Three Strikes, Almost Out!


This morning started off bad again. Please do not say I have no patience, I do, and besides, many of you say I have a lot of patience, but this full-circle talk is starting to test my patience.

Al was quiet this morning when he got up, which is a bad sign to me in the first place. No wave of the hand and no smile. I think maybe his tremors have kept him up too late again, as I snuck in and checked on him at three am and he was still up. He is taking prescription sleeping aids to help him sleep past the tremors, but obviously, they do not work.

After his breakfast was over he came over and sat on the couch near me. He began by showing me a new bruise he had on his leg. Actually, I could not see it, even when he pointed to it. I had to get up, turn the over head lights on and then I saw a new bruise the size of a pea.

This went from the bruise to two hours of crying and the negativity of his life. I heard that I want him out of the house. I want to live here alone. I don’t care about why he has Parkinson’s. I won’t make the doctors fix it. He can’t do anything anymore. He can’t make his bed. He can barely walk. This list was so long, I don’t have enough fingers to count the remarks he made.

I once again, and I don’t know how many conversations we have shared, told him all the good things that he should be thankful for. He can walk, he says not good. He can feed himself, he says too slow. He can still use the bathroom, he says he struggles. No matter what positive thing I said, he found a way to throw it back at me. I couldn’t take it anymore, and went to my bedroom, and this one time I slammed the door. Yes, it is still on its hinges! It gave me a release. It freed me of my wanting to go out and slash my worst enemies tires! It saved me from digging in the winter garments for my old set of ear-muffs. It felt so good. As I slammed my door, I heard him exclaim, see, you don’t care about me, you left me sitting here alone. I ignored it and laid my head down on my pillow. I knew that it would welcome my company and wrap itself around me.

It became lunch time, and I had to pick-up medications again at the pharmacy. Since this is Al’s favorite place to eat, I planned on eating here also. Here is a photo shot I took today while we were eating. I mention this place so much, I thought maybe you wanted to see what it was like.

As we were walking back to the lunch counter, Al was pretty buckled at the knee. I reminded him to stand as tall as he can so he won’t fall, and this brought more tears, and a loud what did I do now? I didn’t do anything? I asked him to lower his voice, and we did make it back to our seats.

I told my son about it earlier this evening, and he said as long as Al can do it, let him be. I got on the defense immediately, explaining I didn’t want for Al to fall and I felt I needed to remind him. Son says, I am taking away his manhood, that Al feels like I am bossing him. I have thought this over tonight, and can’t decide if I am right, or son is. I hate to see Al fall, and if I don’t say anything and he does fall, will I feel guilty? Should I just let him live his illness in peace, and stay out of the voicing concern areas? I don’t know yet. What do you think? I understand my son’s view, and I get mine also.

So, my son and family came down to grill out. Everything went well. Al didn’t want to eat outside. He prefers the table, because his nose is an inch from his plate now, which makes it easier for him not to spill food, so I let him eat alone, but turned the TV on for his company. They stayed for a short time afterwards, and then decided to head for home. As they were gathering left overs and children, Al was already struggling to get up off of the couch, and before they were all out of the door, he was gone, back to his room.

Do you have any idea how this makes me feel when he does this? I have had to deal with this now for almost five years. I know what all the doctors have said. He has transferred his feelings for dad straight to me, so he doesn’t see me as a friend, more of a boss, even though I try hard to guide gently, and not sound bossy. The way he makes me feel though, is that I am not worthy, period. Only others are worthy of his time. I have been working on getting rid of this attitude of him not wanting to be around me, and actually, I am not too much better at it than I was five years ago. I still have room for growth so maybe one day I will finally accept this for what it is.

So this was our day. Looking forward to meeting my pillow once again, and starting everything all over again tomorrow.

37 thoughts on “Three Strikes, Almost Out!

  1. I am so sorry. You have so much on your plate right now. I don’t know much about Al’s illness, but maybe talking with him when he is calmer would help? I think you are an amazing person to do all you do for Al. Just know I am thinking of you…..

