Calling All Angels


I have stayed a way for a few days, trying not to talk about Al, but instead writing little and yet accomplishing one goal I had, and that was writing the last chapter of my book. My very first book, all done now. I hope that you have enjoyed it.

Now the time has come where I could not manage to keep my breakfast down, so I must speak to you and let you know what has been happening, so I will stop the crying and move forth. The stats say that Taurus’s wear their feelings on their sleeves for all to see, and I believe this is me to at T. I am very emotional and wish I could toughen myself up, but I have never been able to change that about myself yet, and being middle-aged, it will most likely get worse.

Al was falling more and more, and the return of the tears and wanting to die, had backed me into a corner, and I had said a long prayer to God, that if he wanted Al to be placed, please let it be smooth and quick, to take this giant burden off of my shoulders, as I was too emotionally involved.

I had considered placement many times before, and even reached out to one nursing home that told me that he had too many issues to be accepted there. It sort of worried me, because if a nursing home can not accept my brother, than is everyone in a nursing home easy care?

Sometimes I am very fortunate and God will not wait to give me an answer, and this is one of those times. A call was placed again to the same nursing home, and within 24 hours, he was in a new home.

I have to admit that first of all, he was very happy. He wanted to be around people, even if they were twenty years older than him. He missed socializing, and he was so unsteady, that I, alone could not take him out very often.

I have battled the blues since he has been gone and I am still dealing with it. I keep looking at it as another loss of a family member, the last member being my biggest idol in my life, my daddy, and now there were two of us, Al and me, and now he is gone from the house.

I know in my heart he is not gone, he is only a few miles down the road, but my heart has not accepted this as of yet. I have to admit that I tried very hard to talk him out of going, and even on the ride there to his new home, I was still trying. I didn’t care at that time if I was being selfish, I didn’t want him to go, but alas, God or the amount of pain Al suffered in daily, was enough for him to want to go. He told me he did not want to be a burden to me with his falls and that there would be plenty of nurses around to pick him up.

Excuse me while I cry again, alright, I can see my typing once again. When we arrived I had a cow, just saying, when I saw the smallness of his room. The day before we had looked at the room, but my mind was so screwed up, I didn’t see it even though I looked at it. By the time I had his clothes put away in their new home, and his television there, and his recliner and walker, it left him with a path the width of his walker.

I am just like a mother hen, looking over my chick, I threw a fit, yes I threw a fit. There was paint chipped off the walls, and part of one wall was pushed in by something having gotten a hold of it, but nothing was done with my words, and Al was accepting, but all I could think of was, the  thousands of dollars we were paying on private pay for this room, this room should have been in better shape.

The next day I went in and I saw a nurse trying to give him a pill at noon, and I explained to her that he did not take mid day pills and she ignored me. I told her to stop now! and she left the room, only to find out later that he had turned down his morning medications and they were trying to get him to take them. I did not buy that either, because what did Al do, pick out one pill and take the rest? I have my own thoughts on this, because he is a new admit, and I think they over-looked giving him this at breakfast, but she should have told me what was going on when she was trying to give it to him, instead of receiving silence.

I swear I will get better about his care, but for right now, I am observing maybe too much, but he is my brother, and he does not always speak for himself about pains and feelings very well until the pain is unbearable. After this disagreement about the nurse and  pill, and the words I said about the room, they called me last evening and told me they switched him to another room on the other side, a window side, that was much bigger. I licked my pointer finger and lifted it in to the air, and silently here at home, said score, for Al and me!

There was another disagreement yesterday. Another nurse had come to me saying they had contacted his dental surgeon to let them know that they would be the ones transporting him to their office,and they were told  he was not having his two teeth pulled by IV sedation, that in fact this was a consult.

I sat down and explained to them, that there was confusion somewhere because he was getting them extracted next Tuesday, and she shook her head no at me, so I told  her when I came home, I would call the surgeon’s office myself and try to get this whole thing straightened out, because I knew I was right. I have it right here on my calendar for Al, and I was at the regular dentist when the appointment was made through the phone.

After I came home, I did in fact, call the dentist, and they told me to hang on for the nurse, and I explained before she left her end of the phone, that I was only talking about his appointment, so I did not need a nurse. She said she understood but had been expecting my phone call.

