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.




42 thoughts on “A Helping Hand Is What I Need

  1. Yes, you need a helping hand every day. Any chance of getting that? You can’t neglect your health while maintaining his. I did that too long and it is catching up to me. You know what they say on the airplane. Put on your own oxygen mask first before helping otters!


  2. You’re mentioning the first two hours ….Is that going to be enough do you think? Each day now there seems to be a crisis and you can only handle so much. I know you must do what you think is the right thing and I support whatever you decide….but you’re near collapse yourself if you don’t get enough help….Diane


    • I don’t know Ken, only with God’s help. I did find out this morning, that the nurse is going to be coming back again three times a week, which will help a lot, but soon it will end again. the sad thing is in order to have home health care here, Al has to get hurt first. crazy…………


  3. My heart and prayers go out for you and Al. I agree with the others, you may wish for more than the first two hours. Even if you don’t want someone there all the time, I’ve known others to have services that cover the first few hours AND the last few hours of the day. This way if you are exhausted at 9pm you, yourself, can go to bed.

    As to prolonged care, so far all I find is definitions associated with billing, particularly for Medicare recipients. I’ll drop another line if I find anything useful. 🙂

    Please keep your chin up, Terry, you are in our prayers.


  4. Unfortunately, my degree is in Human Resources, not the medical field. But I did find this, which seems to fit: “cases of prolonged illness or rehabilitation from acute illness.” Though, personally, I find that using Al’s PD is a poor excuse not to admit him to the hospital. My guess is that the doctor was simply saying that since you are home to take care of Al, there is no need for the hospital stay.

    However, the majority of the “billing code definitions” I found, refer to “face-to-face time with the patient.” Now at least you have some ammunition for the next round. If YOU are the prolonged-care coordinator, you have a say in the decision, for YOU spend far more “face-to-face time” with Al than your doctor.

    At least that’s what I’ve been reading here. 😉

    I hope this helps…


  5. I am sorry you had such a terrible day, but through my own experience in caring for my aunt and dealing with hospitals, I do know you and Al have rights I agree with Tara you do have a say…blessings to you sweet friend…Patty


    • thank you Patty. I was so busy today, Al was weak and tired and the nurse was here. the day flew by and I didn’t even keep up with the house, so need to get on that tomorrow. Tara made some very valid points, that I will be looking into


  6. It can be very disturbing how the medical field responds to people’s needs. Once upon a time doctors would come to your home and, a long time ago would even accept a sack of potatoes or a basket of eggs in lieu of payment. I had to deal with a doctor when my mother lived here who didn’t seem too much on the ball at the best of times and didn’t like me, I’m sure, because I was right there to speak up for my mother. I just pray you don’t allow bitterness to creep into your heart because of your ordeals with the doctors. You have a beautiful caring spirit and I know your love and care for Al are pleasing to the Lord. He is the God who sees and the God who hears. He sees and hears all you go through day by day, and your tears and Al’s He stores up in His book (Psalm 56:8).


    • thank you so much for all of what you say about me. you always make me feel so much better. i am not bitter about doctors, but sometimes i feel they do not care, and when u have someone like Al who has different issues, they can tend to make me feel like a hurry up and get them in an out, instead of talking to me


      • Terry, it seems there are many doctors today who do not want to bother with people over a certain age. I wonder sometimes if they ever stop to think they will get to that age themselves one day.


      • i doubt it. they live in the wealthy lives and also the fears of law suits. Some think they are forever young, but God will show them, their time is coming also


  7. Terry, don’t know what to say …. I think you need more help – but things like this will always happen so long as he are at home and you will be alone when it happens, it will happen at nights when you’re not around. Feel so for both of us – it’s such a never ending story for both of you. My thoughts are with you.


    • I felt great when I woke up this morning. Had taken a nap last evening plus when Al went to sleep I slept all night. Now I am beginning to feel an ear infection coming on with the gland under the ear. Darn it!


  8. So sorry to hear about your day… i can certainly understand why you are so worn out. i am trustig that through this whole situation that you may end up with some more help. I guess time will tell (especially after you see the doctor Monday).

    By the way, first things first when it comes to your blogging and commenting and liking stuff. Keep in mind that Al comes first and you can only do so much in a day. Everyone understands if you get to busy to get back with all of us. I have been extrememly busy for the past few months as well. I used to be on the computer everyday. Now Im probably on it 2 or 3 days a week. I put in all my postings for the week into the computer one or two days and then schedule them to post days in advance. It has been working out well. As you know i only get to visit other blogs about two or three days a week now.

    So just do what you can and “keep looking up”… the Lord is at work in all this that is taking place. Lord bless you… we are praying for you.


    • thank you so much Rob. The computer and blogging and all that goes with it can be very time consuming, I so agree.Thank you for all the prayers. god is the only way I make it in life


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