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  2. My sister has a similar problem since her husband had a stroke last year. He should always use a walker but he is stubborn and so my sister has to walk behind him and hold onto his shirt or walk beside and keep him steady… he makes like she is fussing but when she doesn’t do it he’s looking for her….she gets so frustrated and like you, is afraid he will fall if she doesn’t watch him…. You are Al’s caregiver, not just his sister and he needs to be made aware of that…If you weren’t responsible for his well-being you wouldn’t be so aware. He can’t have it both ways. Either you’re an onlooker like the rest of the family or you’re his caregiver.Perhaps you can make him and your son also aware of that fact …In any case hang in there Terry…Diane

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    • i trust your words so often, that it makes me smile, that you agree with me. i am not wanting to be the nice visitor with Al. I want to be his caregiver first, and sister second. his illness has progressed to being caregiver first! thank you Diane. I have talked to my son til i m blue in the face, but i will keep trying…….

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  3. I am so glad you slammed the door – good to show Al you have feelings! I think, too, if your son lived with Al he would have better wisdom about how wonderful you are to Al. I lost my temper with Anthony the other day and after he was quite remorseful and realized how hard it is (he was giving me constant guilt trips etc.)
    Keep on slamming the door – you deserve to be mad and to have emotions and be yourself and not always at everyone’s beck and call. Go Terry!

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  4. “Tomorrow is another day! May God bless and keep you in His peace. When things get like this for me, as I also have people who I take care of who are very ill, I always tell Jesus, “Jesus please take me into your Sacred Heart and do not let me out until this is over?” I just go there in my spirit and for me it works. God Bless, SR

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  5. I don’t think there is a right or wrong here. A no-win situation as Al is feeling so down. You do your best and that is all you can do. I’m sure your son was trying to help, but really you need to do the balancing act and no one can judge better than you can, being the carer.

    Would it help to point out to Al that his blaming you for everything (when you are trying so hard for him) makes you depressed too, or is he too tied up in his own misery at the moment? He doesn’t seem to have any concern for your feelings. Maybe point out that you are not his father and you don’t want to be arguing but working together. I imagine that this is probably not welcome at the moment, but maybe one day when he feels better?

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    • i have reminded me i am not dad so many times. i have never told him how sad this makes me feel when he talks to negative, and i think maybe i should let him know. thank you for this help!!!

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  6. I am sorry Al see’s the need to transfer his frustrations to you, but it is part of the illness and as his caregiver you get the brunt of it. I could tell you, as I was told, when life gives you a load of lemons, make lemonade but that won’t make you feel any better.
    When you were a professional caregiver, you were able to take the personal out of it, with your brother you can’t take the sister out of the picture as easy. I guess you could tell him he is right, but if I didn’t care, why am I still here caring for you? He might see the light, but I also feel he would then turn the conversation to something else he feels he lost. You do the best you can with what you have. Maybe you should tell him that – I am doing the best I can rather than stick you in an assisted living facility.
    As always I pray for your strength and Al’s comfort.

    ♥

    Ed

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    • i wonder how he would feel if i told him he is making me so sad with his talk that i may have to consider placement for him………….worth a try Ed. i am game for any new help from you. thank you

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  7. Maybe, your son is right – maybe you should step back and let Al do everything in his own passe and time. Just keep an eye on a distance – you have spoiled him with taking care of everything and in a way thinking for him too. At least give it a go and see if that will change his behavior. Let Al come to you .. like he did on the sofa. That will make you more free too.

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  8. Terry,

    Terry there is no easy answer that is for sure…. if you back off and let him do everything he can… chances are he will interpret that as you not caring about him and not wanting him around. If you continue down the same path, you continue to be Als punching bag.

    I am sure that Al has to be horribly depressed…. he has to vent to someone. I know from your writings you understand that. Unfortunately, he is not venting in an approrpriate way, therefore you get hurt in the process.

    You know Al and the situation there much better than I, so just like all the other advice you are given, you must take it with a grain of salt and do what you think is best.

    My only suggestion would be to try to talk to Al and openly explain to him EXACTLY what you are feeling. How much you love him, how much you care about his welfare, how much you hurt for him and you cannot fully understand all he is going through, how much he hurts and depresses you when he goes on and on about his issues….. stuff like that.

    If nothing else, you can know you tried to reason with him and you have tried to be open and honest with him. Although he is hurting and in horrible straits, he is an adult as well. As long as he is mentally capable he is responsible for how he treats you and should at least be told, kindly, what he is doing to you.