So now everyone knew a secret but the sister, the one who is guardian over the brother. The dentist office knew, the facility my brother is in knew, and even the specialists, heart and neurologist knew, everyone but me.

I waited for what seemed hours but only minutes for the nurse to get on the phone, and she said that there was going to be a consult on the day of where he was going to have his teeth extracted, and I ask why and why haven’t you called me already with this information, and she said that they had only found out the reports from the two specialist doctors earlier today. I should say that I had previously called the dentist and explained that the facility was going to be bringing Al in and that I would meet them there, so this is how they knew to call the facility on the time frame needed for the bus trip to and from the dentist office. I understood, but I still felt I should have been called first.

Anyways, that part is over and now it doesn’t matter to me who called who first, because I was given news that I didn’t want to hear or know. The two reports came back with negative remarks about releasing Al for a dental procedure doing IV Sedation, and I asked why, that we had just went through this same process earlier in April.

The nurse continued with both reports came back stamped in red ink, very high risk, no procedures done on him at the dentist office. My stomach began to get hot and churn and if I bit my nails, I would have started, but instead I lit up a cigarette.

She said that the cardiology report came back from the tests that were run on him prior to the day of his admittance with damage to the heart. I said nothing and kept listening. She said that the Parkinson’s Disease had penetrated his heart now, and it was too risky to do anything with him here. They wanted to admit him to the hospital so that they could insert breathing tubes and other necessary equipment for him, because there was a  chance he could not make it through this due to his heart damage and weakness.

My brain was not taking this in as fast as my ears were, and I sat there saying nothing. I heard her repeat my name a couple of times, asking was I still here on the line with her, and finally I mumbled yes, I am still here.

She said your brother is not well, so we will have a consult with the dentist that was going to do the extraction, and he will tell you then what this is going to consist of in the hospital, and he will still be the one performing the extractions at the hospital. She told me of the appointment and I said thank-you for your time and I hung up with her and called the facility, and they said they knew about this but I needed to hear the information from the dental nurse instead of them. They tried to console me and yet letting me know that his heart was most likely be the culprit of this nasty disease.

I hung up with them, and flipped around in my chair, wanting to see Al and yet seeing no one, and hearing no one, and for the first time since daddy died, I felt so alone, that I wanted to die also. I wanted to be with my own mom and dad. I wanted someone to put their arms around me and comfort me, telling me this was all a bad dream, everything was going to be alright, but God ignored my request, and so I did the only thing I could. My body began to shake and I let myself slip to the floor and I cried, and cried and I was still crying last night off and on.

I finally fell asleep for a few hours but was awake this morning at 5:30, and could not go back to sleep, so I made myself a pot of coffee, and went through my emails, and made myself finish my last chapter of my book, then I went back to bed.

My eyes are still watering off and on today, but no out-of-controlling  tears. The house is quiet even with my Escape music on the television playing in the back ground. I am scared Lord, I am scared I am going to lose my baby brother sooner than later. I know he is going to go  home to you, but I always dreamed it would be a long time from now, and I know he will not leave me today, but you are going to take him home.

I am not going to go visit my brother today, because I will always do what I can to not show him anything but smiles and uplifting words from me. I will go see him tomorrow. God already knows how much I love my brother, and for you my brother, who doesn’t always understand the depths of my feelings for you,  I love you so very much, and wish you many smiles and some giggles and a good social life while you remain in the arms of the facility. I love you so much. May the angels surround  the two of us through out the rest of this journey.

The Guardian Angel

The Guardian Angel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

85 thoughts on “Calling All Angels

  1. WOW, my heart goes out to you. I just had to put my brother in an assisted living facility. He was assessed at the highest level of care they have available. I went to check on him after the first night to see how he slept. They were giving him his morning pills and he was protesting not wanting to take any more pills. I asked what they were and one of them was flomax which I gave him at night as was prescribed. A side effect of this pill is dizziness and low blood pressure. I had to call the nurse and request they give it to him at night as prescribed so if he is dizzy while he is sleeping at least he won’t be falling! Geez…what happens to people that don’t have patient advocates looking out for them!

