Give Me The Strength Of Two


Walmart

Is it time to think of alternatives?  I don’t know how much more I can take of not being able to physically help Al anymore.

Here is what happened just now.  I hadn’t had Al out of the house today, although he decided to go out by himself. He said he was going to ride his scooter, and I saw him leave, but in five minutes he was back. I then saw him sit on the outdoor couch, and it took him great effort to lift his legs upon the couch, but I held my cool. I didn’t rush out to help him like I usually do, I wanted him to do it himself, if at all possible.

Al also decided, without telling me, that he was going to shave with his electric razor. Now I don’t think this is a bad thing, EXCEPT, he shaves in one spot over and over, until the skin becomes raised, raw, and red. It takes a lot of medicating from me to get the skin back to normal. I just wish he would let me do it, but I  understand his wanting to complete a task for himself, but today, he went one step further. He decided to eject the short trimmer piece on the razor, and proceed to clip his mustache. When he came out to show me, I didn’t know whether to flip out, smile and say nothing, or let my eyeballs pop out! I chose door number two. I said GREAT JOB AT TRYING BUD!. He lets me know that he didn’t get it exactly right because he messed up. I had no choice but to agree on this, so now when I look at Al, I try very hard not to cock my head to the side, in order to see a straight mustache.

Tonight, for supper we went to Wal-Mart, because each of us needed a set of sheets for our beds, so we got two pairs, that we could each interchange on the beds, in colors that we both liked. I also know there is a Subway inside the store, and to save Al’s strength, we did the all-in-one thing, one store, one shopping.

After we ate, which I should say we did first, then shopped, and we got the sheets, we lazily went over to the grocery aisle. Now most of you know what the super center Wal-Mart look like. It is like looking over to the other side of grand canyon. It never ends, and we were at the back of the store, by the eggs and milk area.

All of a sudden Al is crying, and he is saying my back, my back! I look back at him and  he is leaning like the leaning tower, so far over, I can not see the steering column of the scooter any longer. I do a quick assessment, and decide his back is hurting from being bent over too far. I ask him to please try to sit up, and he listens and sits up, but only for a couple of seconds and back down he goes.

I mentally take note of what I absolutely have to have from the grocery part, so I do not  have to take Al back out for a while, and with my prompting over and over for him to sit up straight, he and I make it through the necessary aisles, while Al is crying and this time everyone is watching that is near by, because Al is out of control totally.

There is no going back and no going forth, we are stuck right there a third of the way from the registers.  He has lost all interests of listening and understanding, so I get behind Al and I hold his body upright, while he manuevers the scooter towards the registers.

Don’t ask me why, but I am getting darn sick and tired of rude people!! People will not move out-of-the-way, if they are talking, kids running all over the store, me almost running one of them down tonight! I don’t expect special rules to be taken towards us, but if you see a grown man crying, and an older woman hanging on to the back of his shirt, trying to hold him up in a scooter, don’t you think they would get the hell out-of-the-way???

We make it to the registers, and I place all of our goodies on the counter, and we pay and we finally make it through the doors of the all for one and one for all store. Awww, peace and quiet. no, wait, hang on a minute, not another disaster, what?

At the car, as I am placing all the groceries and non-edibles in the trunk, Al takes it upon himself to get off of the scooter and make his way to the passenger side of the car. Now, if I was watching this scene from another car, I would call the police, complaining of a drunk man walking the parking lot. Al is bouncing off the car, back into the car, and then trips and falls. He is in his frozen mode!

I throw my keys and my purse into the trunk, no wait stupid, don’t put your keys in the trunk, so I grab them and go to Al, and check him over. No, God watched over him, no scrapes, or blood. I get him into the car and get him buckled up and his tears turn into storms. I could do nothing more, or I didn’t have the energy to stand their and watch the rain inside the car, and I had nothing to say. I walked back to the trunk, and finished loading the gold, oh, sorry, I mean the pricey bags into the trunk, and we left and came home. He went to his bedroom and pulled out of his closet, the lift, the fat gadget, that you sit on top of the toilet, so you can sit easier? Yes, you know what I mean, the high-rise seat! Between Al’s enlarged prostate issues he has had for a couple of years, and the Parkinson’s not letting him go number one, he ends up bent in a half curtsey position, waiting for the process to start. I guess he got tired of his knees bending, so he is using the lift I bought him with no arguments anymore.

He just came out, as I am finishing this story up, and said to me, why is this Parkinson’s wanting to kill me.

My time is up on here, and now I need to go sit on his bed and listen to more of why he and I can’t fix it.

48 thoughts on “Give Me The Strength Of Two

  1. Have you tried getting a sitter for a few hours at least once a week anymore?… where you can at least grocery shop in peace…Al is not enjoying the outings it sounds like…so maybe trying to lessen his goings to once a week…might be a good idea…Do you have a friend, neighbor or church member who knows Al??? t…hat could do this just for an hour or two…Just wondering…sometimes they can put this in the church bulletin…~mkg

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  2. Now you see why I call you an angel? God bless you and give you strength and wisdom as you care for Al. Praying for Al that peace that passes understanding. love and prayers!

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  3. I really don’t know how you even get the courage to take on going out like that to the stores etc. I know you feel that you must try for Al’s sake but it’s got to be draining on you emotionally and physically. It will be hard to keep this pace of living up but then you already know that I’m sure.My heart goes out to Al….Prayers of course will be with you both..take care as best you can…Diane

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    • it is, and all this because i needed my eggs for breakfast and was out. if this weather would chill down some, i could get a hold of the respite caregiver and see if she can come help, but when it is triple digits, i don’t even want to go out. thank you for the prayers Diane, i am thinking prayers are all that is left

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  4. Your Al and my Anthony have very different personalities but exactly the same disease and the experience you describe here reminds me of when I got to the point where it was getting impossible and we had to look into the nursing home thing. Do it.

