A Helping Hand Is What I Need



Today, flew by and now I am dead tired. I can barely keep my eyes open, and it is not even 9pm yet, and Al will be up until 2 or 3am. It did not even start off good today, in fact, I was awakened by the crash of thunder.


It was not the usual thunder you would think of, it was the thunder that came beyond where I was, in another room, at the back of the house, but it rattled the floors, and I heard the scream of help me!


I jumped out of bed and ran back to Al’s room, there he lay on the floor, and his neck was hung up on the commode. He had gotten up and tried to go to the bathroom, but did not make it.


I got him up and checked him out. He had a red gash on his neck and a gash on his leg, but other than that, I didn’t see much else, except the fear in his eyes, and the tears streaming from his fall.


He and I put a clean brief on him, and then put some warm, fuzzy sleeper pants on him  and he was talking by then, so with help from me, we got to the kitchen chair, and I helped him to sit, and then I put his breakfast together and set it in front of him.


He began to eat, so I started the coffee pot, and then went to his bedroom and changed his bedding sheets and emptied his commode, and I heard this unfamiliar sound. I stopped and became very quiet, trying to guess what it was, and I then realized it was Al.


I raced back to the kitchen and he was drinking his orange juice, but he was gurgling and gagging and then started to choke. My nursing took over my body and I got him back to normal, and he tried to pick up his new two-handled cup to take another drink, but he could not get it to his lips, so he bent his head to the cup and then struggled to get anything up in the straw.


I thought, blood pressure, Terry, check his blood pressure. I always have it at arms reach so I took his BP, and it was too dang high, 180/108. I freaked inside, not wanting to scare him, so I asked him if he would let me try it again on the other arm, and the reading was the same.


I immediately called the Home Health Care, but they refused to come out, saying he needed an ambulance and a hospital worse than them. I hung up and called 911, then and within 15 minutes, I heard the sirens. Just as they showed up, so did the shower girl.


The EMS did not hesitate, they took his BP and it was as mine was, so with the help of all four of us, we got him on the stretcher, and they zoomed off to the hospital. I got all Al’s medications around and got myself presentable for public viewing, told the shower girl I am sorry, I will have to give Al his shower today, and off I went.


I arrived at the hospital just as the EMS was transporting him from the back of the vehicle into the hospital. I had to wait a few minutes for them to get him settled, but then did go back, and answered plenty of questions.


They ran all sorts of tests, to see if he had another heart attack, but his heart had not changed from the last view they had, check. They ran a test to see if he had another seizure, and this turned out the same damage view as prior records, check. They saw that his tummy was puffy and a little swelling on the ankles, but the lung x-ray came back alright, check.


We were there almost six hours and Al had everything ran that a local hospital can do. They tried to put a catheter in him and it would not go, so they tried a different type and it would not go. They said his prostate gland is too big for any catheter, so although, the family doctor runs a cancer check on his enlarged prostate four times a year, I think he now needs to run a test on the size of this gland. I will be discussing this on Al’s appointment this coming Monday.


I watched the monitor a lot of the time while we sat and I stressed, and Al dozed off and on or he watched or listened to the television. I was amazed at how the heart reacts to Al’s tremors. It causes the monitor to do funny things, which worried me, but the hospital staff was not too concerned. I guess when I think about it, the heart is a muscle also, so the tremors are having a hay day with his whole body. In the end, the BP was 117/61, which is where they like it for a heart patient, and all tests showed no further damage than the last testings.


They told me that I either needed to get more help, or consider placement. I thanked them for all they did and I drove Al home. I called the home health care, and the nurse is back on the schedule again starting tomorrow morning.


All this happened for no other reason that tests showed, but for Parkinson’s Disease. The doctor said Al is just too weak and unstable. I am not sure what the doctor meant, and I didn’t ask, because sometimes my mouth will not open, as I am afraid to hear the truth, but he said that he talked for quite a while to our family doctor, and told him, that the hospital wanted to admit Al, but the family doctor said we are in prolonged care. I don’t know what that means, but here we are, home.


Al knew that he was to get a shower this morning, and did not. What did I get to do as soon as I walked into the front door? Yep, you got it, a shower, and a shave, and a trim of his mustache. After that, I started a load of his laundry, and then came out here to sit just for a moment, and bam!, he was out here. I looked at the clock and it was 6pm.


Darn it! I am so tired and worn out from the day, and I sat at the hospital all day and had to give a shower as soon as my feet  hit our own floors, and now he is ready for his supper. I can try to explain how pooped I am and watch him cry because he doesn’t understand why he can’t eat, because it is six, or I can get off of my rear end and go fix supper, and keep him content, so this is what I did.


Now, I sit here with bunches of emails and notifications waiting for me to chat, but instead, I am sitting here getting rid of my stress by writing to you instead. I promise I will look at everyone’s tomorrow, if I don’t get to it tonight.


I need a caregiver for the first two hours of each day, wish me luck.




Second Thank-You to Card Senders

So many cards have been coming in the past couple of days. I have said thank-you before to the people who are helping to make Al smile, and now I want to thank even more people.

You don’t know this, but today was not a good day at all, so these cards have even helped me.

I want to thank:

Marilyn Griffin

Laura Davis

Cindy Dryer

Rob Barkman

Lezlie Sherman

And unfortunately I do not know who this car was from. It was signed by kids, and the return address is from Peoria, Il. Can this person please stand up and let me know who you are?

carved hallmark card