Josh Groban


I continue to think positive about my day today. The caregiver is bathing Al and I take my daughter’s advice and stash the world away and pray and inspire myself through the music I have come to believe in. I pray for a strong mind and firm look at life today.

 

 

 

flower blooming

A Day Once Again Has Begun


A new day has dawned. I had 30 minutes all to myself before the caregiver arrived. I washed my face and then stared at the reflection looking back at me. Who was that woman?

I didn’t get any twinkle in the eyes. The mouth was in a neutral position. She stared at me as I gawked at her. I knew her once. I thought I knew her well.

Being a caregiver can make you another person that without realizing it, you suddenly do not recognize. My hair is the same color, but messy. My shoulders are slumped instead of proud.

I looked away as she did too. Putting that face far from my mind, I went into the kitchen and made some fresh coffee. I fed the cat and cleaned the cat box. I can do this without thought, just a motion that has become a habit.

As the coffee perked, I went in and looked on Al. The familiar breathing that we do without thinking, has  changed and I now stare and watch for rhythm. There were no even tones.

What once was smooth has now become sporadic. What was once taken for granted is now always in question. I walked out of his room, positive he is still alive and grab myself a cup of hot coffee.

It taste so good. Hot and fresh, a new cup, like a new day. A new beginning of this thing called life. I sit here and look outside the window as I try to guess what today may bring. Then I see the familiar car pulling into the drive-way. The sound of Rhino, our cat comes to me wanting his first petting of the morning. Life, a mysterious, taken for granted, takes place once again. I take a deep breath as I walk to the door and open it with a relaxed smile on my face. The moment of thought is gone and the day has begun once again.

new day

Life is Not Cut and Dried


Today, there were issues with Al’s catheter. I asked the nurse to come out and help me, which she did. After taking his vitals the only change she saw in him is his pulse, or heart beat.

For Al, he has had a heart attack along with Angina. He also has tremors on the inside of his chest wall lining. His heart is probably the weakest of all his organs.

Al doesn’t give the regular cues that doctors and nurses look for in a dying patient. MSA constantly keeps people confused and feeling like they are water skiing or big waves. Yesterday, the nurse said Al was worse. Today she said it could be hours, days or maybe weeks.

All the nurses believe Al is worse. Even I believe he is declining by the day. He has lost so much weight I can see very clearly his hip bones, shoulder bones, his jaw lines. Just about any bone visible to his eye.

But when the nurses come and they check his vitals, they go mainly on what those are for that day. Instead of saying he is an hour to hour, she now said days. I let out a sigh, then instantly felt guilt.

I don’t want my brother to go at all, if, he was in a healthy state. But the daily task of taking care of a person who may follow with his eyes, your body walk through his room or a once in a while whisper is very tiring.

You can pick up Al’s arms and they are like a bowl of jello. His legs are heavier than all get out because they are totally limp. When the body becomes limp it actually feels heavier than ever.

Turning him from side to side is a huge issue and takes a great deal of strength.  He takes liquids through a syringe and is down to about a half a syringe per drink. Food and drink are held at bay and not given unless Al request it. The reason being everything that goes into  his mouth goes directly to his lungs. Aspiration is the worst way to die, and believe me not feeding him as usual makes me feel like a monster. Keeping food and water from him makes me feel terrible.

But I have seen someone aspirate to death and it is an ugly sight to see and for this reason alone, I will obey the nurse for Al’s sake.

When the nurse said maybe days, maybe hours, I just fell apart. I suddenly heard myself telling my girlfriend to go home. Oh I don’t really want her to go home, but I realize she has a husband, dog and grandchildren, plus the comfort of her own bed at night. She has her crafts and friends.

How could I keep her constantly here when there is no real ending in sight. She fought it emotionally for a while but I convinced her to take the break from here. I love her enough to send her home so she can take that break a way from the hell here in this house.

Al’s doctors believe 100% that Al’s heart will just quit. If I have some sort of notice I will make a phone call to my friend, and she will return without hesitation. This is the gift of friendship. I know that nightly she will call. I know she will always be here. We have an understanding of each other. Over 30 years of friendship has built a rock of foundation between the two of us.