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  5. You had a rough night! I think you should see if there is a way to put a shoulder style seat belt on that scooter to keep Al from falling forward so far. I understand though why you give Al the option to try himself. It is the same way Don is with me. He allows me to try to do things myself with the option to ask for help if I need it. I am in a different situation than Al, because fibro doesn’t affect my ability to think things through clearly. I may get frustrated by the limits it puts on me, but I’m able to realize those limits and am not embarrassed to ask for help when necessary. You were there though when he needed you.

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    • i don’t know if Al doesn’t get it that he can ask me for help or if he doesn’t want to ask, may be a little of both. for the first time today, he has ventured into trying to do things without even letting me know what he was up to, like the trimming the mustache. i always think things can not progress much more, with his weakness, but his mind is still active, but not always on the right path

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      • He’s just trying to regain a feeling of independence, maybe even trying to show the illness that it isn’t going to hold him down. Maybe you could find a barber or one of these new special shops for men where they do the hair, facial hair, and even give a nice shoulder massage. My father-in-law refused to let me do his hair even though I’m trained to do men’s and women’s hair. So I found this new men’s shop in town and talked my husband into letting me make appointments for both of them. We had them do his hair, shave his face, give him the back massage and a manly facial (the only thing a Marine vet will accept as okay…lol). My father in law loved it. From then on that is the only place he would allow near him. I had to laugh at him flirting with the women barbers…lol. But it gave me a break and made my husband feel special, but also solved our situation with his dad’s personal care while still making him feel independent. Somehow he would accept it from these women but not the family for that reason!

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    • i don’t know if Al doesn’t get it that he can ask me for help or if he doesn’t want to ask, may be a little of both. for the first time today, he has ventured into trying to do things without even letting me know what he was up to, like the trimming the mustache. i always think things can not progress much more, with his weakness, but his mind is still active, but not always on the right path

      i am trying to find something that will work as a shoulder harness than can be moved from kitchen chair to scooter

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  6. Oh, Terry, my heart hurts so badly for you and Al. I wish I could help, but all I can do is pray for you and that I will definitely do. Just remember that God does not give us more that we can handle and He is always with you.
    God bless you.
    Hugs, Barb.

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  7. Heavenly Father, today I choose to trust in You. I release frustration over the dreams and desires in my heart, knowing that You know what’s best for me. I choose to trust in Your timing because You are faithful, and I will bless You in all things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Al gets credit for trying so hard and you maintained your dignity while attending to his needs. God is good – you are an angel ♥

    Ed

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  8. Terry, I agree with Julie – you can’t carry this burden alone anymore … you need to get help and it has nothing to do with what you son are thinking or not thinking. Al needs more than a caregiver that comes once per week. There is nothing wrong with care homes when help is need. I read your posts and every day you scream out for help. You have to help yourself here … and it doesn’t mean that you love Al less for moving him to a home.

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  9. Thank God he didn’t get hurt when he fell! And thank God you didn’t lock you keys in the car, that would just have been insult to injury ( no pun intneded). Since the Parkinson’s makes his muschles bunch and cease, do things like hot oils, warm baths/ showers help loosen them in anyway?Well atleast you guys made it through the day in one piece <3<3<3

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  10. I expect you already have, but please suggest to your son that although you are doing your best to look after Al, there comes a point where without assistance, you can’t. What if Al falls and you don’t have the stength to lift him. Taking care of family also means making tough decisions when you can no longer cope.

    I’m not suggesting that you are there now, but it is something that you and your family need to be aware of and possibly your son hasn’t taken this on board.

    As always you are coping brilliantly and I don’t know how you do it!

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    • thank you so much for this reply. if my son won’t help Al when he is starting to fall, then i don’t know what help he can be to me. i am left to make all decisions concerning Al and it sometimes is no fun at all..

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  11. I don’t know why but the way your son is reacting is making me upset and hurt for you. You are already doing your best. If he wants to be judgemental then he should try what you are doing day in and day out, 24/7, before he gets to vote on whether or not Al needs more care. You need to take care of yourself here too and this is so obviously draining you out, emotionally, physically. God bless with you strength and your son’s understanding.

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    • i understand what you are saying, because first of all i am this son’s mother, and respect should play into his words to me, and secondly, if i get defensive, then he is attacking me, and it not only hurts, it is wrong. i say,let him be the one to take Al off of my care, and let me have a break.

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      • LOL !! right along the way I was thinking. Its easy to criticize when you haven’t walked in someone else’s shoe. Wish you strength and patience.
        p.s. Most days I look at my son and think, now is that what I am teaching him? its a very humbling experience on how much more further i still need to go as a mother but then again.. I might never get there .. lol.

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      • i think you and i and all other moms do the best job raising our kids that we can, with knowledge that we have and our own morals, faith and gut instincts. my problem is i want to take partial blame for some things he does or doesn’t do today, but yet, i am not responsible for his decisions for the most part in his adult life, he is, but i do wonder some days, what or where did i mess up , not making sure he gets the point! it is all about love and respect in life, and maybe for me, i showed more love,so he would know i loved him, but didn’t do so good on respect. they could have been more equalized, but i can’t turn the clock back, and i am trying to toughen up and let him learn his own lessons.

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