I Don’t Know


My birthday did not consist of sleeping in today. Instead I threw on some plain clothes and sneaked into the facility where Al is. You ask why would I do that on a day when I could sleep in?

The answer is because I love my brother. I took some advice from a friend and decided yesterday to go see him on a time they never would expect me. It was 8:15pm and Al was in bed asleep.

Wow, I thought to myself. Talk about going to bed early. I woke him up and he didn’t smile. He didn’t talk for a few minutes. But when he did, he proceeded to tell me about the entire day.

He started off with the fact that the nurse was upset because he was eating the cookies I brought him. He then went to the fact he struggled for half an hour to get dressed because no one was there to help him. He told me about how they sat him in the bathroom door way for an hour until he finally had the urge to pee.

I figured out that when Al is upset and he can’t find relief he sleeps. I went out to ask the nurse how he had been doing this evening and she said fine. I questioned her on the walking bit. Al keeps telling me every day this week that they are trying to make him walk down to breakfast.

She stated that she highly doubted it, never having seem him walk. I think I figured out what that was all about. They ask him  if he would like to walk and he says no. They then tell him to push himself down to the dining room. The rules are that if Al is having a good moment he is to push himself down, if he tries and can’t do it, he is to ask for help and they push him.

I believe that Al doesn’t quite get it. He wants to be pushed all the time and I think they try to get him to push himself. He should also in my opinion try his best to go on his own.

While I was there I left him a bag of M&M’s mixed with Snicker miniature bars. He was too sleepy to try one so I sat them on his bed side table and told him I would see him the next day. He fell back asleep before I exited his room.

This morning I got up early and walked into the facility. I went straight to his room and Al was on the potty and the aide was telling him to get dressed. There was Al, one aide, and a nurse in the bathroom with him.

I quietly walked over and sat in Al’s recliner. The aide was telling Al to get dressed and the nurse was handing him a wet wash cloth. They turned to leave his room and jumped back startled when they saw me there.

They turned back around and the nurse washed Al’s back and got him dressed. She asked me why I was there so early and I told her I wanted to get to the bottom of Al’s complaints. I said what better way to find out than to be here.

Al hadn’t seen me yet and he was crying and telling the other two about his candy. I listened with interest as he told them my sister brought me a bag of candy. When I woke up at 1am I was going to have a piece and it was gone. Someone stole it.

I piped in and said that I had indeed brought him candy. I told them where I had left it and that Al was asleep when I left and had never touched the bag. The nurse said she would ask the second shift nurse when she came in.

I couldn’t help myself even at this early stage of the morning. I asked and started laughing, Do you really think anyone is going to risk their paycheck by admitting they took a bag of candy?

Both the aid and nurse just looked at me. Sorry, friends, but when I see the scales tipping in my mind, it is definitely going in the direction of lie and keep the  job. I told them I was irate. The candy doesn’t come cheap and if the staff had to stoop so low as to steal candy, then they better give a raise to these over-worked people.

I also brought up about the other nurse and the missing cookies. Making comments that he is eating sweets. This nurse told me they do encourage Al to not eat too many sweets. That his weight gain is their concern.

I said, I appreciate this fact that you are a caring staff, but the reason I have brought more garbage food in is because of a seven pound weight loss in five days, not weight gain. She said oh. He was dressed and ready to go to the dining room when the aide told him to get going. The nurse said, no, we push him down. The aide said, no we make him push himself down. I thought, oh wow, you two really got different stories here, in the same room, and right in front of me. The nurse than asked Al if he wanted to go on his own or be pushed and Al said to be pushed that his knees were hurting. She then pushed him down.

I searched his room and there was no ziplock bag anywhere. I went to search the other wastebasket and the aide said they already emptied it before I arrived.

So in ending this, Al is not actually walking I believe. He is struggling with pushing himself on his painful hours and gets upset because he has to asks so many people to push him down.

I believe as well as I am sitting here typing that there was no intention to dress him.  I had witnessed them both walking a way from him until they saw me. I also believe that there is an M&M and Snicker bar thief. It  happened somewhere after 8:30pm and before 1am.

This crap is going to stop. I don’t know how I will stop it yet, but when you start taking the candy that I bought and took to my brother, you thieves have crossed the line in my book. I want that candy replaced do you hear me staff???

