On a Sunday Afternoon


English: Culver's frozen custard deserts at th...

English: Culver’s frozen custard deserts at the West Milwaukee, Wisconsin location.

I was just thrilled today, let me tell you. You would think by now the facility knows how picky I am on Al’s looks with cleanliness, even more so when I take him in public. Today I went and picked him up. We ate lunch at Culver’s so he could have ice-cream.

His tremors seemed fairly under control. He did pretty good eating without spilling too much. I was watching him eat and I  noticed his fingernails. On one hand all four fingers were lined in shall I say yellow-brown?

I thought back to when the staff member was helping him to get in his wheelchair. She said, I caught Al in the bathroom digging.

Alright, I thought, thanks for letting me know that. But watching him when he ate made me lose my own appetite as I realized what the colored nails were from. He had not been cleaned up.

Grrrr, I just wanted to scream. If I have told them once I have told them too many times to make sure his nails are always clean. I don’t know of there is really any truth to it but Mom used to tell me that if there was dirt under my nails when I was a kid that I could get pinworms.

As I sat there I noticed his fingernails not only had the crusties they were also turning dark gray, and then they would fade back to light gray. Maybe I shouldn’t be concerned, because the nurses aren’t, but I am. What is causing this to happen? It has been going on for a couple of months now.

Al’s speech was really hard to understand today. I think part of it is PD. Another part could be the increase of pain medications. His lips barely moved and even after I asked him a couple of times what he said, I gave up. I mostly didn’t know what he was saying. I just agreed with what he was saying but felt awful for not understanding and just playing the game.

He did have one point in our outing where he told me about a dream he had last night. He said he woke up and saw someone sitting in his recliner. He said he didn’t know who it was and then they got up and left.

After lunch we drove to the lake. I think he enjoyed it but it didn’t take long before he was falling asleep on me. He apologized when he woke up and I told him not to worry about it. He said he was tired, so I took him back. When I got him in his room I went to the nurse and spoke to her about the gray nails. She made no motion and said nothing. She just looked at me. I also told her about his dirty nails and how I wanted those cleaned up.

I think  Al had fun, or as much as he could. We did have some choking issues three times on eating french fries. Maybe he won’t be able to eat those anymore, I don’t know. I  would hate it because he loves them.

I left him sitting in his recliner where he wanted to watch some sports, but before five minutes went by he was asleep. I patted him on the arm and told him I was going to go so he could rest and he looked at me and said, I’m sorry, I just get too wore out.

Although I love to take him out, I can see it is a real hardship on him. I told him I loved him and would see him in a day or two, unless he wanted me there for him earlier. I asked him what is he supposed to do if he needs me, and he looked at me with a weak smile and said, have the nurse call you. I said “Great answer” and then left him as he closed his eyes again.

Here are some photos I took while we were out to the lake.

boatbeachcampgroundcemetaryfishingpink tree

19 thoughts on “On a Sunday Afternoon

  1. I don’t understand anything about that … they don’t look after his hygiene properly – it’s only to take a nail brush …. glad that you had an overall great day together and I love that the camera came along too. And the spring is so much more ahead than ours.
    I think you should talk to the doctor about his grey nails … it could be he are low on some mineral or vitamin and easy fixed.

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  2. So glad you got out together…and that it’s still possible…The lake looks like a nice place…
    Mom used to have to be checked on her nails too…We just got where we were doing most everything like that…just for her sake…so sad…how they are neglected…I’m so glad there were two of us to actually take care of my Mom when she was in the nursing home…With you being just one…I know it has to be really hard!

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  3. So glad you and Al got to get out and enjoy the day — the lake area looks like a nice place! Even though Al got tired I’m sure it does him good to get out and about and do things that are “normal” again. You’re such a good sister!

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