I Promise You I Do Swear

one fish, two fish, red fish ...

I know you promise all your strength


But tonight I am so tired


I look out my window and see the empty trees


And try to calm my body so wired.


I know that you my Lord have suffered


Ten thousand more times than me


But I feel weak and oh so tired


Can you see me Lord on bended knee?


I really try to do all that I can


To be a rock for him


To show him how much I really care


But to them I am no longer their fan.


They run and hide when I walk in side


I know they fear my face


But who will stand up for my brother


Who in this human race?


I put the world on hold for now


As I target in on your care


I will do what needs to be done for you


I promise you I do swear.


The guidelines do not match your case


You are in a league of your own


Why are my eyes the only to see


I will call in the troops that I now know…….


I promise you, I do swear.


Love you brother.


Terry Shepherd





Heart Attack Feelings

English: A large bruise resulting from a fall

I am very upset. I am trying to slow down my breathing. I am trying to stop the first tear from falling. I am so much at the end of my rope I think I have to ask for an extension.

I took Al to his appointment this morning. I didn’t realize how weak I had become.I felt like an old. old woman. I could barely pick that wheelchair up and put it in and take it out of the car, let alone three times just today.  We took his wheelchair because I knew he could not make it that long walking. I had never seen Al like he was the entire day. He would be talking and then his mouth would be in motion of speaking but when I looked at him he was fast asleep. Then he would wake again. The doctor suggested a way to help Al drink better. He said he saw it on a movie and one of his PD patients now uses it. It is a helmet that has two cup holders. Straws connect from the cups and sit at an angle of his lips. All he would have to would be to turn his head a tiny bit and he could drink and he would not suck the straw down his throat. I thought I am going to hunt this helmet down somehow and get it. Hopefully it isn’t too expensive.

While we were there the doc said there was nothing else to be done for Al. Just as we were getting ready to leave we noticed half of Al’s fingernails were dark gray. The doc said to go across the street to Al’s heart doctor and let them know about the chest pains and the nail beds.

The heart doc wasn’t in. She was actually at the hospital working on a patient. The cardio nurse suggested we take Al to the ER. When we got him in his room and they took his shirt off I was aghast at the huge bruises on his chest.They were on his arms and chest. One was around his nipple area and it was the size of a peach.

Immediately the staff questioned me about the bruises. I told them that the facility had called me a little over a week ago and said he had some small bruises and that he had fallen through the  night. I remember that so well because I talked my head off to Al about getting up during the night without help. He swore and cried to me that he didn’t fall. He had gotten up but didn’t fall.

I had decided then that Al just must have forgotten due to his Parkinson’s Dementia. Now the staff at the ER was concerned on the number of bruises and the size. I had not seen Al with his shirt off since the fall so like I said I was shocked.

With Al’s congested heart failure and angina they ran special tests. They came back alright but the x-ray they took showed something brand new to me. While they were letting the doctor read the tests I would watch the heart monitor go nuts. His heart rate would go from 65 to 220 to 50 to 260 back to 50. It was all over the place. The heart monitor kept sounding like a tornado drill. I can tell you I was scared to death for Al.

In the end the news I learned was something I was not familiar with. Al’s PD has not only entered the muscles of the arms and legs that I can see; it has entered the chest cavity. It has attacked the lining of the chest walls and the rib cage and is now tremoring. So now this PD has entered his heart, his chest cavity and his eyes internally. This is what is causing all of Al’s chest and rib  pains.

They said there was nothing they could really do as it was part of the PD. They said he had a bad case of PD. I have heard that said before. I knew that Al had said when I picked him up this morning that both of his ribs were hurting. I thought maybe he had fallen before but evidently not. It is the tremors. Imagine coughing over and over and not stopping, the nurse said. This is what the tremors are doing inside his chest cavity. But the heart monitor is picking up ever tremor. This is why the heart rate is going whacky.  You just can’t see it with the naked eye.

