"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Monday, November 4, 2013

Matthew Monday: Halloween Costume

It’s been a crazy week.  Last Saturday my mother fell at two in the morning going to the bathroom.  She lives alone and she didn’t call me until six.  Actually she claims she called me and no one picked up the phone and left a message.  But there was no message.  I rushed over.  I only live five minutes away.  Her fingers had been cut, and so I took her to the emergency room. 

Given she had passed out (she believes it was for twenty minutes) they took catscans of her head and so had to wait to ensure it wasn’t a stroke.  It wasn’t but since this passing out seems to happen regularly—every few months—they held her for a few days to monitor her heart and blood pressure.  Now my mother’s heart is actually in excellent shape for her age.  In the past year she’s had a stress test and an echocardiogram, all of which shows a remarkably strong heart.  Her latest cholesterol level is an astounding 163.  But what seems to be her problem is an unusually low heart rate.  It’s always been in the fifties, and while she was hooked up to the monitor at the hospital I saw it drop to 49.  Six years ago she was also diagnosed with NeurocardiogenicSyncope, which makes her faint when she bends over and rises really fast. 

So at the hospital the talk seemed to lead that she would need a pacemaker.  But ultimately they decided she didn’t need it and just gave her an additional medicine for Orthostatic hypotension.  But here’s the kicker.  After spending three days in the emergency room on an ER bed, she developed back spasms which prevented her from walking.  She couldn’t put her feet down on the ground.  She was ready to be released but there was no way for her to take care of herself by herself.  They wanted her to go to a rehab facility, which is nothing more than a nursing home.  I couldn’t argue against it, and neither could she, but she was furious.  They actually went through with making arrangements. 

When I tell you she was mad, that is an understatement.  A nursing home is her worst fear.  I couldn’t go into her room without her cursing me.  Other than the curses, she refused to speak to me.  I finally had to leave.  Actually it’s my sins coming back to haunt me.  At times when my mother in her advanced years would do something that risked her well being, I threatened to have her put in a nursing home.  Now I didn’t really mean it.  It was just a means to get her to be more cautious, and for the most part she understood that.  But at the hospital she claimed I finally got my wish to have her put away.  God certainly was getting back at me.

Luckily the painkillers the next day enabled her to walk with a walker, and given I promised to stay with her, they released her to her home.  So I’ve been there for a few days, and slowly her back has been getting better.  She’ll have a nurse coming over to check on her and a physical therapist.  Finally I can get back to work.  Anyway, without getting into more details, that’s the story.

Through it all Matthew had a fun Halloween.  He went in a Captain America costume.  He looked great.  Here are some pictures.




  1. That's a really cute costume - did he get lots of candy? It seems my kids don't persist as long as we did when we were young, in the going door-to-door for candy. We always went for half a pillowcase, now they seem to be content with one of those 2 quart buckets. Of course, candy is more readily available these days, I guess.

    Your poor mom - nursing homes suck, no matter how "good" they are and I can tell you that from experience. I never had the chance to take my parents in, and my husband knew that his parents would certainly have been welcome here as well. But with so many working women, and also a radical change in values, I think, it doesn't really seem to be an option anymore - to take in parents. Well, my kids know what happens if I end up in a home. They get cut off. No inheritance.

    That would be a better threat if there was actually some inheritance to look forward to...but still! Actually, they all have various plans for me. One expects me to live with her for sure. Another is going to build me a vacation home in Austria as well as a house here in the States. I'm set.

    1. Jan, my wife who has worked in a nursing home for 32 years and is retired with little old me told me a joke the other day saying that we better be nice to our children cause they get to pick our nursing home. (lol)

      Not really funny cause I've often joked around with my wife saying that if I ever become a burden, I want to be put into a nursing home and in so many words, she siad that before I go into a nursing home, she would kill me first but I'm sure she was thinking of sinner vic when she said those words. :)

      Before I close, I'll simply say that your idea of "They get cut off. No inheritance." sounds good but as you truly know, "IT" is not easy for U>S poor (usual sinning) Christians. :(

      OK! I'm wiping off the tears and then I'm going to try another comment to Manny!

