No Story Here, Just An Itch


The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz (1939) (Photo credit: twm1340)

This is a blow steam off short blog. No story, just release.

For the last several month and even now my brother picks. For some reason the past couple of days his picking has increased from medium to high-speed. Every single time I look at him, his hands are picking each others fingers, or nails, or he has his hands rubbing his forehead, and rubbing it until he makes his skin red. I have also seen him rubbing his arms, just searching for a tiny bump or something to pick.

It is driving me nuts! I have made numerous suggestions to him to get his mind occupied with doing something other than pick. I have offered to walk beside him while he rides his scooter, just offered to have him go ride his scooter alone. I have bought him so many replicas of old-time cars. He has enough that he can look at them, study them, but he won’t take them out of their boxes. He just lines them on his shelf, and there they sit. He has so many pieces of Coca-Cola, I can not even count them, but they sit. His collection of price guide books mainly sit on his bed beside him, once in a while I see him pick one up.

I have also noticed that he isn’t really digesting any of his Bible anymore. Instead, he flips through the pages.

I hesitate anymore to take him to the shopping stores, as he cries constantly, because he has lost the idea on how to make those scooters work, or which way to turn the wheel if he wants to turn down an aisle, so even though we are there, my mind is wishing I was back at home.

I know the reasons, but can’t fix them. The Parkinson’s has ripped his meaning of life apart. He has no desires for anything in this world any longer. He loves to talk about things he used to do, but I can not allow him to do these anymore, because most of them require out-of-town driving. I have given in and bent over backwards for him, but I hate driving. I always have. Out of town driving is worse for me, as it can cause my old-time panic attacks to return. There are some things I just won’t give in to, in order to protect my own health.

I can not change his views on life, because he doesn’t want them changed. He likes sitting in his recliner, in his room, with little or no lights on and just the TV light on for him. He is getting to the place where he wants to be alone most of the time, and my mind is telling me this is not good for him, that it can cause him more emotional pains and drama.

Today, I am ready to give in. I am ready to take my mind and let it go. I am tired of trying to please him, tired of trying to be more creative than yesterday, tired of spending unneeded monies to bring those smiles.

The weird thing for me to understand is the talk. When people are here, he talks a mile a minute, about cars and places he used to go. I have tried taking him to revisit his past with the car shows, but once we get there, the tears start, as he is not able to thoroughly enjoy his time out, so we come back home. I end up frustrated, sometimes angry, and just want him to leave me alone, and let me take a nap.

This sounds like the old wicked witch from the movie, The Wizard Of Oz, speaking, but I needed to release, so  I can continue the day by fixing his lunch. I know he is in his room now, counting down the minutes until he can come out to eat.

Although I always tell him he doesn’t need to stay in his room, he doesn’t want to be out here.

Is it me, his dad, his illness? I don’t know, and right now I just don’t care.

Darn, this sounds bad, but I am really a loving sister with an itch to bitch.

48 thoughts on “No Story Here, Just An Itch

  1. ok I will be bold a bit but here me out i have some tools for you to check out and then get back to me after you have checked them out. go to Andrew Wommack ministries and check these things out GOD WANTS US WELL , SELF CENTEREDNESS THE SOURCE OF ALL GRIEF. AND I AM SURE YOU WILL FIND OTHERS YOU MAY BE ABLE TO USE. Check these out and then get back to me I think they would help.

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    • alright, i will, thanks, b back soon

      i have went back through the devotions to dec 31 and i see neither of these. can u send me the link? i have also signed up for his emails. also you can just tell me what it is that you are wanting to say, whichever you prefer

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      • go to Andrew’s website and look in the store as well you go to the tv broadcast and click on 2021 and you will see all he has done for the year so far and the book God wants you well is in the book store on his website, I know it is hard taking care of your brother but think of it this way you are ministering to him by actions of love and kindness, understanding and compassion. I am not saying it is easy, but think of it this way as well, Do you think it is easy for God to take care of a creation ready to reject, mock and rebel in his face. No but he is moved with compassion and understanding and that is the very way we need to live our lives.