Long term, this could hurt Al’s heart as it isn’t in great condition. The doctor suggested Al take it easy on the walking again. This causes tremors to act up more than usual.

I took Al back to the facility and got him laying on his bed. He was very tired. The nurse came in to grab the charts from me and I told her I wanted to speak to her. I don’t know what she took that to mean but when I walked back out in to the hall that nurse was telling a  CNA that Al’s sister was demanding to talk to her and from now on she was not going into Al’s room alone. I waited for the Head of Nurses to come and we three went into a private room.

The first thing I said was ,” I don’t appreciate you telling a CNA my brother’s business right in the middle of the hall. It is not her concern and if I can hear everything you are saying I am sure others can hear also. She told me she was not going into his room alone anymore, and I asked, “Why is he sexual towards you?” She laughed and said no and I said ” then are you afraid of him? she said, he gets confused about things. OK, I thought.

I told the two of them what I had learned at the doc’s office and ER. I told them that we need to back off the walker again and try  using it at one meal time and if he doesn’t hurt from that try adding another meal.

Al always tells me that it hurts to walk and I do understand this but he says some staff tell him he needs to walk. It is good for him. I told the two nurses,” I don’t know what else to do to get it made so plain and clear. You are not to push him to walk. You all push him and tell him he can do it and now he is paying the price of worsened tremors causing chest pains that feel like heart attacks. I want it stopped now!”

They both looked at me and then the charge nurse spoke. ” Do you want us to take his walker away?” I almost lost it then. What does it take to get it across it is according to Al’s pain, a good day or bad day, that determines his walking or using a wheelchair. They don’t get it. They want him to walk everywhere he goes now that the pain patch is working. I want him to walk but not over do it. Shoot maybe I can’t even get my point across to anyone. Do any of you understand what I am saying?

It isn’t routine, it is PD for heaven sakes. There is no schedule. It all surrounds on whether he is in pain or not. I just don’t know what else to do anymore. It is like no one gets it. How much easier would this be if he was just an elderly person waiting to die sitting in a nursing home……………….


Bright Skies

King Eddie's Restaurant, 1954

This morning I awoke to no snow. I saw blue skies with a touch of pink in the horizons. A good sign of a nice day. It is to be 45 degrees today, a real taste of Spring.

I already have had my shower and my first cup of coffee. I had to get up early today. In about an hour or so I have to go pick-up Al. The transportation driver had too many appointments so I said I would pick him up. He has an appointment with the neurologist.

He  hasn’t seen Al for about six months. He is still Al’s doctor, but doesn’t stay actively involved any longer. All medications have been tried for Parkinson’s Disease. For some reason they never worked for Al. Instead he would have terrible tremors and drool like a kid in a candy store.

He has fought this disease with no help from PD drugs. He has remained on pain pills to try to lessen the symptoms. He and I are still waiting for word to see if he gets to come home and go to Day Program.

It would be so good for him to regularly associate with men and women his age and with disabilities like his. For this I would be grateful. The spirit of the mind plays a big part of an illness I believe. I received a call last evening stating the facility  now has  Nitrogen for Al. They will use this for pains for his Angina. This could save his life if he is actually  having heart problems and help steady his body until he reaches the ER.

I didn’t tell Al that I plan to take him out to lunch after the appointment. I will let him choose where he goes but I bet he says his favorite little place. Today we shall take his wheelchair. With having to walk from the facility to the car and into the doctor’s office and back out and lunch, I don’t think he will make it.

I had questioned him yesterday when I saw him. I asked if he wanted to use his walker or wheelchair and he requested the wheelchair. He told me he can’t walk that far without accumulating more pain. I figured this but I wanted him to have the choice to choose.

So today hopefully it will be a nice day for him and I. Sun, a little warmer a doctor who makes a lot of jokes during our visits and lunch out. Al will probably be worn out and take a nice nap when I return him.