Never Again, If I Can Help It

Racing driver Nigel Mansell driving in the 199...

Racing driver Nigel Mansell driving in the 1993 CART IndyCar World Series (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well today was real interesting and I have learned one thing for sure. I did not have anyone to do respite care for me today, and I had to drop by the bank, stop and get gas, go get salt for the softener, go to the pharmacy and pick up my medications, and go to Wal-Mart to get Al briefs and bed pads,and a few groceries to tide us over for a few days.

I knew it was going to be a challenge, so I told him that we would eat lunch at his favorite place and that he could get a car at the store. This seemed to work, and our trip for the day went well until we got to Wal-Mart.

When we first went inside the doors, we got Al a hair cut, and then we went to the eye vision section, because with Al’s Parkinson’s, his head his always facing down, so therefore his glasses slide.

He looks better with his hair cut, and they adjusted his glasses a little, but I purchased him one of those thingys that hooks onto the sides of the glasses, so they can not slide? Ya, one of those, bright red like coca cola. They seem to be helping him so far.

By this time, even though he was getting a car, he was tired, but I had to keep going as we needed his specialty items plus his toothpaste, his car, and a few groceries and the odds and ends that we throw in the cart that are not on the list.

He was slowing down on the scooter and bent more forward. I have to blame him for part of the length of time we were in the store as it took him forever to pick out the exact car that he wanted. He had to inspect them each. It was sort of funny to watch from behind him. He is in the scooter and he is bent over as far as he can be without falling into the shelves, eyeballing each one. I bet we were in the toy section a half an hour! He got his choice, and we moved on.

I hurried as much as I could but not too fast, because he his very slow on the scooter. We get up to the cashier and get everything paid for. I swear each time I go to this store, the prices raise 10% from the time before.

We get done and I have my cart and he is in the scooter and we are outside of the doors now. He is crying because he is tired and he is hurting, and I try to pay attention to him, but I need to watch the traffic more importantly, so I took my eyes off of Al, and looked at the cars zooming by. Do they realize there is a pedestrian walk way there? Do they know that they are supposed to stop and let us go through? Only three-fourths realize this and the others speed by.

All of a sudden I am thrown into the speedway of cars coming and going. I am being pushed into my cart and pinned from behind as Al can not control the cart anymore and he is pushing me farther and father into traffic.

I am screaming ouch, you are hurting me! My leg, my ankle, stop the scooter! Stop the scooter, take your hands off of the handles!!!! Cars are starting to honk and I am still being pushed into the midway. I can not get out of my position, being trapped between his scooter and my cart, that I must have been clinging to for dear life. If I would have been thinking I would have let go of my cart, but my conscience knew that my purse was in there, and I wasn’t giving up my purse.

I must be screaming loud enough from my own banged up legs and ankles because finally someone came behind Al and lassoed that cart like a wild stallion. He grabbed Al’s hands off the steering column and turned the animal off. I started crying and I don’t know why.  Probably fear and from some pain. I wailed like a big old baby, but by then, I think the crying was from built up stress for weeks on end. I became a big old jelly ball. I just lost it right there with the cars still going back and forth. Some cars did stop and got out to see if I was alright, and I looked down at myself and did not see any blood, just big red gashes and scrapes.

My mind snaps to it, and I get my cart out-of-the-way, and Al starts to move and then directly in the middle of the speed trap, he quits. His brain is no longer working from being too tired and the realization maybe of what just went down. I did leave the cart at the edge, grabbed my purse and went over and tried to get Al and the cart going, but Al’s brain just wasn’t registering.

Finally a man came by, a guardian angel, and pushed Al’s cart in maybe a neutral position clear over to our car, then he just sat there. I let him rest, cursing under my breath, because I wanted him to magically get up and help load these bags, but I said nothing. I went about placing all the bags in the car, and then helped Al get off of the cart and get him in and buckled up.

I think from the time we left Wal-Mart parking lot until we drove the three miles home, I must have smoked three cigarettes, and I was telling myself, this is it, it is over. No more going out with Al on errand day. I will not go unless I have a caregiver so he can stay at home. He can go when we go out to eat, one place, one evening, then home.

Now to check out my sore legs and do the dishes from supper. What a day! I am pooped and ready for bed and it is only 7:30 in the evening. Al will take his last medications at 11pm and he won’t be in bed until around 12:30am, if I am lucky.

29 thoughts on “Never Again, If I Can Help It

  1. Thank God nothing happened to either of you! <3<3<3 I hope you get the respite care worker back soon. In the meantime, try to unwind from what turned into a messy day, and take care of yourself. Especially those wounds. Not good with your health conditions *frowns and looks over my glasses*



  2. Oh Terry, what a day! I am so sorry and praying for you and how sore you must be from all of that! I can so see you crying just from all the stress built up. It might be hard for someone else to understand what your life is like, of how just doing those daily life things gets to be impossible. . .but I so get it. Terry . .you can’t leave Al at home alone, can you? love and hugs!


  3. Bloody hell! I am glad you’ve decided not to take Al with you anymore – it’s way too hard. You are unbelievably wonderful to have done so for so long! Is it too risky to leave him in the house alone? Is it perhaps worth the risk?


    • over here i would be in big trouble with the law. he is known for being a high risk for falls, so if i left him here, and even ran somewhere quickly and came back and he had fallen, i can actually be arrested for neglect, so no i can not leave him alone, and no it is not worth the risk of being in trouble. abuse and neglect are definitely an overstatement here. there are many cases of actual abuse and neglect in our country, but then some that cry abuse or full of garbage! Any time Al moves around he can fall, so me or someone is always with him


  4. What a terrible experience…Thank goodness at least some stepped up to help you. You’re right…it’s better Al doesn’t go out with you when you need to shop more than one place or for more than one thing…It’s too much for you….Diane


  5. Hello Terry,
    This story was frightening to read- I can’t imagine what it was like to live it. I agree with your assessment that Al can’t be home alone because of risk of falls and other safety hazards but it also sounds unsafe for both of you to take him out on these excursions. I know I am not saying anything you don’t already know but please be careful. I also want you to know that I have returned from my trip and have looked into hospice agencies in your area. One lists Parkinson’s Disease as a hospice illness on their web site but I want to call them on Monday and make sure that they are, at least, willing to evaluate Al for hospice if you want them to. Have you talked with his doctor about hospice? If the doctor is willing to refer him for care and sign the certification that will help. A hospice volunteer might be able to stay with Al while you go shopping if you had this support. I’ll stay in touch.


    • I did learn my lesson and I will not take him with me for multiple errands, although he only got out twice, but it was too much for him. The family doctor says,,,oh he will live for years,,,,,,,,,and his neurologist, said Al has a really bad case of PD, as it has affected his entire brain. I am concerned about how I get out to get groceries or go to the bank, or get medications. I really need someone. He goes to the family doctor Monday for labs. The doctor swears Al could not possibly suffer from this much pain from PD, but other doctors and staff that are here from home health care, say they have seen patients suffer this bad too but it is more rare.


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