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      • i see what you are saying and i do take very good care of Al, but sometimes i get tired, real tired , and it is easier to let go here then let Al see me upset

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      • thank you Robbie so much for all of your help. your website link is wonderful. i always think of you and Al when I read your stories or hear from you in my replies, that you would have so much patience with Al. i think u r pretty terrific!

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  2. Hmmm I have my daughters fiancee here 24/7 they are squabbling like mad at the minute, the reason since uni finished for the summer six weeks ago they have been together constantly not seeing their friends and they have run out of things to actually talk about. They do like a lot of the same things but there are only so many conversations you can have over again. You say that he chats away to anyone else who comes over..could it be that he thinks you have nothing interesting to say he hasn’t heard before..that sounds bad but I hope you know how I mean it. I wondered how he reacted after you had your few hours of freedom was he bothered you went? Did he show any interest in hearing where you went without him? Most of the time when you have to go anywhere he is with you, he sees what you see I am just wondering if that is why he willingly engages more with other people coming in and whether if that is part of it you can try to find new topics that might draw him out?

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    • the doctors tell me the reason he is with me the way he is, is because he transferred all of his bad emotions to me when i became the caregiver. as you know from past blogs his dad never accepted him and so Al refuses to accept that i do love him. it sounds easy to say, but it is hard to live through a dead mans eyes

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      • I did wonder if it was that but I asked the other question just incase, it was why I asked if he had shown any interest in your free time I had hoped you would say yes because that would have at least offered possibilities for engaging him by bring him back guide to gallaries or musuems you may get to visit in your free hours but I guess that could also backfire in reminding him he cannot go to these places anymore. My grandad had alzheimers and a lot of it sounds quite similar in someways all I can say is hang in there realistically it will only get harder but despite differences in religion, country and time zones you have friends here that are only a click away whenever you need us

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      • and this is why i consider you a good friend, because you are always here to listen, and u never judge me, you are always supportive. hugs

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  3. It’s much better to vent in a safe environment here, than to let it loose on the potato salad :D. Glad to know you feel you can do so, and validation of your experiences is key. What you’re supporting is above and beyond any normal human being, and unless one is going through it, we really don’t understand your particular difficulties. We can only empathize, and be in awe of how much you have endured, and the next steps you take, I hope, for your self-care too as caregivers do experience high risks themselves. My concern, is for you, and the challenges one feels in someone else’s needs trumping their own. At the distress centre we say, you really can’t help others if you aren’t helping yourself first because in such we put our own mental well-being and health at risk. May you find the action, words, and moments of peace so very needed. Hugs to you.

    Pink.

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  4. Actually, Terry, this reminded me something about my father-in-law as he slipped farther into the dementia Alzheimer’s brings, and within 6 to 8 months before he passed. It is a lack of being able to focus to read or do anything that called for focus. My father-in-law quit picking up magazines to read, or the newspaper even though he used to read them all the time. He would instead “pick at things” Sometimes it would be his arms, or a chip in the kitchen table, or the button tufts on the sofa. He picked at those until he removed 2 of the 3 of the covers from the recliner portions of our sofa. He would find a hole in a afghan and pic at it until he made it bigger. When we had t move him up to my sister-in-law’s house, who is a nurse, he smoked and burnt holes in her sofa, then picked at the holes until he completely ruined it…but then he wouldn’t remember doing it. She told us this weekend that he completely quit doing the things he had enjoyed all his life, like going out to dinner with family, sitting outside on the porch, talking about flowers, plants, and trees. She agreed this weekend that it wasn’t the same dad she had known all her life. It was around this time of “picking” that we all noticed a change in his temperament. He was always a calm, laid back man and suddenly he was reacting in anger all the time. He would complain, pick fights and accuse everyone about being against him. Maybe it is time to find out if the dementia portion of Parkinsons is getting worse for Al. I suggest you keep a notebook of observations to share with the doctor.

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    • i never thought about this being a part of dementia until you drew my attention to it. tonight we went to walmart again, and once again he seemed confused as to how to use the scoooter. if he could just sit up straighter………it would help him, do u think this confusion, although he did use the scooter, but did it slow, like it was his first time, is also maybe dementia?

