I Cleaned House, No Not My House!

US Navy 110308-N-7491B-039 Surgical technician...

Today I cleaned house. Oh no, not here. I already did my Spring cleaning. I mean Al‘s room. I took in some pairs of shorts and tank tops. He saw me when I entered but I didn’t get a smile or anything for a few moments.

Then he started crying. It was obvious that he had been upset long before I arrived. I put down my goodie bag and sat down beside him to find out what was on his mind. What was the culprit you ask? Good question and I am going to spill the beans right now. Wetting, yep that’s it, wetting his briefs.

For some reason, which I will blame Parkinson’s Disease this past week there has been a change in the bladder area. He was so upset and embarrassed because he had wet himself.

I tried using different reasons as to why this was happening. I was hoping he would reach out and grab one of them but he didn’t. It seems what is happening is that the knowledge of realizing he has to go pee comes late in the connection of the brain.

He realizes he has to go and either he doesn’t remember to put his light on, or he puts the light on and no staff arrive or he just gets late notice that he has to go. I do know that he was sitting there waiting to be changed but there was no call light on.

The light bulb inside Al’s head didn’t go off so I reminded him to push the button. I looked at his clock and it was six minutes until help arrived but it was too late. This in turn brought about more tears.

This is  happening about every time now when he feels the urge to go potty. I think it is a combination like picking the Power Ball numbers. A little Parkinson’s, a little more PD for not using the call light, and a little bit of no staff.

I finally think I found a reason he was able to grasp. I explained that many of his new friends at the Day Program wore briefs and had accidents too. I told him that no one knew they were wearing briefs as it was a hush- hush thing.  I asked him if he knew this information and he said no.

I seemed to be able to help a little so I went about tearing into his closet. I pulled out all long sleeve shirts and heavy-duty pants. I replaced them with the clothes I brought. I took  his winter coats and replaced those with a light-weight Spring jacket. I washed down his bed side table and placed the tower fan for him. Yes, he is still sweating a lot. I learned the heart is causing this excessive sweating.

Without him realizing it I made a trash pile of old newspapers back from when he first went there to live. I found brown paper sacks where he had won goodies at Bingo and they were full of empty wrappers and even one nasty looking banana peel. Yuck!

It was time for lunch then. I had called in and ordered a lunch this morning so we ate together instead of me watching him eat and wishing I was. He did pretty good with lunch and didn’t make too much of a mess for this meal.

His driver appeared and was waiting so she could take him to Day Program for a couple of hours. I pushed him back to his room. He had to go potty he said but he had already wet down in the lunch room he admitted. This caused more tears and again more explanations.

I put the light on for him and seven minutes later someone came in. When help finally arrived I asked her to change his heavy pants into something more appropriate for the weather. He chose shorts over thinner pants. She changed him and he and his driver were off with him in tears, still embarrassed about his accident.

I am glad he was able to go. Hopefully his mind was more occupied with friends than wetting. I was told that I needed to take his two walkers home. The doctors orders had come in and there is to be no more walking and he needs to be pushed everywhere in order to save his heart.

I looked like Santa Clause when I left. The car was stuffed with two walkers and a big trash bag full of winter clothes. I finally got the car packed down and headed for home. When I got  inside the phone was ringing. It was the facility.

There was an appointment waiting for Al to have a scope done for his swallowing issues in the esophagus. I am not sure if I made the right decision or not but I have not heard Al complaining much about swallowing since they changed his diet to puree meat and mechanical soft. I also now know that his heart is working over-time and has been damaged.

The doctors would put him to sleep to look down his throat and I chose not to put him through another procedure at this time. I called the number I was given and spoke to the nurse about my concerns. I asked her for her advice. She explained that at any time if things looked worse we could reschedule.

I felt comfortable with this. He wasn’t going to be turned down for an appointment at a later date, we were just putting it on hold until things progressed more in that area.

I felt good about today’s visit. I cleaned house for him. I tried my best to get him to understand the complications of PD and wetting one’s self. Lastly, he was out on an outing. I can tell he does not feel well but at least he was talking to me and he ate all his lunch today.

