We had a treat Friday night, at our friends’ house in Carmel. Pat and Mike came to visit us, and they brought Chinese Food from Tommy’s Wok, the only decent Chinese food for miles, according to the Scalbergs. We believe them, because we met them when the four of us were working in Hong Kong 25 years ago. We didn’t have a waiter, so one of us had to be the photographer. All the pictures came out blurry, this is the best of the lot.
I think we have found respite care, for Elvon. I sent over his medical workup, and will finalize Monday, if both parties want to. They need to approve based on what the doctor wrote, and I need to drop by there, sniff around, and get the feel of the care home. It’s in Monterey.
After I wrote that, I went over to look at Carmel Hills Care Center. It had some iffy ratings online and I wanted to give it the smell test. It’s bright and cheerful, and spotlessly clean. A very nice gal, named Donne, took me around. It was lunch time, and a lot of the residents were gathered in the dining room. The smell was of food, nothing as appetizing as the Lodge, of course, but Donne showed me the menu for the week, and it looked good. She also shared that they had a new Executive Director, and there had been a huge improvement in the meals. Now they use fresh meat and cook on site. They used to use mostly canned stuff. No wonder there were some iffy ratings. They have a gym, with a recumbent bicycle, which Elvon really needs, and physical therapists on staff. He needs all of this, and I need a break. Come Monday morning, I’ll be negotiating him in.
Saturday’s news from the Residents’ Council contained this cheery sentence. “Yesterday the Santa Rosa Fire Department completed its inspection of FGL and The Terraces and cleared them for occupancy.” I like that. It may still be up to a couple of weeks, but we are going home. Sadly, I don’t think we will be living together any more. It breaks my heart, but everyone is telling me I have to do it to save myself, and, I get it.
I have something to look forward to, today. Elvon’s daughter Susan is driving down here for dinner, and will stay the night, to be here to support us, as we go through the separation process. I feel better sharing that burden. Thanks, love. I know Cat and Matt want to be here, too, but she’s on the other side of the country, and supports me by phone. It’s a tough time.
Glenn Coates said:
My thoughts and prayers are very much with both of you during this season of change. I pray you may fight the perfect care facility for Elvon.
Oh, by the way, I do believe you had a birthday Helen! Purrrs from me – Happy belated Birthday!
Glenn Coates said:
Find… not “fight” – gee!
Helen I am glad to hear of your decision. Do they not have Memory Care at The Lodge? That would be easier on you instead of having to drive so far to see Elvon. Good luck and give my best to Susan. Hugs, Mariann
Sent from my iPhone
Marge Mapp said:
We’re so sorry about the news that you and Elvon will have to part. I truly can’t imagine how I could do that, yet I fully realize that you can’t go on the way you have. Our hearts go out to you.
Marge and Chris
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Gil Mercier said:
I dread the word “separation”. Our thoughts and the prayers of us naive believers are with you. Love. Sandy & Gil in Paree.
Marlene Rosenberg said:
I am sorry to hear that you will be separating yourself from Elvon. You both have been such a wonderful couple and you have been so good to him and for him. I am sad but understand you have to do what you have to do. I wish he could be closer to you, but knowing you, a few miles won’t make a difference for you. We love both of you, and are keeping you in our thoughts.
Love, Marlene and Stan
Diann Whittaker said:
Yes it is very sad. I agree with everyone – you have to take care of yourself else you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
Hi Helen, Well, glad you will be able to get Elvon taken care of starting tomorrow. Yes, will be sad you will have to live apart!! Even when you go back to FGL will you have to live apart? My parents went thru that. The last couple years of Dad’s life he lived in a private room in the Memory Care Center of their continuing care community and Mom continued in their townhouse on property. We would go and stay with him in his room about six hours a day! But that was her way of trying to still be a couple and control everything. Anyway, all our love coming to you!! Thinking of you! Will you still be doing DV hostess? Live, Jan
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Helen Megan said:
I have a DV assignment coming up in 2018. Singapore to Hong Kong, 14 days. I won’t be able to be away much longer than three weeks at a time, but I will give myself a break or two. I am also taking a group to Ireland at the end of June.
