Tag Archive | brother

Visits To Covington

I’m still playing “catch up” with my blogging so things may come into play a little out of sequence but I write them as I get to them.

I have a twice-monthly ritual in my life that takes me to Covington, Virginia, to visit my youngest brother.  I go every other Sunday and we spend the day doing whatever he wants to do.  It takes me an hour to get to him and then we usually spend about 4-5 hours together before I take him home to Merryfield.

Lunch in January

Lunch in June

We go riding on roads we haven’t been on, we visit cousins, we go shopping, but we always go out to lunch together. He loves going to Tractor Supply to look at the farm equipment and all of the “cowboy” clothing!  Dean’s favorite food is hotdogs with mayonnaise only and a bacon cheeseburger!!  Occasionally we have pizza or we try to find a restaurant that he hasn’t tried.  Sometimes we head toward White Sulphur Springs WV or Fairlea, WV or we drive into Lexington or Roanoke.  The day just depends on the mood he is in or how much time we have.  He loves to shop and we try to find unusual shops to visit instead of Walmart every visit.  Eddie and I picked him up a couple of weeks ago and took him with us to a family reunion and my brother, Junior, took him home after the reunion so we wouldn’t have to do so much traveling.

I enjoy our visits and sometimes we just stay at his place and do something in his room.  He prefers going out though for that one-on-one visit and we talk about what he’s done since the last visit.  When we go out he dresses up in a shirt and tie and always looks like he’s stepped out of a men’s fashion magazine but he likes dressing up.  His health is much improved though his kidney function is only 40% but you never hear him complain and he’s put back on some weight!  Merryfield keeps him busy going to movies, concerts, wrestling matches, shopping, and Lifeskills during the week.  Lifeskills is a school for teaching day-to-day things that most of us take for granted but he enjoys the interaction with his house and schoolmates everyday.

 

Visit With Younger Brother

I went to visit Dean last weekend and we did our usual trips.  He loves to go to the car wash and my car needed a little cleaning.

He loves it when the washer hits the windshield and the side glass.

He loves it when the washer hits the windshield and the side glass.

I’ve tried to coax him into rolling down his window but he won’t have anything to do with it.

This trip I was concerned about where we would eat.  He just had the last of his teeth pulled but he proved nothing would keep him from his bacon cheeseburger and french fries, it just took a little longer.

All of his teeth had to be pulled because of the disease in them and the exposed nerves.  I’m told that in the next couple weeks he’ll have the impressions for the dentures made.  The next big challenge will be getting him to wear them all the time.  His doctors also think removing the bad teeth may improve some of his other health issues.

I was told on Monday that he will be participating in a fashion show that the Allegheny Regional Community Services will sponsor and Dean has agreed to escort his girlfriend in the show as long as he can wear “western attire”.  This means finding a fringed western jacket and black khaki pants.  He also wants a dressier new cowboy hat for the occasion.  This is going to be a formal fashion show and he will be strutting his stuff in March.

I plan to visit him this weekend again if it’s not too frigid outside!!

Little brother

I hope you will remember previous posts I’ve written about my younger brother.  He now lives in a wonderful Intermediate Care Facility near by and I see him twice a month and sometimes more often.  I love him dearly and he makes me smile, most of the time.

I promised him back in the summer that I would take him on a trip to meet up with his old girlfriend  that lives in another town about an hour away from where he is now.  It has been 15+ years since they had seen each other.  They send cards and letters to each other but had no way of seeing each other. My brother is not a big talker on the phone so they didn’t call each other either.

Right after Christmas I had a two full weeks off and set up a date for them two of them to have lunch together and go to a mall.  I called her sister to see if everything could be arranged.  Her sister does not drive so we couldn’t meet half way but I picked Dean up at 10:00 a.m. and we drove to her house to pick up her and the sister.  I took them all to Applebee’s for lunch at one of the local malls.  On the way to lunch they sit in the back seat of my car holding hands and exchanged Christmas gifts.  The sister and I got quite a kick out of watching and listening to them.  It was as if there had never been 15 years and almost 60 miles between them.  We took lots of pictures, ate and let them order whatever they wanted, and then we went shopping in the mall.  They hit every jewelry counter in the mall and talked about getting married.  They’re so funny.  He bought her a stuffed animal cat and she calls it Dean.  Hope you can see the happiness in their faces!

Dean and Judy at Applebees

Dean and Judy at Applebees

Applebees is their favorite restaurant

Applebees is their favorite restaurant

They ordered FOUR desserts and ate it all!!

They ordered FOUR desserts and ate it all!!

Ice cream all over his face

Ice cream all over his face

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Cheesecake desserts-chocolate and strawberry

Cheesecake desserts-chocolate and strawberry

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At Judy's house

At Judy’s house

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Time to head home

Time to head home

We’ll make sure they get together again in warmer weather!!

