This morning was Al’s swallow test. When I woke up and looked outside the window, I was disappointed. It was snowing. Now don’t get me wrong. I think snow is grandiose, but only when I am inside looking out.
It has been so darn cold here these past couple weeks, but God knew I needed to go to this appointment so a bit higher temperatures were given to me. It was 18 when I took off out of the drive.
When it warms up in increments, you take the chance of having snow. Guess what, it was snowing. My darn car is rear wheel drive. This is not a good thing when you live in a snow belt area. But hey, it didn’t snow in Florida. I just hate to purchase another car and have long-term car payments again. Mine will be paid off next year.
So I warm the car up an elongated amount of time. When I got in it still seemed a little chilly. I took off. Where I live is the biggest hurdle. Getting out of the addition. The main roads were snow-covered and icy in spots. I drove about 20 m.p.h. It didn’t bother me too much since others were driving the same speed.
I finally got there and as I was walking up to the hospital entrance I saw the van that was bringing my brother. I waited and when I saw him I waved through the window. It felt odd to see him in his wheel chair. Only because yesterday he had a better day. She explained that the walk alone inside the corridors would make him so fatigued, we would have more problems and I understood that perfectly.
The test was very easy and didn’t take that long. They did switch his regular diet to mechanical soft and added PRN a product known as thicket. You can use this poweder to thicken liquids to honey, pudding or thick consistencies. We used to use it here at home.
I thought the muscles in his throat were not working but this was not the case. Al gets so exhausted from chewing foods, that the effort to swallow becomes more difficult. The doctors are hoping with less effort to chew maybe he would be able to swallow better his drinks. He told me that he could not drink all of his milk at breakfast this morning because 8 oz. was just too much. Hearing him and the professionals I can now understand or get a better picture of what is happening in his mouth. It was fascinating to watch the x-rays as he chewed and swallowed
So I gave him a hug good-bye and told him I loved him. I watched the driver place him back in the van and then went to clean my snow-covered car once again. After sliding in spots I was in no hurry to go back home. But it is crazy to sit in a hospital parking lot waiting for the snow to stop and waiting for the city to clean the streets, so off I went.
I got about a mile from the hospital and my eye started feeling very irritated. It is better today but still not healed. There was something in it. I just knew it, but I was driving on slick streets.
I tried so gently to get what ever was in my eye out, but no luck. For one reason, I was already struggling to see with equal vision with the gel fogging my one eye. Another reason was no matter how I tried, the gel was slippery to my fingers. Darn it. My eye lashes were opening and closing so fast not even a fly would have come near for fear of being batted to death.
I could not pull over. As I drove with one hand, I moved my swollen eye lid around as much as I could until finally it sank to the bottom of my eye lid. I could feel it but at least the fluttering of the eye lashes had simmered down. I had about five miles to go at 20 m.p.h. I took all main streets and tried to keep my eyes as wide open as possible to keep the little pest from coming back into view.
Finally I made it home. I flipped off my boots as quick as I could. I went to the bathroom and got the hand mirror and looked at my glistening eye. It was red and irritated. This is normal though. If you had been pinched over and over your would be red too.
I peeked everywhere I could but I saw nothing. I didn’t dare wipe my eye too much or I would lose the medicine in it and I am only allowed to use it three times per day. The corner of my eye was starting to itch and when I looked very close I saw it. There it was. I ever so carefully inched my fingers as close to my eye without blinding myself and on the third try I got it.
It was about a half-inch size of white fuzz. I took that little bugger and flushed him. Gone out of sight and out of mind. I comforted my eye with words of I will not pick on you anymore. I will let you rest until the next dosage time rolls around. I am so sorry I irritated you to the point you saw red. It’s going to be ok now.
So all in all, Al had some changes, but no puree food yet, just a different texture of foods. I slid in the snow but made it to his appointment and back home. As soon as I parked in my own drive, I thanked God for keeping me and other drivers safe. As I was walking up to the house leaving snowy foot-prints behind me I thought, I hope Al knows how much I love him. He is the only person I would get out in the snow with a messed up eyeball for.