What Others Say Can Harm You

Bay to Breakers "AmBEERlance". A keg...

Bay to Breakers “AmBEERlance”. A kegger a day keeps the pain away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I went to see Al. He was listening to his coca cola bottle radio with his headphones. He was in a pretty good mood. When it came time to take him potty before lunch he all of a sudden got bad leg pains. He started to whimper and I observed the one absolutely fabulous aide took her time with him. They accomplished the deed and he was to push himself out of his room and head down to lunch.

He was still whimpering from the pain so he stopped at the Nurse Station and asked for a pain pill. A nurse, over the weekend  informed me that Al had not been requesting PRN pain  medications for some time. I was happy to hear that the new increase of his pain patch was still working.

While waiting for the nurse to give him his medication I made a comment that I was so pleased that Al had not been asking for more pills. She got in his file and said,”Who told you that?”


“Well it says right here he asked for PRN medications on the average of one to two times each day.”

She began telling me the times and days. Once again I had been duped by that stupid Nurse. I am sorry, I shouldn’t call her that, but I can’t help it.

Al was fine while we were at lunch. He was cutting up and smiling. He is usually in a good mood on Tuesdays as he gets to get out of there for the afternoon. His  driver takes him to an outing or to the Day  Program.

The driver arrived and when Al was trying to release the manual brakes of his wheelchair, he wasn’t strong enough. He started to whimper and feel embarrassed. I hated myself at that moment, because I started to freak.

We were in front of everyone. Here he was jabbering on and on how he was stupid and couldn’t make the wheelchair go. I tried to reason with him and explain about taking the chance of getting too upset and being placed back in isolation.

He wasn’t listening to me. He was too into what he could not do. I took him down to his room and washed his hands and face from lunch. I was still using different tactics to calm him down. His tremors were as busy as a bee. He was teary eyed all the way to the front door.

The problem here is what the facility has done to my emotions over this past weekend. I don’t like freaking out because Al doesn’t like it that he can’t do things he used to. The plain old truth is that because he is out of the lock down room, his PD is still very active.

He isn’t going to feel any better physically. I am just trying to gear his mind to other places, but in the end, the facility has made me feel very vulnerable. Are they going to put him back in isolation? Is he going to say he wants to die again? I am worried. I don’t want him to have to go back there or be kicked out.

I kicked myself all the way out the front door. I watched him being loaded and as I left in my car I prayed he settled down. I have to stop being afraid, but I don’t know how. I am not afraid for me or to speak up to this rotten place, I am afraid for Al.

34 thoughts on “What Others Say Can Harm You

  1. My mind wonders if he asks for pills to replace asking for assistance from a nurse…. he has learned pills do more work than they do. It’s more a judgment of how they view his asking. If a family provides a teenager with a bad environment that makes them feel alone or helpless…they ask someone else for drugs as well. But just like those parents should, a good nurse should be sure to ask themselves… did I deliver the child to this? Pain is pain regardless, I hope he becomes more comfortable. God bless you both !


  2. Don’t berate yourself for being fearful – it’s a natural reaction, but I think you could try some deep breathing to halt that snap reaction.

    May I suggest every time you have that anxious snap of emotion, you try breathing in and mentally counting to 4 and then breathing out very, very slowly to the count of 7. Learn to drop your shoulders and concentrate on that deep breathing for a minute or two. Practice at home when you’re on your own. After a while you’ll be able to switch off that instant reaction you’re getting in Al’s presence or in front of the nurses.

    (I do this when I’m tense or have a particularly bad wave of pain. Eventually you will get so good at doing this, you will find it easier and easier to stop yourself tensing up. It really does work. It just takes a bit of practice).


  3. It is so good that Al’s mood was upbeat when you got there, even though it didn’t stay that way. It’s a baby step in the right direction anyway. It’s hard for me to understand what Rachel had to gain by lying about Al’s pain meds — makes me wonder if she’s not just being sadistic in some way. She bears watching, that’s for sure, lol! Hey, here’s an idea…take a picture of her and see if she shows up in the picture. Or have her stand in front of a mirror and see if she has a reflection.


  4. Stay strong, because that is the only way you can make Al feel strong. Make your weaknesses your strength.
    I am so glad you are helping him out every way possible.
    May the forces be with you. *Teddy hugs*



  5. Terry, Al feels your mood too so try and feel confident and positive it will show and Al will pick it up. I know this is hard and what I heard about the facility actually impossible. But try hard to show Al encouragement, positiveness and calmness. You have been through so much you two, you will make it! Be strong and again I pray for your strength and that it will all pan out! With love and hugs Ute x


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