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    • unfortunately there is always a lack of improvement once placed in a facility. my brother is a level 2, and these patients just don’t do as well. i pray for both of our family members, that God watches over them. who knows better about the patient as far as every day living and medications than the caregiver.

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    • thank u so much Gloria. it is truly a joy to add you to my wonderful friends list on here. i love having wonderful friends as i have no one but my brother and me left as far as this part of the family goes

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      • Terry, like you I have one other person in this world, my husband Skip… and our two Pups. You can see photos of all of us on my primary blog .. happycolorsandgrannygee.blogspot.com. I understand more than you know, that’s why I was drawn to follow your blog. I’m honored to be one of your friends. Love, Gloria/Granny Gee

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  2. Warm tender arms surround you and give you hugs and strength. It is hard, one you have to adapt to demanding situations. I was having a conversation with my husband saying to him I am unsure how to prepare for losing my sister. Because of her condition I will be lucky if I have another 30 years with her. 30 may seem like a long time but having lost already so many family members in the last 15 years I know it is not that long at all. So I hope my arms will act as the angel wings you currently need. My friendship your support and my ears the listening tools you need when needed. Stay strong but be true always x

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  3. Awwww hun i wish a magic wand could make it all go away but I am afraid that I can’t make that happen. Many of us reading yourposts have perhaps seen how much worse things were getting than you seem to have realised, sometime we are simply too close to a situation or do not want to see it. Al’s placement was inevitable and while you know in your heart it is the right thing it does not stop it hurting or breaking your heart, you will pick on every fault you can find at the home at first but that is normal but trust me in time you will find a way to adjust, they will not do everything the way you did or even how Al wants it and you know what that isn’t neccessarily a bad thing (sometimes you know Al was playing on your kindness) He will get the care and treatment he needs from people trained to deliver it and you get to be his sister again. you owe it to him to live your life, to have stories to share with him when you visit, pictures to take to show him, the fact that you recieved the news from the dentist only goes to prove how important it is you use this time too make the most of the time left to you with him. he has deteriorated so quickly they would not do a the same procedure as a few months earlier, that tells you that his time is sadly limited, it is up to you know whether you spend it feeling guilty about letting him get the care he needs and picking arguments with the nurses or whether you walk in to see him with a smile on your face and share the joys of life with your brother. I know that sounds a little harsh but there will be time enough for tears once he is really gone for now get your apron on and roll your sleeves up and bake him his favourite cake and take it and share it with the nurses and any others who are allowed it (check first as a diabetic you know thats important) and chat to them ake friends with them, and something to consider once you feel stronger is there will be others who have no visitors yet you feel you have time on your hands, could you help organise craft afternoons with them or reading to those who eyes no longer see.

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    • thank you Paula. you are right, and i know I will settle down when things get more routine. i am trying to locate work and this will help me also. the last place i want to be right now is here at home

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  4. I’m so sorry, my dear friend! Things have progressed rapidly since the last time we spoke on the phone about Al’s condition. Hard as it was for you, you did the right thing for him by getting him the expert care that he needs, especially knowing this new development. My heart is broken for you! I also know that there are no words that will take away your pain either, but if I had even one, it would instantly be yours. Hold on to every second that you have left with him here and cherish each nuance held therein. I can’t talk about all that’s going on yet either but will, hopefully, do so soon. My poor Penny!! My heart is broken for her as well. Sometimes I wonder how many pieces it can be shattered into and still glued back together without losing some of them? much love, thoughts, prayers and hugs!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  5. There are probably no words that can really comfort you right now as everything is so new and your feeling are in a tailspin. So I will say that this time was foreseeable as Al’s health ..physically and emotionally had deteriorated to the point you could not possibly have continued with his care. He will adapt to his new surroundings and there will be others that he can speak with . He will also not worry about you and having to watch him so closely. Now you can be his sister and the care giving for the most part done by others. Of course you will still be involved with decisions but for the day to day routine it will be done by others and when you see Al you can visit with him without the pressure that has been present. I will of course keep you and Al in my thoughts and prayers. The angels will surround him always…I believe that…just as I believed it with my mother….So take care and unwind. Take some time to ‘adapt’ ….as you need to also….Diane

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    • Diane, what would I do without you………….you are a wonderful, caring friend who I treasure very much. I am trying to take things a few minutes at a time as I try to adjust to all of this