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      • I think it is quite possible. Like I suggested…get a notebook and start notating things like this, so when you go to the doctor next, you can show him what is happening and how often. It will help you explain it to them better. It will also help you remember each of them easier and see the progression yourself. As for him sitting up, you might see if the scooter has a back for him to lean back on, if your son can install a shoulder style seat belt on it that will hold Al sitting more upright. It might help him and give his legs some easing from freezing more, besides allowing him to eat easier when you are out. That confusion is a definate part of the dementia.

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      • thank u and i will get the notebook. the car, scooter, both have backs to the chairs, but Al can not lean his body backwards to touch it. the weakness from the Parkinson’s pulls him forward. I have thought of a seat belt type like infant seats, but so far nothing like it out in the shopping areas. in time, Al will not be able to hold his upper half body up at all, he will just fall over, which will require a wheel chair, or bed bound. his body will become limp like a wet noodle. see why i hate this disease?

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  5. I think you can only go with the flow…and not be trying so hard to make everything ‘perfect’ for Al…While you might not like to see him sit alone…if that’s what he prefers I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as he is and I’m sure he is …aware that you’d love him to come out of his room anytime. I think you do well at meeting his needs and if doing some of what you think he wants is only going to make him more unhappy in the end…then why do it and cause him and you more heartache. Do what is feasible and possible and don’t be concerned that you can’t do it all. YOU are important too you know!!!….Diane

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  6. Dear Terry we all know you are not a witch!! I think anyone in your situation would have had enough a long time ago!!!! You say you’re brother picks…what kind of dementia does he have? there is a form called pics disease, have you heard of that?

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  7. Here’s a better description
    All Information

    Alternative Names

    Semantic dementia; Dementia – semantic; Frontotemporal dementia; Arnold Pick’s disease
    Symptoms:

    The disease gets worse slowly. Tissues in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain start to shrink over time. Symptoms such as behavior changes, speech difficulty, and impaired thinking occur slowly, but continue to get worse.

    The early personality changes can help doctors tell Pick’s disease apart from Alzheimer’ s. (Memory loss is often the main, and earliest, symptom of Alzheimer’s.)

    People with Pick’s disease tend to behave the wrong way in different social settings. The changes in behavior continue to get worse and are often one of the most disturbing symptoms of the disease. Some patients will have more prominent difficulty with decision making, complex tasks, or language (trouble finding or understanding words or writing).

    General symptoms are listed below.

    Behavioral changes:

    Can’t keep a job
    Compulsive behaviors
    Inappropriate behavior
    Inability to function or interact in social or personal situations
    Problems with personal hygiene
    Repetitive behavior
    Withdrawal from social interaction

    Emotional changes:

    Abrupt mood changes
    Decreased interest in daily living activities
    Failure to recognize changes in behavior
    Failure to show emotional warmth, concern, empathy, sympathy
    Inappropriate mood
    Not caring about events or environment

    Language changes:

    Can’t speak (mutism)
    Decreased ability to read or write
    Difficulty finding a word
    Difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
    Repeat anything spoken to them (echolalia)
    Shrinking vocabulary
    Weak, uncoordinated speech sounds

    Neurological problems:

    Increased muscle tone (rigidity)
    Memory loss that gets worse
    Movement/coordination difficulties (apraxia)
    Weakness

    Other problems:

    Urinary incontinence

    Read more: http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000744sym.htm#ixzz1zaazPyIP

    Alternative Names

    Semantic dementia; Dementia – semantic; Frontotemporal dementia; Arnold Pick’s disease
    Symptoms:

    The disease gets worse slowly. Tissues in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain start to shrink over time. Symptoms such as behavior changes, speech difficulty, and impaired thinking occur slowly, but continue to get worse.

    The early personality changes can help doctors tell Pick’s disease apart from Alzheimer’ s. (Memory loss is often the main, and earliest, symptom of Alzheimer’s.)

    People with Pick’s disease tend to behave the wrong way in different social settings. The changes in behavior continue to get worse and are often one of the most disturbing symptoms of the disease. Some patients will have more prominent difficulty with decision making, complex tasks, or language (trouble finding or understanding words or writing).

    General symptoms are listed below.