      God Bless

    2. Matthew got about a plastic pumpkin full...lol. My mother is so indepedent she does not want to leave her home and would refuse to move in with us. Luckily I only live a half a mile away and stop there regularly and drive her around on the weekends.

    3. You're a good son Manny. I wouldn't want to leave my own home either, and I hope I can be independent when I'm old. Which officially starts in about 2 years.

  2. Manny! Are you physic and how did YA know that you would be getting even with me for hijacking a few of your posts? :)

    All kidding aside, I truly know what you're going through cause my mom has often gotten angry with me too but like your heart of heart knows, a "Mother's LOVE" never ends, even with no "Payday".:)

    I could honestly tell you many stories and also bring tears to some of your reader's eyes but instead I will simply say that my mother once burnt her leg because she insisted on cooking a roast by herself for her family who were present at the time and longer story short, I still can see the specialist doctor telling me after surgery that her heart had stopped working on the table.

    On another occasion, while our youngest brother was upstairs sleeping and taking his turn at watch, anyway, my mother got up and decided to go to the washroom by herself and longer story short, the image of me watching a doctor in a hospital the next day after getting mom's permission and mine, she was given couple of pain pills which was called Tell a null, "I" mean T????? and then her visibly broken nose was straightened in front of me.

    Manny! What I'm trying to say is that your cross, "I" mean your excitement has just begun but don't fret cause "those tireless Italian ladies" are just as stub born, "I" mean stubborn as "those tireless French ladies". Longer story short, their sins just need to be doing something to keep our sins on the ball if YA get my drift now>?<

    God Bless Peace

    1. LOL, you're not hijacking. Your mother sounds like mine. :)

  3. Very cute costume. I am sure he'll enjoy the candy. Don't forget you might have to take away the "suspicious" ones (the really super tasty ones he won't miss anyway!) We were horrible to our kids. LOL

    About your mom, I had a very quick talk with my mom after watching my MIL and grandmother deal with medical issues/aging. I told Mom that if she ever got to "that point" where she could not live at home, I was selling her house and adding on to mine. She would have a room addition with living room/bedroom/bath and mini kitchen. There would be a doorway into our house so we can check on her, she can have meals with us, visit a bit and then go to her own side so everyone still has their own place. There is a development in town where they add on these little apartments to the main house. They can be used as an office, a mother-in-law house or guest house. She agreed that it would be a good idea and would keep her out of the nursing home and allow her to have her own privacy. I don't know if that is an option for you or not.

    1. As I said to Jan, mother would not want to live with us. She wants to stay in her own home. Plus I live close (half a mile away) and I drive her around when she needs to get to something. I have to get one of those alarm buttons if she falls. Thanks Kathy.

  4. By the way Manny! I meant to tell you that I'm jealous of Matthew's costume!

    Isn't there suppose to be only "ONE" Captain America? :)


    1. LOL, aren't you Canadian? Maybe they have a Captain Canada costume. Or how about we promote you to Colonel Canada! :)

    2. Manny! I don't really want to drag this on but doesn't America also include Canada?

      I hear YA! Just wanted to make sure that you didn't forget that fact yet old man!? :)

  5. Hi Manny--so sorry I have been out of the blog-loop. So super busy! Taking several kids plus my own MIL to doc appts. and getting my house ready for my daughter and her family to come stay a for a few days and have thanksgiving with us.
    Sorry to hear about your mother! I can definitely relate, my Italian MIL lives two blocks away and does not want to move in with us ever. The only difference is that she also went in a nursing home for rehab and liked it, so that's where she wants to go if the needs arises. But she's still hanging on at her place.
    Matthew, as always, looks adorable! My grandson was a power ranger.

    God Bless you, I know you are doing everything you can for you mother. It can be tough sometimes, but it is a work of mercy.

    1. Thank you Kelly. I certainly can relate to being super busy. God bless your incredible family.

  6. Hi Manny, it's Qimi. My grandmother actually liked being in a nursing home. There was a lot of stuff to do and people to talk too. But my parents were like your mother; they wanted to stay home, and they were able to do just that. Is there any way you guys can make any arrangements for a nurse or attendant to come and be with her part of the day and/or night?

    Oh, Matthew is adorable. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I adore handing out candy.