It was a sunny and yet chilly day this morning when I awoke. The humidity had left leaving cooler and dryer air. The skies are beautiful with no clouds. Al did really have two doctor appointments today, I checked! Yesterday I had made a mistake, but yes, today was the day.
I got up about two hours earlier than Al and sat here drinking my coffee at the computer, and catching up on reading blog emails. A nice time of the day for me. Al did get up then and made his way to the kitchen. Breakfast over, we both got ready for his appointments.
The heart doctor was first on the agenda. We waited very little before his name was called. Once inside the little examining room, they ran an EKG and took his vitals. The nurse had to go out of the room to get the EKG machine, so I took this time to check and still play with my new cell phone. I glanced up once to see what Al was doing on the examining table and he was about ready to fall forward. I jumped up and at the same time telling him to sit up buddy. His Parkinson’s has taken so much strength from him, that sitting up has now become a struggle. I was able to catch him, and with his and my help he was once again sitting in a pretty good position. The nurse walked in as I was helping Al and looked at me, and I explained about the Parkinson’s and not being steady anymore. She said oh.
The vitals and EKG were completed, and the nurse left the room. In a few moments the doctor came in. I have to tell you about this doctor. I think that she is probably the most intelligent doctor I have ever met in my life. Not only is she very smart, she is very compassionate and shows Al much gentleness. I wish she could be Al’s doctor for all his problems, like an all-in-one doctor, but this isn’t going to happen. She explained to Al and me that his tests all looked good. She listened to his heart and then sat down at her desk.
She tells me that she is going to take Al off some of his medications. She says that the heart is staying stable at this point, and that she sees no reason for us to keep coming back as often, unless we need her for some pains he may have later on. She goes down the list of his medications, which is always a lengthy list, and starts placing check marks beside a few. She tells me that he can not be taken off of his heart medications, that could place him in danger. She explained that she was interested more at this time in his comfort.
I understood, or I thought I understood what she was saying. Al off some of his medications?, great! Less side effects, less pills, heart is doing alright.
We had another appointment right after leaving here, so I ask Al if he has to use the restroom before we leave, and he nods yes, and then he yells out of the blue, aren’t you going to tell her about my pain? I told him I had already told her, and that she was doing all that she could to help him. His tears fell there and he said, that he knew he was going to have this pain until the day he died.
After Al left the room to use the restroom, the doctor tells me that she has seen major changes in his Parkinson’s. She explains to me that she is merely interested in his comfort. Yes, she told me this before, and I so appreciate her caring. She then tells me, that we are in the comfort level now. I looked at her, not knowing for sure what she was trying to tell me, and she says it most likely will not be the heart that takes Al, it will be the Parkinson’s. She says it is so important from now on to make sure Al is as comfortable as possible. The light switch went on, and I got it. I knew what she was saying. She puts her arms around me and gives me a hug, and tells me she is here for me, that all I have to do is call.
Al came back and the conversation ended, with the doctor and I agreeing to bring back Al in six months for a check up, unless I found at six months I didn’t need her. I told the receptionist I would call in at a later time to make the appointment as we were almost late for the next one.
On the way out of the building, I did the only thing that could possibly comfort me the most, which was to light up a cigarette. I know how it sounds, but for me, it is what works. It replaces the tears. Al doesn’t have to wonder what is wrong by seeing my tears and get all concerned.
We went to the Podiatrist next and I showed the doctor his toenail that has been gray for a month now. He tells me that it is the circulation from his tremors and his Parkinson’s. He explains to Al and me that it will probably fall off before long.
So now today, it is only noon time, and I have learned too much already. I am ready for a nap but can not take one. There is family here and Al is awake. My time to block out my new information will have to be placed on hold.