    Behavioral changes:

    Can’t keep a job
    Compulsive behaviors
    Inappropriate behavior
    Inability to function or interact in social or personal situations
    Problems with personal hygiene
    Repetitive behavior
    Withdrawal from social interaction

    Emotional changes:

    Abrupt mood changes
    Decreased interest in daily living activities
    Failure to recognize changes in behavior
    Failure to show emotional warmth, concern, empathy, sympathy
    Inappropriate mood
    Not caring about events or environment

    Language changes:

    Can’t speak (mutism)
    Decreased ability to read or write
    Difficulty finding a word
    Difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
    Repeat anything spoken to them (echolalia)
    Shrinking vocabulary
    Weak, uncoordinated speech sounds

    Neurological problems:

    Increased muscle tone (rigidity)
    Memory loss that gets worse
    Movement/coordination difficulties (apraxia)
    Weakness

    Other problems:

    Urinary incontinence

    Read more: http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000744sym.htm#ixzz1zaazPyIP

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  8. So thankful, Angel Terry, that you can come here and talk some, get some relief. It just helps sometimes. I don’t have any advice for you about Al, but am cheering you on, because i know you are doing your best, and that is all you can do. love you!

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  9. Terry, my dad also went through the picking at his hands, rubbing them together. It was part of his Alzheimer’s. Feel free to vent – I know I did my fair share of that! Hugs to you for being a blessing to your brother. You may not feel it, but on some level his is very appreciative! I know I had to look at my dad and how he tried to communicate differently. Every once in a while, I could see my dad in his eyes! Hang tough!

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    • i don’t seem to be able to get him to stop no matter what i offer to keep his hands busy, nothing works. thank u for understanding me and where i am coming from

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  10. I just read all of the comments – very useful information. But I think, Terry, that you are so hard on yourself. You can’t make Al better and you can’t make his life any better than you already have. In reality, you are his angel, even though he sometimes doesn’t perceive you to be. You are the closest person to him so of course you are the one who is the recipient of all of his frustration and angst. Go easy on yourself and let yourself be distressed or sad in front of him. I sobbed my head off in front of Ants the other day and it actually cleared the air between us and we discussed all the crap together which was a good thing.

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  11. Terry,

    you have a loving and kind nature and because of that you want to help Al and take away all that he is going through. The only problem is you can’t take it all away. I’m sure none of us can even understand much of what he is going through. No one knows how depressing it must be to have a body that no longer responds to our minds commands. And then to top it off to have a mind tht is slowly being taken away. His load is indeed heavy and because of your love and concern for him… it is a heavy load for you as well.

    I think you are doing all you can to help him (more than most people could bring themselves to do). As hard as it is.. you will NEVER regret what you are doing for him. The Lord is using you to be a blessing to him and the Lord will bless you for all your efforts. Keep in mind, although NONE of us can understand what you and AL are going through… the Lord does understand. All your efforts towards Al will not go unnoticed or unrewarded. Lord bless you. I’m prayin.

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    • your prayers are what i appreciate the most, but your understanding goes deep into my heart. to know that you and others care is a wonderful feeling for me. thank you for this kind and warm comment. god bless you and hugs from me to you

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  12. sigh, i have somewhat the same problem – ‘brother issues’ – thanks for reminding me to breathe and realize his problem with me is more like my ‘problem’ with myself expressed via his (in my opinion) lackadaisical attitude towards life – again my problem, not his; he’s just living his life in a way that seems convenient to/for him

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    • i have issues with one son, because of a divorce. the guilt i let him cause me sickens me. it makes me feel weak, i make decisions then kick myself. how can i let another human control me emotionally like this?

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      • riddle me this: how can you stop loving him, regardless? answer: you can’t – i know because that’s pretty much where i find myself (if i allow myself to go that way,which i try my best not to)

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      • he seems to b a child who thinks the world owes him, and since the divorce he can b pretty mean mouthed and hurtful. i hate it

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      • there are reasons for his behavior that have nothing to do with you, stay calm and remember he has to live his life in a way he chooses, you must remember that you and only you are responsible for how you react to them. granted the actions of others can move us in ways we later regret, but momentarily refuse to acknowledge, but in the end we are responsible for our reactions to their actions and must maintain our belief that we are not the person they are alienating, nor should we respond in kind to their actions

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