44 thoughts on “I Cleaned House, No Not My House!

  1. *hugs* Poor sweet Al. I know you’re trying to tell him it’s not his fault that he’s wetting himself. It’s not, things happen. Everyone at some point in their lives has wet themselves, some more often than not. Babies, kids, adults.. we’re all going to wet ourselves, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It happens. Do you think he can wear adult diapers or would that embarrass him further? That way he wouldn’t be sitting in wet clothes.. not sure if that would help him.


  2. Hi Terry,

    You handled things very well with Al by making his incontinence seem like not such a big deal. As long as you keep handling things very matter of fact-like, and explaining that lots of other people have the same problem, it’s comforting to him. He takes a lot of his cues from the people around him, and if you are calm when dealing with those things, it makes it easier for him to deal with. I believe Al is very blessed to have a sister who cares so much about him.

    God bless you, my friend,


  3. Hi Terry,

    It’s the little things that add up to big things that count. You had lunch together, you went through his winter clothes, you helped him feel better about his wetting accidents, and you chose not to put him through a procedure he doesn’t need at this moment in time. All these things add up so I am glad you saw today as a positive visit with Al.

    We are blessed with our family for a reason. He helps you in ways he probably doesn’t even realise 🙂


    • thank you. this is so much appreciated by me. I don’t always know if I am saying the right things to Al, but I try real hard to let him know he is not responsible for what is happening, PD is


  4. Bless Al’s heart — literally. I know he must appreciate having such a devoted sister, and I’m glad he was able to go to the Day program. My prayers continue to be with you as you and Al go through this tough road ahead –you surely brightened Al’s day so much by being there and talking to him. Gotta say, I’m not envying you for your find of the prized banana peal, but then I guess some things are just the way they are, lol.


      • Lol, you don’t want me to answer that because I already hate that place and I’ve never even been there. Suffice it to say that Al is so fortunate you stopped by when you did — and I bet he’s a lot cooler now with the lighter clothes, too!


  5. I am praying for both of you. If Al could not urinate, that would be worse. But I am praying that medical science has an answer for this problem and that it will be practical for this situation. Never feel that you are alone, you and Al. God has an army around you!


  6. Yeaaaa! I am so glad youtwo had a good day. You have a lo of patience with the staff and I would not have. I am so glad Al has you to take care of him. Not much more I can say except you both have my love and prayers.


  7. Hey Terry. You are right. Al’s incontinence his a part of of his PD. Daddy had the same problem but as soon as he got his “underwear” everything improved. Also they have no warning when it happens. I slept in the same room with Daddy because running up and down steps all night was terrible. Sometimes we would get up once an hour.


    • Al seems to go quite often. I think part of it is his enlarged Prostrate. He gets so upset. I wish for him that he somehow would get used to it? We are taught to never do this from a toddler and now I am wishing he get used to it? Sounds bad. Al wears adult diapers but they aren’t strong enough to hold up and he has to be a total change


      • They aren’t checking and changing often enough if they aren’t holding. Daddy used to take finistradine (that might not be the correct spelling) for his prostrate and sinemet(carpidopa/levadopa) for his PD. He had good results with both


      • I can’t think what the name is that Al takes for his prostrate. I keep thinking flomax? he can’t take any of the PD drugs. He reacts in a terrible way. tremors triple and he drools terribly. Docs have taken him off each of them


  8. I feel so for Al .. and his problems – worst thing is that he are aware of his accidents and of course it makes him very frustrating and embarrassed as you say. Even if he knows it happens to others, he will never be comfortable about his accidents.
    So I think it’s good that he still aware about that bit .. even if it upsets him.
    Glad you had a great time together and that you felt good about your visit. Very important for you.


    • not usually and when I sneak that moment in and try to relax, it seems PD takes notice that I am not pay attention and something bigger happens. I tried to redo some work in my living room. I laughed and had a good time and then the next day he ended up in the hospital. I know in my heart that it is always a fluke but after a while you just give up and stay tuned in


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