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  6. well. here I go…the tears are starting…I think I can feel your pain…all the way down here in Louisville…I am so sorry!…Your perseverance throughout this has been amazing…and I so wish you some peace…and that Al does well at the facility…He was brave himself to want this…and that also shows his love for you…
    God Bless…Love to you both!…mkg

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    • thank u my sweet friend, and I loved hearing your voice once again. you are a wonderful, caring friend to me, and I need good friends like you. I could not make myself go to see Al today, but I am going tomorrow. He is taking this much better than me

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    • Al is also in my prayers and especially for you. Marilyn has said it well, and I would like to offer my support to you as well – my love and hugs are with you both. Patty

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      • Thank you – but I count it a privilege to know you and to pray for you. I only wish I could take away your pain right now. Hugs.

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      • I think I am doing better, and then it becomes night, and Polly is sleeping and the heaviness sinks into my heart again, even though I know Al is alright and safe, he is not here. I know in time I will heal by the grace of God. thank u for being a friend to me……………

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      • you are right, in time you will heal by the grace of God, just give it some time. Now is the time to rest in Gods arms.

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  7. I have been mostly away form the blogosphere for awhile for a bunch of different reasons, but Terry, I am SO very sorry to hear about Al. It probably was time for him to be in an environment that could offer more hands – but no more heart- than you. Your early difficulties are alarming. We know how important it is that Al get his PD meds on the correct time schedule. But, Terry, maybe its time to “let God and”, while not let go exactly, at least trust. You are beyond physical and emotional exhaustion. Be kind to yourself, love your brother and trust that its going to work out. You both continue in my prayers even when I’m not posting.

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    • bless you Facet for these kind words. to know that I have wonderful caring friends such as you means the world to me. life is hard right now, and I love it when I am kept busy, but the moment I have nothing to do, the heart ache returns immediately. I know that time will help me through this and God also. Thank you for being my friend.

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  8. Will pray for you my friend, I know that this is hard. When I was nursing at one time I worked in a nursing home and it was a great place. The people there always put the patient first, that was the instructions given to every new person who started working there. I know that there are many not good, and some so so, but it always helps to stand back and watch how people interact together. If you brother is unhappy, he will let you know, he always has and nothing will change that way. It is standard procedure to evaluate each person, and I realize that you know him best, but sometimes that can be a disadvantage for everyone, because you can’t be there all the time and they have to establish their own routine and relationships. God bless you, and don’t beat yourself up so much, and don’t feel guilty, you did the right thing, now just give it time!

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    • this is very good advice. i am trying very hard to realize it is a transition phase and they are getting to know him now. I just don’t want him to have to be in any extra pain, and I want him happy, this is my concerns for him, but i understand what you are saying

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  9. Terry, As difficult as this process is, it is a necessity for Al to receive the care He needs and for you to no longer carry the entire load. Whether you can sense it or not, the Lord is at your side and working all things out according to His plans of blessing for you. You continue to be in our prayers at this end. I know this time is a very difficult time of adjustment, but through the grace of God, you will get through this and you will see the purpose in all of these things as time goes on. May He bless you with peace and comfort.

    2Cor 12:9-10 (KJV)
    9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

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    • I guess a trust issue is my issue. I want Al to be as well taken care of there as he was here. I spoiled him I know, and I also know in my heart they are doing their best with someone new on their floor. Thank u for the verses Rob, i so appreciate them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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  10. Terry, has AL move to care home ??? How can I have missed that??? When did that happen ??? Sorry about all the questions.
    Terry, this with not having Al in the house is something completely new for you .. you’re suddenly not in control anymore and that makes you feel hopeless. Still I think you need a good talk with the home that you have to be told and informed about everything they do with AL, before they do it.
    Ask for a meeting with management and tell them how you want it.
    Terry, my thoughts are with you both .. and I wish I could ease your worries and sorrow.

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    • yes he is in a home now since Wednesday. I know they have much to learn about Al since he has so many issues that I am familiar with. We are having a care plan meeting next Thursday, and I will insist on being informed of everything, big or small.