Little Brother update

On April 7th my youngest brother had a parathyroid gland removed because of a large nodule on it that was causing all sorts of medical issues. Dean did really well during and after the surgery and seems to feel really good even though he was never one to complain unless he had a headache or sinus infection.
We’ve been waiting on the pathology report since that day. It’s seems like it’s been months that we’ve been waiting but finally today we got the news.  The pathology report was negative for any cancer!!  We are so blessed and the counselors at Merryfield all think that he seems to feel better since the surgery though he never complains.

I talked to him on the phone after the appointment and he told me, “Me feel better, now!”  I could have cried!!

Thank you God for blessing us with this news and placing your blessings on Dean!!!

Dean-January 2014

Dean-January 2014

2013 Was A Rough Year For Me

This is going to be a digest version of my life since 2007.  My mom passed away in November of that year and my dad has been gone since August of 1992.  When mom passed away I inherited my younger brother who is now 54, soon to be 55 years of age.  He was born with a disease called PKU and is intellectually disabled.  Me and my wonderful husband had told Mom before she passed that we would take care of him for as  long as we could.  We had some help from my siblings for a while but over the last four years not as much.  I began to worry about what would happen if something happened to me and I did not want my husband to continue to be his caregiver though he has done quite an incredible job since 2007.  I work full-time and hubby runs a 500+ acre beef cattle farm which is also a full-time job.

Though little brother is very easy-going and not a lot of trouble, his physical and mental needs are growing which led me to the decision that I would need further help from my siblings or I would have to find a care facility that would better suit his and our needs.  The siblings decided they could not take him into their homes so in June I began looking into an intermediate care facility. This is no easy nor quick task because there are so few facilities and to get him accepted he had to be on Medicaid.  He was already drawing social security from our Dad.  I spent six months of the last year trying to find just the right place and TRYING to get Medicaid.  Not looking for a facility that looked like a hospital or nursing home was my first challenge.  I won’t go into all the details but if any of you see something like this in your future, don’t wait.  Start the procedure now and be patient because dealing with the government is not a simple task when obtaining Medicaid and it’s looks like there lots of options around but they are either full, don’t except Medicaid or any number of other obstacles.  We were not financially capable to pay for the change ourselves.

Little brother was very excited and anxious to move into a new place almost as much as we were.  We found what I think is the perfect new home for him.  There are only eight other residents in the facility and they have equal counselors/staff on premises 24/7.  The facility itself is beautiful with several gathering rooms for the residents.  Each resident has a roommate that share very nice, large rooms, closet for each and share a huge bathroom.  They all have their own TV’s in their rooms as well as desks/seating areas to color, play games, work puzzles, and that type thing.  Everyday they have a schedule which includes meals, entertainment, schooling, chores and personal care.  There is a nurse on call everyday and a van is provided that takes them to Day Skills school Monday through Friday all year-long.  The facility has a doctor that visits the residents on a monthly basis and more specialists that tend to their every need.  He moved into the facility on January 20th, 2014 and loves it.

Little brother seems quite content and I call him every other night to check on him.  Once a week they go bowling, have music night once a week and he has been able to pull out his guitar to entertain and sing and on Sunday night they have an hour of bible lessons.  Plans are in the works to actually teach him some chords on his guitar.  He is participating with the Special Olympics basketball team.  He has been to the Kazim Shrine’s Circus this month but think the noise got to him there.

In addition to all the fun and learning he is involved in, the staff has been able to get him to see a dentist, had his hearing checked and his eyes checked.  He has been to a lab twice for blood work.  All of these things I could never convince him to do but I think their staff has a real knack for getting these things done plus the fact that he goes with the other residents that have these regular tests.   Medical needs that I was not aware of are being met and I know now that he is in a better situation than he was with me.  I do miss him very much but we talk real often and I go visit a couple of times a month or more.  Weather has prevented me from going in the last week but he will see me next week.

He made me this for Valentines Day

My Valentine heart that Dean made for me.

My Valentine heart that Dean made for me.

and gave it to me week before last and he has told me he made me and my daughter a Valentine.  Here’s a couple of pictures of him in his new home:

Deans side of the room that he decorated with help from the staff.

Deans side of the room that he decorated with help from the staff.

Dean and his roommate Kevin.

Dean and his roommate Kevin.

He has his own TV and video stand.

He has his own TV and video stand.

He gave us a tour of the dining room where he likes to help prepare for meals by setting the table, pouring their drinks and cleaning up after meals.  He never did that at my house!!  ;)

He gave us a tour of the dining room where he likes to help prepare for meals by setting the table, pouring their drinks and cleaning up after meals. He never did that at my house!! 😉

 

It’s been a bit of a challenge for hubby and I getting used to being home alone again.  I think we’ll all be very happy!