I know it sounds funny, truly I do. To get upset over a bag of candy. But this isn’t the first time and I am sick of hearing story after story this whole week from Al about things that are happening and the staff says those three little words, I don’t know……

48 thoughts on “I Don’t Know

    • I went back in at noon and not a word was mentioned, and even the trash can had been emptied, but I had looked in it earlier. thanks for the birthday greeting Stellar!!!


  1. Well done, Terry! The only way to find out what’s really going on is to be a fly on the wall – and you took that role on well!!! Happy birthday, you sweet, courageous sister! xoxoM


  2. Actually, this doesn’t sound even remotely funny to me. That they had to see you sitting there before they did their jobs is especially appalling – they seem to be lying to you left, right and centre. Either that or they really are recieving different information each shift.

    You need to demand that you speak to the manager. Seriously.


    • I will again tomorrow!!!! you can count on it! I went back in at lunch time and they had emptied the little trash can again, but I had already peeked in it earlier this morning. not one word was mentioned about the missing candy.


    • I am going to first thing in the morning, no doubt about it. I laugh because I don’t want to cry when this little bomb is about a bag of candy, but I can’t help it. all the little things have turned into a big snow ball and all my words go ignored. Al did enjoy the birthday cake. He didn’t take time for his tremors to get it into his mouth, he just used his fingers. lol


  3. Terry, I am sorry to hear the staff is still being difficult and rude. I hope you can have a happy birthday in spite of the problems. And yes, continue to drop in at odd times, but give yourself a break too and do something fun for your birthday. 🙂


    • I did have my birthday with Al. I cut him a piece after his meal and he dropped his silverware and went for the fingers. I don’t think he could wait to eat it. lol, I took photos for my birthday gift to me


  4. Terry, be very careful with accusing the staff – I can’t neither see anyone risking their job for some candies, money maybe but not candies. Doesn’t make any logical sense, but I don’t say it’s impossible.
    What a carry on … every visit you do, always something. Anyhow I hope that you will get a great birthday and maybe even get a candle to blow out. My thoughts are with you. On my way to mum now … will phone you when I’m back home.


  5. Wow.. not the birthday you had envisioned for yourself I bet. *hugs* That is low to steal from a patient. So they scold him for eating sweets and then take it from him? Personally I would get a little video camera in there.. like the kind they hid in toys and such and catch the real thief because no one is going to fess up to it. Or bake some brownies and put some ex-lax in it and put the bag in plain sight and give Al some none ex-laxed brownies.. the thief will get a nasty surprise. I know it’s mean and wrong but ugh.. how can someone steal candy from a patient? That’s just wrong and then not fessing up to it is worse and then two different answers…. geez. I’m glad you choose to show up to see what really goes on, but I’m sad you had to witness how uncaring they are. If you are having that many problems with them, I can’t imagine what they are doing to the patients that don’t have regular visitors. On top of that Al has PD.. so are they thinking it’s okay because he won’t remember the candy or the cookies or anything? Because that’s another story entirely. I understand some people don’t want to work there, but don’t treat the patients with such disrespect treat people the way you would want to be treated.. or how you would want your family to be treated. I would have asked the nurse “how would you like it if your mom was in a nursing home and someone was stealing from her and you couldn’t find out who it was?”.. oh this makes me so angry. Common courtesy is such a rare thing.. you would think of all places it should be in a nursing home. *hugs* I am so sorry my friend.


    • that’s the way I feel. Al is the one in a room not able to move like the rest of us and full of pain. He gets little pleasure so someone taking his goodies really irked me!!!!!! I don’t know if it is legal to have little cameras in his room or not………………good idea though


  6. Is your birthday April 20? So is Mary’s. Happy birthday!

    You have been a good advocate for your brother. He’s in a position where he can’t fight for himself, and he needs you. And taking a sick man’s goodies is terrible.


    • no my birthday is today, and thank you for the birthday wishes! I agree, why take from the defenseless and ill. if you want candy then go buy some with your paycheck!!!! right???? those people should feel so ashamed John, I think


  7. Happy Birthday, Terry! I really love you going in at unexpected times. Wish we could’ve seen the looks on their faces when they turned around to leave Al to dress himself. . .and saw you there. Praying that these issues get resolved, pronto. And that God gives you peace.


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  9. You did the right thing…unexpected visit…only way to get to the truth…and then as you found out…different stories…I believe Al as I said before…He’s pretty sharp!…and I applaud you for letting them know you are on top of things…Way to go…but, so sad that we have to do that!…mkg


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