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      • Terry. good on you. I gave me great joy to read that he likes to be at the home with people around him. I always got the feeling that he are a very social person.
        Terry, are you his guardian on paper ???? Because of his mental statues maybe you should make sure you have that all clear, so you have full control over his treatments and care.
        I understand that you have a difficult time now and you haven’t let him down in any way. So don’t feel guilty over anything.
        You have done so much for Al, more than anyone else could have done.
        Now you can visit him and spend time with him, when you’re relaxed and not tired or upset.
        Don’t cry, Terry – you have done all you could have done for Al and you still do.
        It’s lonely without Al at home and you have time to think now – but try to see it from a positive side and start to look after yourself. You have been so occupied with taking care of Al and that is now gone.
        One thing for sure is that you haven’t let Al down, so please – don’t feel guilty for anything.

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      • do you know how much I love you right this moment? the words you say comfort me. you know me so well, although we have never met. thank u so much for being a special friend in my life. I am Al’s guardian, and I had them copy my paper work first thing. They know they can do things, but they realize they have to inform me of new ideas. I can be a tough mean old bird when need be, and I will always be very watchful

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  11. I am so sorry to hear about Al sweety. I do have a question though? If he may not make it through extracting the teeth then why extract them to begin with? I understand he may be in a lot of pain, but if the end is near for Al why put him through that so they can make a buck? Why not let him live out the rest of his life in peace and just try and make him comfortable? I don’t mean to sound harsh I would just be curious as to why they wanna put him and you through all that. I feel for you I really do sweety. I know it is hard not having Al in the house anymore. But has anyone asked Al if he even wants the teeth extracted? Maybe now is the time for what he wants. And for you guys to be able to spend what quality or quantity of life he has left together visiting and talking and reminiscing. My husband was asked if he were to choose between quality and quantity of life he had left which would he choose. He chose quantity. He wanted to live out the rest of what time he had with no pokes no meds no nothing and spend what he had left with his loved ones by his side. So this is what we did. I made him comfortable and everyone came in their own time to say their goodbyes and have a few last smiles laughs and memories. I hope that the two of you will be able to find some peace and be able to enjoy each other in what Al has left here with you. Take care my friend

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    • NO, no one asked Al, but I can do that tomorrow when I go to see him. They said the two teeth are so rotten that they had to come out. I never thought of maybe not taking them out. I just don’t want him to be in pain from the teeth and he has complained quite a bit from them. I will ask when I see him. Thank you for letting me know about this

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  12. You should maybe allow Al to see your tears. It is so hard because we think we are protecting them but in a way I do Vic an injustice when I don’t allow her to see my grief and pain. Blessings and hugs to you!

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  13. Before my mother died this past January, she was in a nursing home which upset me. When I spoke with one of my sisters about this (two of my sisters are nurses) she said our mom was actually very happy there because she was treated like a queen being waited on hand and foot. Yes, I’ve seen difficulties happening and yes, many of them could be avoided better training or people who care and aren’t burned out from their job. But overall, they took very good care of her. I know it’s hard for you. On your part you feel guilty for taking him there and honestly, probably a little relieved too with the accompanying guilt for feeling that way. But remember, they have a routine they will acclimate him to and he will be cared for 24\7, something one person alone cannot do. So I will pray for you both. No one knows the future, whether there is life or death tomorrow, but that’s why we hold tight to G-d’s hand all the way. A hug to you and Al.

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    • you are right, it is an adjustment time right now for Al, the staff, and me. hoping in time all falls together. thank you for being here for me my friend. I value our friendship very much

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      • You know what I like about you? You feel things so deeply and you aren’t afraid to share what you feel. I think that’s very healthy. I wish more people were that way.

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      • oh, thank you my friend, i am just me, and i really know no other way to be or write, but a big hug for you from me for this wonderful comment u have given me

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  14. Terry, i know this is a difficult time for you. A lot of people are praying for you and Al. It is OK to cry and to miss Al. But I do think it willwork out better for both of you. He will have more people to care for him, and more people to socialize with. You will have less pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly.

    It is hard for hou to let go. Like me, you feel like to need to control everything that happens in Al’s life to protect him from hurt, pain, etc. But in your heart you know that only God is in control and you can’t stop his health from deteriorating,

    It is going to be a transition time for you to be the loving sister more and the caretaker less. You are still the legal decision maker so you won’t be giving that up. But day to day, someone else can clean up after his accidents and bring him his meals. It is a change for both of you and will take some adjustment.