Sylvia Gustafson said:
T’was a great photo Pat took…all looked cheerful together even though you have encounter many difficulties since you left FGL. Keep up your spirit!..and get help for Elvon as it sounds like it’s getting difficult for you to transfer him… hopefully you’ll be back to FGL soon…
Helen Megan said:
To answer the comments that last post garnered. Yes, there is Memory Care where we live at Fountaingrove Lodge. It is in a separate building, two minutes walk away, called “The Terraces”. Elvon has been Number One on its list for over a month, now. All it will take is for one person not to come back, and he is in. I expect that will be the case.
Transfers aren’t just difficult. They range from easy to impossible, to a fight. He never got out of bed yesterday or yet today. I think Susan’s arrival will tempt him out, but I never know. He is starting to get testy, too. That’s new, and none too pleasant. In the care center, he will get the therapy he needs, have a recumbent bike to ride, etc.
We will never be very far from each other. We will be 10 minutes away, by car, while we are biding our time in Carmel, waiting for Fountaingrove Lodge and the Terraces to re-open. That should be by February 15. Then I will move back into our apartment at Fountaingrove Lodge, and Elvon will move into The Terraces.
I was so sad to hear of the inevitable,but you should have no regrets. You have done the very best for Elvon over the years. (By the way, he looks great in the picture).
I can’t believe what you have had to endure over the past few weeks moving from place to place,trying to outrun the fires. My heart goes out to you,along with prayers at this very difficult time. It’s reassuring to know you have the support of his family.
It’s time to take care of YOU!
Kathy Stefano said:
My heart is with all of you give Susan my love
Kathy Fitzgerald said:
Very hard decision, but the right one. I just hope that a memory care unit can be made available closer to the lodge soon.
Helen I’m so sad to hear of all your trials, however if there is one person I know who can weather these storms, it’s you.
That being said, the separation cannot be easy. Dad spent his last year in st. Anne’s Veterans Hospital in the Alzheimer’s section. I met many wives over the year who were admitting their husbands for the same reason you are facing. As sad as it is, both you and Elvon require help. This is too stressful and debilitating for the both of you.
Elvon’s care has taken precedence over your needs, which creates a whole new set of variables, not the least of which is how it taxes you emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. If you can’t or don’t take care of your needs, eventually you will be unable to unable to care for Elvon. Sadly that time has come. Remember all airlines insist mothers with children put that oxygen mask on themselves first, and we all know the reason for that.
i hope your resilience and staunch determination continues unabated until Elvon moves into the facility where he can get the extensive care he needs and you can get some rest and respite from this last year’s events.
Bon courage and you’re both in my prayers.
Peter Aglaganian said:
I am thinking of you and send you my warmest regards. Please say hi to Susan.
Pati and Don said:
Congratulations, Helen! Your incredible diligence paid off for both you and Elvon. Now you will have a some time to enjoy Carmel before you move back to The Lodge. And you will be safe, as will Elvon.
We send you our love,
Pati and Don
Jennifer Mascols said:
Helen- Can’t imagine what you must be feeling but it sounds like you are getting excellent support from your friends and Elvon’s family. So that is good to hear.
What crazy circumstances to have been thrown into the mix with the horrific fires.
I can’t add much to other comments, which are to support you and Elvon by ensuring you are getting what you need to remain physically and emotionally healthy. Better for him to not have his caregiver run into the ground. Sounds like these 2 places are staffed to take great care.
Sad to hear how the body changes and sometimes reasonable accomplishments are sometimes now becoming a fight.
You are making the best decisions for both of you. The brain knows this, but emotions are not logical. Sad that the time for separation has come, no amount of knowledge makes that feel any softer in the heart.
Glad you had some decent Chinese, you know your food.
You are remarkable Helen.