A day in the life

Canon and Kate started back to school yesterday, but Anne’s school doesn’t start until next week – which leaves just me and Anne together all week. I thought it might be fun to document what a day with Anne is like :-) So here goes…

6:05am – alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button (twice).

6:25am – get up, get ready – pack Canon and Kate’s lunches and make their breakfast. I’m spoiling them this week with fresh pancakes hot off the griddle. They better not get used to it.

7:00am – pry Kate out of bed – argue about tights vs. socks – force her to brush her hair and help Canon change the turtle’s water (we are turtle-sitting for a friend …that’s another story for another day).

7:15am – get Anne up, change her pull-up and carry her downstairs to the van while herding Canon and Kate in that direction…

7:45am – drop Canon and Kate off. Anne tries to talk to the guy helping with carpool… “How are you? You sure are doing a great job…” But he doesn’t notice. sigh.

8:05am – arrive home and make breakfast for Anne. She wants sausage and waffles – with syrup. It’s bath day so I let her have the syrup – but I can’t sit with her while she eats – she makes too big of a mess – so I sit at the computer and eat my oatmeal while checking my email.

8:30am – wipe the syrup off of Anne’s face, hands, clothes & table – And I let her watch Curious George while I decompress for 30 minutes.

9:00am – It’s poopy time. I give Anne one glycerin suppository and carry her to the potty. We sing songs and play pretend games while she works to pass her bowel movement. We sing the “Days of the Week Song” and I’m shocked that she remembers that it’s Wednesday. Every day we go over “yesterday, today and tomorrow” and talk about the unique aspects of each day. She has a hard time with time concepts – that’s typical for frontal lobe brain damage – but today… she remembered! Yeah!

She thinks she needs another suppository to pass more – so I give her one more suppository and sure enough – she had to go more. After 30 minutes… she’s done. That’s actually pretty quick. (Note… glycerin suppositories have zero medication – they simply act as a physical stimulant… Anne still needs a little bit of help to get things started)

9:30am – clean up kitchen from breakfast and put a roast in the crock pot while Anne plays on her ipad.  I had to borrow  ingredients from my mom – who has her own apartment in our basement. She’s still asleep, so I have to be super quiet – I’ll tell her I stole vinegar worchestershire sauce later – when I give her a birthday card. She’s 73 today… she can sleep as long as she likes! By this time, Anne’s already had two seizures. The last one was a bad one – which means she comes out of this trance-like state extremely agitated. Much crying and slapping and biting. Ugh. It’s bath time…

10:00am – Let Anne play in the bathtub while I clean the bathroom and straighten the kids’ rooms. I check on the turtle – who has gone poopy in her fresh water. Typical. Next up… I have to wash Anne’s hair – which is my least favorite thing to do – except for maybe brushing her hair. Her head was hyper-sensitive before the accident – and unbelievably – it’s even more sensitive now. She screams and thrashes the whole time – I try to restrain her so at least something stays dry in the bathroom – but by the end… I’m soaking wet and we’re both upset. And then I have to brush her hair – it’s easier to do when it’s wet – but she still hates it. hates. it. Again, I have to hold her right hand as she tries to pull the brush from me. But she’s left with beautiful, tangle free hair – and I’m left needing a glass of wine – too bad I don’t like wine ;-)

11:00am – This is our special time. I read to her, and then we review her sight words. Then, I make sentences with her sight words and she practices tracking the words left to right. It’s hard for her to see the words on the far left… so we practice as she points to each word as she says it. This is hard for Anne. So I reward her by letting her lie down on her tummy and I rub and stretch out her legs and feet. She gets sleepy, so I lie down with her and we’re both asleep – and bam – we wake up and it’s after 12pm. Anne has an OT appointment at 1pm, so we start scrambling :-)

12:15pm – I change Anne’s pull-up and put on her braces. I don’t have time to fix her lunch, so we head to Wendy’s. She eats better in the car anyway. I don’t know why.

1pm – OT – and 45 minutes of freedom for me. I run to publix to grab a card for my mom + extras of all the ingredients I had to borrow from her this morning. I get back to the OT office to find that Anne has worked a puzzle she has struggled with in the past – but this time she did it easily. Progress. We like it!

2pm – I have 45 minutes until I have to pick up Canon and Kate – so Anne and I run a few errands. Anne talks to everyone she sees. She’s always so sweet to strangers. She forces me out of my introverted shell… and then we head to school. In the carpool line, Canon’s teacher asks to speak to me. Great – this is either really good or really bad – thankfully, it’s really good. In bible, his class is discussing Jesus’ parables, so after talking through the parable of the sower (Matthew 13), Canon’s teacher asks the class –  how would you classify the soil of your own heart? rocky, thorny, good? Canon’s answer: I hope my heart is good soil… but I’m not sure. His innocent humility touched his teacher, and she took the time to share with me. You gotta love that.

3:25pm – We all get home and give Me-Ma her birthday card (along with more Worcestershire sauce and Apple Cider Vinegar) and promise to take her out for a good meal this weekend. Anne always spends an hour with Me-Ma in the afternoons, so I can spend time with Canon and Kate and get dinner started. But today.. I have a meal in the crock-pot, so I’m writing this blog post – which has turned out to be really long!

It’s time for me to play with Kate. I’ll finish out the day with an evening post…

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3 thoughts on “A day in the life

  1. Lucel-Melody Wings says:

    Good Afternoon, Kathryn,
    Thank you for sharing about your “journey thru the day with Anne”. I found myself Celebrating and empathising all along the way.
    I understand a bit about what goes on with Anne’s brain-damage and it’s unique aspects as well as seizures, since I have temporal and frontal lobe seizures and brain-damage resulting from the inability to take medicaitons for it due to allergies.
    Emotions can be raw and wild, and go from 0 to 1,000 in a blink of an eye! It takes patience, time, and an element of loving-self/acceptance thru Him, to deal with them gracefully.
    After readying your note, today’s one of the times I’m sooo grateful to be an adult, and able to “think things thru”. But that took work: 6 hours every day for 2 decades, and not the resources Anne has.
    So I guess my response is a mixed bag. It’s intended both as an offering of hope, a confirmation of the unusual challenges, and the affirmation of both your hearts being in tune with Him, so ways WILL open up, and a rejoicing in the resources available to assist all of you on this journey….including blogging here.
    You matter. As do each family member.
    Haven’t forgotten about sending tangilbe notes to affirm your’e in my heart….am striving NOT to spread these cold germs around. For now, prayer’s will need to suffice.

    Much Love, Warm Support and Gratitude,
    Lu

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  2. Thank you for sharing “a day with Anne.” I found myself visualizing as I read and have to tell you I became quite exhausted! I know that you feel that everyday is a whirlwind, but it’s got a lot of rewards, too. I heard so many positive things about Anne’s day. She’s very innocent and honest. You’re a very, very brave person. God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle and you do it so well, even though, you don’t think you do. I know you just drop at the end of every day, but be thankful for what you have! You are so blessed! Anne is a work-in-progress! I see it every time you post! I know the seizures are frustrating. I pray that they will soon end or can be controlled. I know Anne doesn’t like them either.
    I’m sure they’re all in bed by now and maybe you, too. God bless you and your family Rest well. Tomorrow’s another day! Take them one at a time and try to find all the positive things about each and every day.
    Sending you hugs!
    ;-)

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  3. Helen says:

    Neat idea, Kathryn… I got a better glimpse into your every day life…. and I admire you even more!
    Hang in there! Love and prayers, Helen

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