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.
- Nell Hardy: My dogs help me to live with ALS (goerie.com)
- Former Nurse Admits to Switching Pain Pills (arkansasmatters.com)
- Not Enough Staff for the Art of Cares (centerforhealthmediapolicy.com)
- It’s over (thatendochick.wordpress.com)
- Rhonda Travis Receives Spirit of Nursing Award (gantdaily.com)
- Living With Chronic Pain (persephonemagazine.com)