Keeping the Secret


Micrograph of an artery that supplies the hear...

Micrograph of an artery that supplies the heart with significant atherosclerosis and marked luminal narrowing. Tissue has been stained using Masson’s trichrome.

I don’t plan on being here tomorrow for a while so I went to see Al today. He was sleeping when I arrived. I woke him up and he waved and I saw a half a smile. He sat up and began to tell me about last night.

He said it was real hard to eat because he didn’t feel good but he made himself eat. From 8p to 12a he said he felt funny. He seemed pretty good now and even after I asked him the 20 questions I didn’t get any real answers.

He told me a story about how the aides made him walk behind his wheelchair last evening after supper. I asked the nurse about it and she talked to Al in front of me. She told him that she pushed him down to his room. Then he went on to another time when he used to walk and he didn’t feel well enough to walk. She told him he was talking maybe about last week.

It was obvious that he was having some dementia. This nurse is my favorite and I know if she said she pushed him, she did. He and I ate lunch together but he was pretty much in the dazed look for the most part. He kept telling me he didn’t feel good but he didn’t know where he felt bad at.

He was eating and except for the Parkinson stare I couldn’t see anything. As usual I finished my meal before him so I just people watched. I was watching Al trying to get the food on his spoon but most of it was going in his lap.

Then I saw the problem. I saw it but I couldn’t say anything to him. I saw his nurse standing at the cafeteria door so I told Al I would be right back. I walked up to her and asked if she had a moment.

We found a little spot where we could talk and I told her that I thought I knew why he has not been feeling well. I explained about his gray nails. When I looked at Al trying to eat the gray nails stood right out at me.

My stomach started hurting and I could feel my heart racing. She said, I am sorry Terry. His heart is just really suffering from his disease. I knew in my heart that is what she was going to say.

I swallowed the lump beginning to form in my throat and told her thanks for her help. I plastered my smile back on my face and wiped the one tear trying to run down my face. I walked back over to where Al was sitting and I sat back down.

He gave me another half-smile and I placed my hand over his and all I could get out of my mouth is I love you Bud, don’t ever forget this. He gave me a big smile then. He took his hand and rubbed over his chest area and I excused myself to go to the ladies room.

I came back in time to push him back to his room. I helped him on the potty and then I came home.

40 thoughts on “Keeping the Secret

  1. Okay Terry, you’re concerning me. What are you doing tomorrow? You said you don’t plan on being there for a little while. Something you said in another post as well. Plus this one. I’m probably jumping to the wrong conclusions here. (I hope)

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  2. Hey Terry, comfort and my prayers with you and Al at this time. You’ll get through it. I know it doesn’t seem like it but you will and so will Al. And when you both come through this he won’t be in any more agony or pain. He will be happy and have no Parkinsons or Dementia. That’s how he wants to be now. Hugs sweet WP friend x

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  3. Terry, my heart is crying for you both …. mostly to you, that have to stand on the side and see what happens to Al. We are all going to die, but why does some of us suffer so much … my mum is in a bad patch too now .. and I think it’s so unfair, that her end maybe will be full of problems and pain, I would love her to go to bed .. and just fall to sleep. Terry, all you can do is show him how much you care, as you do .. and tell him how much you love him, and often … just as you do.
    We can never prepare ourselves for death of a loved one, doesn’t matter if it happens quickly .. or the journey is slow. You’re in my thoughts.

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    • thank you Vivi. I often wonder how your Mum is doing, but don’t ask for fear she is having a bad day and I would make you feel bad. Losing my brother is going to be plain devastating. It is he and I and without him it will be very hard

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  4. Terry, stay strong my friend, Al is getting closer to his home with the Lord and it will be a blessing for him and you know that, he will have no suffering no pain no worries no need of consuming food and drink, he will be the only place any of us want to be in the end. But you my friend have to stay here and cope and grieve and from memories walk a long journey until it is your time. It will be painful for this is a great loss to your heart. I know when my daughter passed I wanted to committ suicide I was so distraught but I remembered being told if I did that I wouldn’t go to heaven I would go to hell and I wouldn’t get to be with her. Now true or not I believe that and it was just enough to stop me from doing something like that. I live with the pain of that loss and of all my other family that has gone on ahead. All I can do is pray that God give me strength, stamina and courage to face each minute of every hour, and that is what I am praying for you now and will to do so as you finish this walk on earth with Al and then continue your journey without him until the Lord says ” Your work is done my child Terry” then you can go home and be with Al and all the other family that will be waiting for you.

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    • I will feel the same as you did. I just can’t imagine going on without my baby brother. It will be the most difficult thing. It is only he and I left and then it will be me. I will want to follow him home

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      • and you will when your work here is done but not until. God has a plan and a purpose for you my friend and I bet it lies in advocacy for others in facilities or the great resposibility of teaching a child, being a loving mother or mother in law. Perhaps with the talent He gave you, you are to write a novella of the experiences you have had as a caregiver. there are a myraid of plans the Lord has for each of us we just need to pray on it then listen for His voice. He will give you strength and He will guide you my dear one. Love and hugs~Len

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      • Oh Len, to help others make it through rough times would be a dream come true for me. a book,,,,,,,,,,,,an idea I am going to ponder on. It will be very hard to let go of my brother’s hand as I have held it for so long…………….hugs

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  5. *hugs* I can only hope it’s peaceful for Al. He has suffered quite a bit in this life, I can only hope for a peaceful journey into the next. Please know you do have people who care about you and Al if you need to talk I’m online and will get back to you. *hugs*

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    • hi there my friend. I believe Al has suffered enough also. he has had more courage than I would have with new challenges always facing him. thanks so much for being a great friend

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