    Also, because he is an adult you cannot control what he does. Your options are limited if he does not respond to your honesty then your only choice is to remove yourself from the situation, just as you did and go behind closed doors. You cannot stop him from saying and doing what he does… but likewse, you do not have to sit continually and take it either.

    Like I said these are ust some thoughts I have but I do not know your exact situation…. do what you think is best. Just know I continue to pray daily and pray that things will be better even today.

    Lord bless you..

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  9. Somehow I’ve always had two images in my mind where your “eatery offices” were concerned – Modern when I see you and Al heading to the tables to eat, and semi-modern when I picture the counter. Here’s a hug or twenty for all the trouble you’ve been through today. Even the best of us have had our patience eaten away by constant bickering, upsets, and frustrations. So I expect you will slam a door every now and then. Don’t be discouraged just yet. Both you and Son are correct. Al is frustrated, and he feels like he can do nothing right and that his body is betraying him. Your gentle counsels will sometimes prey on his insecurities, so maybe try seeing him like a child who’s now learning to tie his laces by himself, or button up his own clothes, or running up the stairs when you say not to . He can’t do them as well as he would like, but he wants to try first before asking for help. So let him do it while holding his hand, keeping them steady, If he doesn’t want to walk the way you suggest, offer him your shoulder to hold on to, he still gets to feel independent, and you’re still getting to keep him safe. I don’t know if I’m saying everything in a way that helps, and you’ve probably tried this already too. For now, just hold on. I don’t think words will help him get out of his self-pity and frustration, and he’s used to having you cater to his every need, so maybe a gentle reminder that you’ve always taken care of him might help him, you know, cute memories, fun ones. You won’t always be able to get him out of the self-absorbed state, so when he’s going full blown maybe put on one of those Bible story shows – the cartoon ones (I can’t help watching them 😉 ), and see if you can divert his attention. Hope something I’ve said helps. <3<3<3

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    • a lot of things you have said helps, the shoulder offered, the bible cartoons. i think i am stepping a little too much in trying to keep him safe. there is a middle ground here from what you have said, and i need to find it. thank you for your help. i appreciate it so much

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  10. Terry, your son needs to understand that if Al falls then he will be embarrassed by his lack of ability to stand right because of Parkinsons and then it will set off another fit of depression, worse than than how he felt about you telling him to stand up as straight as he can. You reminding Al how to overcome his inabilities at things is an act of caring not bossiness. You live with Al’s disabilities 24/7 so who knows best. Also the next time you are reminding Al of what he can still do, tell him…”You can still be the wonderful and loving Al that is inside of you and that God made you to be.” I don’t believe he will have a comeback for that, and it will give him something to think about. I remind myself daily of this fact when I get frustrated with my own inabilities, and my husband often reminds me of it when he sees that I’m frustrated…like last night…lol.

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  11. Sweety you are doing everything right. I know how you feel and am close to every story you write here. Al is taking his anger out on you because our loved ones are the easiest ones to do this too because we know that they love us and will forgive us for doing so. Your the closest to him and so it is unfortunately you he turns to to rid of his anger. I know sometimes it does not seem fair but it is what it is. They know they can do this because we love them unconditionally and they do not mean too do this either they just need a out a way to vent. And they would much prefer to say these things to us than to someone who does not know them. Al loves you and does appreciate all you do. He knows that without you he would really be alone. And if and when his time does come he may express this to you himself. And prob even say I am sorry. And that he loves you very much. Right now he needs you for everything and to anyone that is and can be frustrating when we can no longer do for ourselves. Makes us feel like we are worthless and a burden. Like that person would be better off without them. Please know this is what it is and always keep it in mind. You are soooo strong and will get through this. Your a strong caring loving warm human being and Al is very lucky to have you as his sister. Take care sweety……….Tracy

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    • o bless your heart Tracy. you have just said a lot of the things I have said to Al in the past hour. I am going to blog about it, so I won’t ruin it for you by telling you now. I have always wondered if he loves me, but I know that he loved his dad, but hated him at the same time, and maybe this is the way he feels towards me too. i will keep going forth until i can do no more to comfort him at all. hugs tracy

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  12. They always say you hurt the one you love…and I know Al loves you…You always come back and take care of him and he knows it…He just has to have some way to let off steamto…and you are the only one near…That’s just the jest of it…Just do your best…all anyon can do…take care…(as much as you can) if it is slamming a door or two…~mkg

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