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When family gets together, there are always new recipe opportunities. Even when the occasion is a sad one – like this illness of my Dad’s – people have to eat.
My sister, who has lived in Europe for more than 20 years, had planned a visit to my parents for this week long ago. It was wonderful to have her here helping make decisions. She and I tend to see situations from different angles, and we really worked well together.
We both agreed to give my Mom a vacation from the kitchen. Both of us cooked some of our favorite dinners. She stir fries a lot, and I learned several techniques from watching her. One night she stir fried carrots and snow peas.
She sliced the carrots in thin rounds and cut the snow peas in half. She heated the olive oil and started cooking the carrots in a skillet. When they were about half done, she added the snow peas. Once she starts cooking, she stays right by the pan and stirs constantly. She never covered the pan – as I sometimes do – so her vegetables were very crisp. It was so easy and so delicious.
My dad is a little better every day. He thinks a little clearer, and he helps us move him a little more. He will have occupation therapy and physical therapy for several weeks. I really enjoyed watching the OT and PT do their evaluations. They did some of the same tests that my son had practiced on us while we were with him in Kentucky. Both the OT and PT are very optimistic about Dad’s potential for a full recovery.
My mother-in-law lived with us for many years. One night my husband woke me because his mother was a little strange [just a few hours earlier I had chatted with her before I went to bed and she was lucid and perfectly fine]. When I spoke with her, she seemed fine except she didn't know who I was and thought my father-in-law was still alive. Long story short, it was a UTI. I was told this was a common symptom for a UTI in the very elderly. The part of this that was scary to me was that she sounded very rational. It was only because we knew her life story that we could realize the part not making sense. Later, a close family friend Sister Mary-Ann told us to watch out for signs of agitation or nervousness. She was right. I can remember Terry nervously pulling tissues out of the box and her eyes nervously darting about. I hope this helps. This advice enabled me to catch the UTIs early.
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