Today, I got a few hours of respite with one of Al’s favorite caregivers being here. I wanted to visit my son whom I have not seen for months. Al had woke up not in a good mood and was full of pain.
He ate his breakfast and took all of his medications, plus his pain pills. He did not stay out here in the living room like he normally does, but went back to his room to be alone. He has a new thing he has been doing for about a week. He takes his glasses off a lot of the time. So there he sat in his recliner with his glasses off and his bible on his lap opened. Although it is big print, I know that he could not read it with no glasses on. I left him be and continued to get ready to leave.
The caregiver arrived, and I left. I had a nice visit with my son and his g/f, and my granddaughter, then I left and came home. I was gone about four hours. When I walked into the front door, the caregiver did not look her normal cheery self, and of course I asked what was wrong.
She filled me in on the morning by saying Al was mean and begging to die. Now if anyone in the world can make Al smile it is this caregiver, but it did not happen today. While she was here one of the newer therapists came today, and Al refused to do the exercises, saying he was in too much pain. I guess she tried but with no success.
Al told the therapist and the caregiver that he wanted to die. He wanted to find pills to end his life NOW! He explained to them that he wanted to be like a monitor that shows the flat line and have the same noise because this would mean he was dead.
He refused his noon meal and also told me when I got here that he was not going to eat supper, because he knew that if he did not eat, he would die. I was flabbergasted at this information they were feeding me, and for him to be this way in front of his favorite caregiver told me he just isn’t here with me.
Al talks about dying all the time, but I have never heard him making plans on how to do it. Al is only mildly mentally handicapped, and there are areas still in his brain that are very intelligent, but he can’t make good choices and doesn’t know why he acts the way he does.
I was very concerned at this point for Al’s life, and I was having selfish thoughts too. My thoughts were screaming to Al. I have taken care of you all these years, and I will be damned if you are going to die here in our home from something you have done to yourself. This is what I was thinking and screaming inside.
I went to the phone and called the favorite therapist and she of course could not fix it, but she suggested I take Al to the mental health hospital, because of being suicidal. I thought that was a good idea, so without telling Al where we were going, I just told him to get his shoes on and his jacket, that we were leaving.
He knew where we were when we got there and he told me that I wanted to commit him for life, which is not at all true, but I was not going to argue for the millionth time right there in the parking lot.
We got inside and I announced who I was and why we were there. In minutes some guy came out and got name and birth date and went and pulled records from the past. He came back and told me that he was going to take Al back and talk to him alone and then come get me, and I said no you are not! He says yes I am, and I said I will turn you in if you refuse me to be there also. I am his guardian and conservator. He is mildly challenged, and I want to be there to listen and help fill in the blanks. Finally, he saw that he was not going to win, and we all went back.
He tried talking to Al and as soon as Al said he wanted to die, the gentleman went straight from Al to me for the complete story. After filling in all the blanks on the pages, the man had tears in his eyes as he felt the pain and anguish Al was going through. He told me he was going to go call the house doctor and see what he had to say about admitting Al for suicide watch.
In about three minutes he came back and said in all the years I have worked here, the doctor has never come in from a call, but he wants to talk to you in person, so he will be here in about 15 minutes.
Exact timing later, the doctor came in and looked at Al and listened to his talk of death and how bad he wanted to die, and he said to me, this brother of yours is in so much pain from the Parkinson’s Disease, he feels he has no reason to live, and this is why he wants to die.
We can not help him here, because this is not a crazy man type of thing. This is a man who is suffering from an illness and needs a higher level of medications. He suggested we go back to the family doctor and demand better medications, and for me to make sure to tell the family doctor that I have had experience with lifeless people.
He continued to say that this was inhumane treatment, and Al deserved to be pain-free while being in this fifth and final stage. If the doctor refused even with my court stamped papers stating my wants for Al, I could go to a pain management, and maybe get help there, or as a last resort place Al in a nursing home where he would get the proper medications, which would make Al quit talking about drying and plotting on how to make it happen.
So tomorrow I am going to call the family doctor and try to win this. Call me selfish, but if Al is going to die, I would rather have him die here at home surrounded by his coca cola, his vintage cars and me, not a cold nursing home bed.
The nursing home idea is not out of my head, but it is a last resort. The doctor said he thought I could take care of him if I had help, and I was given a company that would come here, which I liked. I would have help with Al and also get respite for me. The doctor said one final thing before he came over and gave me a hug. He said you love your brother, I can see this so clearly, and I wish there were more family members out there like you, but the thing now is to get Al out of palliative care and into comfort care. Let him live the rest of his days in a peace he has not felt for a long time. With this he left the room, and the gentleman that had been helping us from the beginning, gave me a hug and tears were still flowing from his eyes.
- myCNAjobs Announces 1-Month Free Trial on Caregiver Recruitment Platform for Senior Home Care Agencies, Nursing Homes, and Assisted Living Communities (prweb.com)
- What our nursing homes need (todayonline.com)
- Dr. Caregiver Is In (aarp.org)