Well, my life has officially turned upside down, but I'm still maintaining my sanity. My husband & kids moved back to my childhood home to help care for my ailing mother. I know she hasn't got long on this earth, so this is going to be like a very long last visit with her. She suffered kidney failure, heart attack, underwent dialysis, and she'll be needing all the care a patient with Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) needs to have. If you had told me last year I would be doing this, I wouldn't have believed you. Due to moving two households and my daughter's apartment, I haven't worked a depo in two months (sigh.) Fortunately, I can afford this time off, but I've been itching to get back into the fray and hopefully it will be soon. If anyone out there has gone through this kind of situation, I'd like some advice and of course prayers from you all to help make this all work. God has been merciful to us and has guided us through all of this. Thanks for listening.

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Comment by Diane Hickman on April 28, 2009 at 8:37
Thanks, Tricia. I received your email and phone number. Mine is (714) 471-5362 cell. Sunday 4/26 was her first day home. We toasted her with a drink of sparkling cider and I said, "Here's to the most courageous woman I know." She was so happy to be home.

Yesterday was the first full day I had to take care of my mother and it was a dozey for both of us. I changed her diaper, did laundry, bathed her, fed her, and put her to bed. In the afternoon I was exhausted so I had to take a nap for one hour while she attended to her bills and phone calls. What a workout. God was good to me and He gave me the strength to get through the day without fail. We interviewed a caretaker who is starting today. I can't believe His timing. She lives just blocks away, is a nurse from the Philippines and my mother & I both liked her. Her name is Mara. My mother was so tired she went to bed early and so did I.

So onward I go into this journey. My heart is gladdened that I do not walk alone, for I have God, my husband & children and friends like you to encourage and pray for me. Thank you for your support.

Diane Hickman
Comment by Tricia McLaughlin on April 24, 2009 at 17:18

I sent you an e-mail. Send me your number also. Hang in there. She will be welcomed home to lots of love and kindness.

Take care of yourself,
Comment by Diane Hickman on April 24, 2009 at 9:11
God bless you, Tricia, and thank you for your kind words of advice. Several years ago when I was trying to pass the CA CSR exam, I spoke to my daughter's psychologist about my anxieties and discovered I was going through menopause as well as test anxieties. With her encouragement, my doctor put me on an anti-depressant and I was finally able to see straight and live life like I knew I could. Oh, and I not only passed the CSR I also passed the Nevada CCR as well. So yes, I do believe that with the proper guidance, medication, and above all prayer, life can be good and I could cope.

Please send me your phone number and your email address so I can keep in touch. My husband & I will be joining a local support group to help us through this transition. Deep down in my heart God has shown that He wants me to do this. There's no other explanation or reasoning that I can come up with. I pray every day for His guidance and to give me physical and emotional strength. I know He hears me because of people like you helping me with your kind words of advice.

Thank you again for your response and I will keep in touch. My mother comes home this Sunday. We will be ready for her. My home email address is sedhickman@yahoo.com.

God bless you

Diane Hickman CSR, CCR
Comment by Tricia McLaughlin on April 23, 2009 at 19:03

My mom is not close to passing, fortunately, at this time. However, she is 89 years old, just got over a hospitalization of congestive heart failure (a month's hospitalization) and was in the hospital last summer for another month due to a fall.

I am the sole caregiver, so I can relate to you very deeply. At times, I snap and feel bad about it, but we are all human. Sometimes, as a result, it brings us closer. It's a hard pill to chew when the roles reverse and we have to take care our parents. I have learned one thing and that is, I *have* to take care of me first. If I don't, then I totally lose it. I am not talking about walking away from an emergency situation, but little stuff such as "can you come over I need this, that or whatever". If I can, I do. But I have had to learn to say the word N-O without feeling guilty.

I am fortunate in that my mom started seeing my doc a while ago. I've been seeing him for over 20 years and we have a good rapport, so I can vent to him or get some advice on how to deal with issues that arise.

I'm not going to couch anything by saying it is going to be easy as it probaby won't. The best advice I can give you is if you feel *you* need something to get you through, then open up to the doctors and tell them. They understand totally. I had to, and I do not regret it. My reactions are a lot calmer, our relationship has strengthened and lots of good times are being had. I went on an antidepressant, which I don't care who I tell about, but it was well needed.

I believe strongly in the power of prayer. I will keep you in my prayers. If you need someone to talk to, e-mail me and I'll send you my phone number. As an attorney said to me a few weeks ago, there is a special place in heaven for caregivers, especially when no one else will step up to the plate to help out.

Be well, strong and spirited!
With all my best vibes and prayers coming your way,
Comment by Diane Hickman on April 23, 2009 at 9:34
Through my tears I am writing this reply to all three of you (Bobbie, Janet, and Lois.) Thank you for your kind words of encouragement; and Bobbie, thank you for reminding me that it's okay not to be strong all the time. Janet, I will take your advice about practicing on my machine to the television as soon as I unpack all my office boxes and clear a space for my machine (hehe.) That should be by the end of this week, hopefully.Yes, Lois, business is slow, so I'm glad I could take this time out.
Comment by Lois Whitley on April 23, 2009 at 9:16
My thoughts are with you and your family. Make the most of your time left with her. And take care of YOURSELF also. Business might be a little slow right now, but things will definitely pick up for us all.

Comment by Janet on April 23, 2009 at 6:53
Hi Diane,
My prayers will be with you & your family, too. I hope the time you have left with your mother will bring you both closer, lots of love and peace.

As far as your court reporting, turn on the TV and pull out the steno machine, practice away, and keep your skills up. Then when the time is right, the job appears, you'll be ready for it.


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