So the house is quiet today since she left. The caregiver didn’t show up today so it is Al and me. I am still taking my medication. I am cleaning here at home. I have a window open for the first time to air out the house since it is almost 40 degrees outside. I have enjoyed watching the icicles fall from other homes, and seeing the snow melt from house roofs. It is a sure hint that this winter too shall  pass and once again flowers will pop and bloom and green grass shall show itself once again.

New life will once again breathe and hope will be strengthened in our hearts. For today, I am strong. Today, I have hope for a new life for Al and myself. Tonight or tomorrow may bring a different story as MSA shows it ugly self in so many ways.

Life is not cut and dried. I have learned this through my own experiences and watching this illness take over Al, but for now, I am calm.

flower blooming

Daily Prompt; But No Cigar


http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CLOSE.

This is the story of my life. Almost, could have, should have; and yet I know within my heart, I am where I am supposed to be at this moment.

I almost had the perfect place to live and yet something wasn’t quite right. I still dream of it. I can still see it in my mind. The beautiful land, the friendly people, caring family near by. But at that point, it wasn’t meant to be, but still hoping.

I almost had the perfect long-term marriage. Almost but no cigar. The saying goes if you can remain married for the first five years you have a great chance of success. How about almost 18 years of marriage? What about the best deal and yet mid-life crisis wins.

I almost found the perfect mate in my life. Great looking, kind eyes, good attitude. But the potatoes always fall out of the bag and to find out he was married, spoiled the whole sack.

I have no regrets. I have learned many things. I realize God is using me in ways I don’t always understand. When the moment is right, when all is in place, I will have or recognize that I always was in the right place at the right time.

 

 

 

cigar

Look Outside the Box


Life is hard here at home. You all know it by following my blog. I try very hard to find one thing that I can see to show me life is still alive and hope is still something I can cling to.

Today, I raced down to the mailbox to see if a gift has arrived that Al; http://kattermonran.com, has arranged for my brother, Al.

When I came back I heard some strange sounds. I looked up into the skies and these were flying in circles above our house. I hurried inside and grabbed my good friend, my camera and stood outside waiting for them to return. Here is what I captured.

If you don’t take time to notice the small stuff, you won’t ever appreciate the big stuff………..T.S.

geesegeese 2

Ray of Sun Among the Clouds


Life is still running here at home. Last night wasn’t that fun for Al and it certainly rubbed off on me making me sad also. Al had a visitor and he cried and spoke about death the entire time. Before long I was crying like a big baby.

I swear in my heart which I may be protecting myself or I really don’t know but these changes in Al are due to the medicine changes and not his illness. But who knows, only God.

He slept about four hours and then was awake on and off the rest of the night. His one leg is contracted now so that it lays on its side, and then both knees are hugging each other. I imagine it has to hurt. I have noticed that his whole body is just sort of shriveling? I don’t know if that is the correct word but this contraction thing is for the birds.

He is starting on a new medication today to try to help the bones while the contraction is going on. It, of course is going to make him drowsy and may affect his vision, the paper work says.

Just what we don’t need. He is already suffering from blurry vision and is zoning in and out most of the time. I worry about tomorrow as he goes to Day Program how he will get through it. I will be asking him if he really feels like going.

Today Al received some more Christmas Cards. One of them is musical and lights up. Two of the other cards are made by children, which these cards are so adorable. One card is for me.

So I want to thank,

Rosy S,

Alex S.

Victoria S.

and Cheryl W.

Thank-you all. Al holds his cards like they are precious cargo. You are all so kind to him and me. Big hugs

 

christmas tree3

Daily Prompt; Six of One, Half a Dozen of Other


http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/daily-prompt-six/, DP, Daily Prompt

Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SIX.

My future holds nothing more than what God is willing to give me. Until the last breath I take I will have;

1. food on my tableFarm to Table053

2. A roof over my head.roof

3. A book available to me with all answers.bible

4. A promise that I will be able to deal with every problem the world throws at me.globe

5. A promise that I will never walk alone.god and me

6. The guarantee of going to heaven if I only believe, trust and accept.heaven

Everything else that happens in my life between this second and my last breath is icing on the cake.icing