    Start thinking of other things you might want to do for yourself during the time you can be away from Al now. Pretend the caretaker came to the house and gave you a few hours to yourself. What would you do? It is ok to take some time for yourself. And it is ok to spend time visiting Al. Now you can create a new balance that works for both of you.

    Give Al enough time alone so he will reach out and find friends in his new home. People had to remind me to visit dad less so he would get used to socializing more. It was hard at first for me to not go every day. But now dad does stay out of his room more and mingle more with others. He is ok with me visiting less and now I can spend an afternoon with my friends too.

    Prayers to both of you as you make this transition.

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    • i felt a lot of guilt today for not going to see Al, but I didn’t want him to see how much I was hurting from the news about him, so I stayed away. I am going tomorrow, but have wondered if I need to go every single day with the bad weather coming any day, ice, snow. I hate driving in it so bad. It makes me scared and I would rather stay home where it is safe and warm

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      • I don’t drive in bad weather either. Maybe tell him you will visit 3 or 4 times a week so he has time for his new friends. Or just take it one day at a time and see what works for you both.

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    • my one son and his family stayed with me most of the evening bringing the gift of the new puppy. they have just left, and it was the best gift I have had in a long time. there was someone to talk to and my mind was occupied. now i am alone, and the sorrow is back but i am not crying

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  15. Hello Terry … what a journey you are on … just to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Al … and know that the Lord knows what you are going through – and Al too. You have the strength and courage to be with this all, even though it feels as if your heart is being wrenched one way and the other. All blessings and may your load be lightened.

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    • thank you so much Susan, and it is a joy to meet you! Sometimes I don’t feel like I have any strength at all, then God delivers me some once more again. Thank you for such wonderful words. big hug for you from me!

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  16. Hi Terry – I don’t know you, but my heart goes out to you. From what I have read, you are a wonderful big sister, and your brother is blessed to have you care for his needs even if he has to be in the facility. I believe that you did the right thing because he is happy there, and you can see him whenever you want to.
    It is easier said than done, but continue to pray for your strength. God will not put more on you, than you can handle. I can imagine how you must feel — out of touch with the medical care since the facility knew more than you did with that situation, but I like to give you advice from experience of having loved ones in a facility, if you don’t mind.
    Try your best to deal with them and work closely with them because it appeared to me when we had to deal with facilities that SOME of them can be rather mean and insensitive to the patients when no one is around. You want to have friends there that you can depend on who will look out for your brother when you are not there, okay? Also, if you have other relatives — cousins, or even close friends, ask them to drop by and check in on your brother. Have EVERYONE who goes there to sign the books at various times, so that the facility workers will realize that people will come to check on him at various hours. This will certainly keep them on their toes.
    Best of luck to you, and your brother.

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    • hi there, I hope that you will continue to come back when you have spare moments. it is so very nice to meet a wonderful person in the world. I find that trust is the issue I am dealing with where the facility is concerned. I want Al to be as pain free as possible and to be able to stick to the routine I have worked out here at home with his medications. This seems to help his pains the best. I suppose it is just a matter of time before he and they know each others ways, but i do like the idea you proposed about Al being visited by other, and the facility to understand that at any time someone can pop in. so be on your toes!!!!

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  17. No brother ever had more love than you have given Al, even in letting him move to a facility where he will be well taken care of — especially with your watchful and professional eye protecting him. Now there are two of you to care for. Please do as well for yourself as you have been — and are — doing for Al.

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  18. Sheesh, the rocky journey continues for you both Terry. I hope that now Al is “up the road” things will get better, the care he gets will improve and that you will regain strength and energy so that your visits to him can be ‘smiles and positive vibes’. Thinking of you always and praying for things to get better. K

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    • I think things will get better. I am already starting to smile a little more and although I miss Al terribly, I do not miss the terrible stress. God is watching out over the two of us, and now I have to learn the word trust, knowing someone else is involved with Al’s care besides me

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  19. Tough, tough, tough… I’m sorry you both have to go through all of that, but I’m sure they’ll take good care of him. It will get easier, and when you miss him too much, he is, like you said, just down the road.

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