Al’s Changing Days


A few days ago, Al got up in his usual morning routine, and came to sit on the couch, instead of doing his breakfast first. He told me in his exact words, that he had the most excruciating pain he had ever felt in his leg. I looked at it but I saw nothing. He told me that his leg was swollen, but my naked eyes could not take it in. From that moment on, the rest of the few following days have been very sad and depressing for him. He has had pain and more freezing. I talked to the nurse and she said the freezing mode of his legs was causing rigidity in them and the muscles were downsizing and he would feel this pain, but they had him on the best pain medications.

He can have moments of joy, but I see mountains of pain and tears. I had pretty well made up my mind to go ahead and place him for his own sake, not mine. It was a difficult time, processing agony for me, but someone had to do it, and my name was being called by the pitcher.

Have you ever had ideas that you thought were so good, only to have them squished like an ant you step on? This is the way I felt after I talked to the professionals and then confirmed what they had said by googling.

Did you realize that there were new health care plans in effect that have been placed recently that make it difficult to place another person, if money is being held in certain trust accounts? There is, and it is sad.

The law now says that for certain trusts, and there are many that are included, have to be paid back to the state, once the person dies. I will not go into grave details, because it is complicated, and most of you are not involved with placement thoughts in your homes, but in the end product, someone , can be made to pay half of what Medicaid paid out when a nursing home patient passes away.

The thing that bothers me is with the new laws coming into effect, and our President forever changing the health care here, one or more persons, could end up having to fork over monies they don’t have in order to help programs get a refund for what they loaned out.

First of all, I didn’t know we were being loaned money. I thought we paid in through all those little items showing up on our paychecks for years and years, but then, I remembered how in debt our country is and the threats of social security not even being there for ones younger than us is real.

On top of all that, I was given a quote of over five thousand dollars to do all the paper work for the trust to properly make it into a state program.

Did you also realize that once you are admitted to a nursing home or some other type of home, you are sometimes giving up your home and your money assets, and did you know that if the person changes his mind a while down the road, and wants to come home that there are no monies there for further care and help at home?

It is sort of no win situation, unless you are so severely mentally handicapped, that everyone knows there will never be a return home, or you are so elderly, you would also fall into this category.

I have made my final decision to not place, and to hire extra or give more hours to caregivers in order for Al and I to have our breaks in our routines

Last evening, although I saw tears most of the day, he was willing to go out to a drive-thru supper and continue on to a car show here in town. Both went fairly well, except the car show. I got the scooter out and placed together, and got him situated in the driver’s seat, and off he went, but instead of stopping and talking to all of the owners and everyone on the street, he made quick loops around the show as if he was the driver of a race car in a hurry to win. He came back to where I had been relieving my back pain by sitting on a chair, and sat there, tears running down his face for no apparent reason.

I asked him if he was finished looking at the cars and he said nothing. I asked him if he would like to have some ice-cream that was being sold for the event, and he nodded in affirmation. He scooted and I walked over and bought him a nice two-dipper and had it placed in a bowl instead of a cone. We walked back over to my single chair, and I gave him the bowl and spoon, and he sat there, doing nothing. His tremors were acting up, so my heart was bouncing around at each time the bowl tipped to this side and then the other. He did not try to take a spoonful of the ice-cream, that I would have gobbled up, myself, but knowing it was full of sugars, I left it alone.

I asked him if he wanted help with eating it and he nodded yes once again. So I spoon fed him. I had also had to do that for the same day at breakfast. He had waffles and could not cut them up to eat them, nor could he place bites in his mouth. The tears were running down his face as I was feeding him his ice-cream, as I knew in my heart, we were out in public, and he was dying inside of embarrassment from people watching him being fed, although, I did not see anyone particular stare at him or I, and certainly, no one came to our side and questioned either of us why this adult was being fed by someone other than himself.

After the treat was finished and the bowl and spoon were properly disposed of he made no movement, so I asked him if he was ready to leave, and he said yes. He talked! Yes, I am ready to go home.

I am not sure how much he enjoyed this time out, but I do know it was not as much as he used to. I put him in the car, and tore the scooter apart, and we took off for the comforts of his bedroom and his bed, that he is coming to know better each week, as he lies more on it now to watch television.

I have hired a new caregiver for respite care, and I can only hope that she took heed of my words, that I only want someone who is interested in being with Al, and staying long enough to get to know him, and that I will not tolerate excuses of why you can not be here, unless God has called me and told me you have passed on. She is to start Tuesday of the following week for four hours. We shall see how it goes.

Now that I have slept on all of this new information thrown at me, and I see how Al is becoming, I ask for prayers in hiring another caregiver who can give more hours on a daily basis, helping him with feedings and showers . I would love to have a caregiver that will be here for six hours a day, Monday through Friday, the same caregiver who would shower him, help with his feedings, when needed, and to spend quality time with him. I do not like having caregivers with different names for different jobs. Let’s find one who can do it all for Al’s sake of security in one person, and also my sanity when I go to pay the person, and have to keep looking back at the books to see how many hours this or that person worked this week.

I know that many of you pray for Al and also for me, but I am asking for bigger request. One caregiver, who will stand by us and stay with us until everything is in order.