibility with her ceases – so I am still seeing how many directions I can go in on a daily basis!

I realized yesterday that I had not lined up a shearer this year. My friend, Kathy – Scarlet Fleece is taking a shearing class so I offered up my flock for practice subjects. She is just as particular as I am, so I know she’ll do a wonderful job. Thank God for friends.

Since Mom’s illness has been far reaching into our lives, we also had not seeded, limed or fertilized our fields in the Fall, so this past weekend we started that project and hope to finish this coming weekend. The time change will help out a lot with all of the projects on the list..like cleaning the barn (a usual Winter project for us). This year is house painting year too. We are very lucky that this project is only trim and shutter painting. Also, before we know it, it will be garden and market season and we haven’t ordered the first seed.

Last night my husband announced he will be going to training school in April, so I get to be both the woman and man of the farm. The dates he will be gone are dangerously close to that 6 week mark with Mom – more stress that I didn’t need!

So anyway, I am back! Keep checking back to see my Blog-I promise there will be less illness and poor me and more about the farm. It’s a wonderful time of year and I look forward to green pastures and dandelions!

Cheers!

…and so ends 2009!

What a year! I can’t say that I’m glad it’s almost over because that would be wishing my life away and at my age, that’s not a good plan. I can’t believe how fast this year flew by. With Mother’s illness the first 3 months of the year and finishing out the last 2 months with illness again, most of the year has been a blurr.

Just trying to think..we’ve done some farm improvements, a few home improvements, added a couple of sheep and Beau-Cocks the rooster, birthed goat babies in the Spring, added on to our garden this past Summer, sheared sheep and goats in the Spring, took a couple of local trips to the mountains, and other wise it has been a fairly calm year..just the way we like it at the Farm. With the exception of Mom, it’s really been an OK year.

I guess there’s nothing more to say than…..



… be safe and all the best in 2010!!

Update On My Sick Mother

As many of you know my Mother has been very ill since before Thanksgiving. There have been hospital stays, doctor visits and several emergency situations to deal with. I would love to say that she is doing much better but she isn’t. On her first hospital visit the Doctors finally diagnosed her problem and said that the treatment would be a long process but she and I both really hopped that by now she would be seeing positive results.

I want to share with you all what her problem is and how it all came to be. Many years (around 15) ago, Mom was diagnosed with asthma. Her Doctor at the time felt that her problem may have been triggered by an allergy, so he put her on a series of Prednisone to help with her breathing. As years have passed and her asthma has gotten progressively worse, she has been steadily taking series of Prednisone, to the point that she was never taking a break from it.

For those who do not know, Prednisone is dubbed in many circles as a “Superman” drug. It is used to treat more and more conditions everyday. But one of the things that is never really discussed is the long term use side effects. I’m not talking about slight mood changes and sudden bursts of wonderful energy. I’m talking about the side effects of extended/over use. One of those side effects is the Adrenal Glands get lazy and ultimately stop working on their own.

Back to Mom. In March of 2009, Mom ended up in the hospital because she was pulled off of Prednisone cold turkey. She had been having problems for months with serious fluid retention, to the point that her legs began weeping. Her skin had become paper thin, she was loosing her hair and she looked like a Thanksgiving day balloon..she was in awful condition. Five days after being taken off of Prednisone, she was taken to the hospital via emergency and almost died. The diagnosis..her Adrenal Glands has stopped working..the treatment..low dose Prednisone, for the rest of her life! According to the Doctors, this would be the only way her Adrenal Glands would ever work again.

So here we are, less than a year later. She has all of the same symptoms again. The Doctor in the hospital took her off of Prednisone again..gave her another medication that is non-steroidal and daily she is getting worse. She has now, over the last 9 months lost all of her muscle, her Vitamin D, and 2 or 3 pounds daily in weight and her skin is turning a reddish black. We are going to the Doctor at least weekly (if not more often) and she is just getting worse. She now has an Endocrinologist working with her too. I fear her Adrenal Glands are not working again and I am wondering how much further down her Doctor is going to let her get.

My Mother is a 76 year old woman that up until mid November, worked 5 days a week..8 hours a day, every week at a funeral home. Now she can’t even stand in the kitchen long enough to make a sandwich..not to mention she has no interest in eating it once it’s made. The only other medical problem she has is some problems with her heart but every visit to the Cardiologist is more than positive.

I’m sharing all of this for several reasons, first of all, if you or anyone you may know is being consistently treated with Prednisone be aware of the long term use side effects. The second reason I am sharing is out of fear. I fear that I am loosing my once healthy, strong, determined Mother to something that shouldn’t take her and I don’t know what to do. We all age differently, I know that and we all will loose our parents..these are facts but I don’t feel that this would be a natural loss.

I am on my own with this..no siblings, Father is gone and bless my husbands heart he is trying but like all men, he wants to fix and have an answer for everything.

To my customers (all) if you read this, you will better understand the delays in getting your orders to you. The only time I really have to work my business is at night. To my friends, please be more patient with me as I go through this with my Mom. Don’t tell me to stick her in a home or make her do things for herself..I know you are trying to help, but I’m not going to do things that way, unless I have no other choice. To my Blog readers, I know this has nothing to do with life on the farm and I know no one wants to be made depressed by reading a Blog but it is the real life that this farmer is going through right now. It affects the day to day life here at the farm.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have included a picture of Mom from last Christmas. Looking at it, I cannot believe how sick she actually was then.

Mom - Christmas 2008