Three Good Days, M.S.A.

Al has had three good days, but as usual it comes to a halt. I have to believe it is the M.S.A. that causes this. Human minds are doing all possible to slow this terrible illness down. There ideas work for a few days and then it stops.

Last night when he came home from Day Program his communication book said that he had tremors most of the afternoon and had napped. The tremors continued throughout the evening.

He ate 50% of his supper. When I put him to bed his legs were frozen bad. He could not move his legs at all. I sort of had to tug and pull to get him into bed. I noticed he was slightly tipsy when I stood him up.

This morning he was tipsy too. Not like drunk but definitely not steady. He swayed to the side some. I noticed labored breathing from him no matter what he was doing. Just to move was a chore for his weak body.

During breakfast he did eat 100% but he stared quite a bit. At first I thought he was having another seizure, but it wasn’t exactly like a seizure. He would hold a piece of egg in his hand for at least a minute staring straight ahead, doing nothing. Eventually he would eat it.

I would say it was more like the body had lost touch with all thought process and Al was patiently or maybe even unaware of what was happening. It took a while but he did finish. After breakfast I washed him up and once again heard the labored breathing as I got him dressed and his brief changed.

He wanted to sit in the living room in  his wheelchair. He knew that the Hospice nurse would be coming soon. When she arrived, Al’s arms were dangling over the side of his chair. His voice had become terribly soft and quiet. The staring or non-movement was there for her to see.

She checked his vitals as usual. She said his blood pressure was low, at least for his normal readings. She asked him questions, but when she was listening to his heart, she kept at it for a few minutes. Usually she listens and says everything is alright. I felt anxious and nervous. She was taking too long.

I grabbed my camera and went out on the ramp. I had to get my mind on something other than what it was thinking. I found this bug, so although it is not a beauty, it  is was alive and posing for bug 3

Afterwards I went back inside and she was typing on her computer. She looked at me and mouthed something, but I couldn’t understand her. She then came to me and told me to keep an eye on Al today. She didn’t think he should be going out of the house.

My breathing became a little heavier as I asked her, ” What is it?”

She said that his heart is stopping off and on. That I should watch for his breathing as his heart was stopping for about 15 seconds. Of course this scared me. Al didn’t understand at all. He knew we were going to Wal-Mart today. I told him maybe we would go later depending on how he felt.

It is weird that Al doesn’t notice much about what his body is or isn’t doing. He is evidently used to what is going on in the inside. The nurse said it wasn’t bad as far as how long it is stopping but to me this is just another slap that things are continuing to move downward, even though on the outside he had three good days.

I thought of how my sick brother seemed so good and the green bug I had just photoed outside. Life is still moving all around us, but you have to look deep inside to see what is truly happening.

41 thoughts on “Three Good Days, M.S.A.

      • Do any of us know what we can do really Terry? We can only have faith that God will help! And He will! You are no piece of wimpy cheese. Far from it! You are a fighter that has fought a war in order to take care of Al, now the time is come and the war is over but you are afraid that you have lost. You haven’t! You have made it possible for Al to hold on long enough to understand that God wants him home with Him. What more could anyone want. God bless you my friend, you have the strength of armies and the love of all your friends holding you up.


  1. Terry – I weep for you and Al. I so understand how it is when you have a good day and then bam, you are worse than before. The same thing happened to Tom. On Tue he wanted to go out so we went to a little coffee shop where we used to go all the time before he became so ill. It was a place we went to regularly and I would write and Tom would work on his drawings for his comissioned jewelry customers. After being out and about 5 hours (that’s a really long time for Tom) we came home and he ate a pretty good dinner and went to bed early. Yesterday (the following day) he could barely move and around 2:00 went into a coughing spasm that wouldn’t stop. He has so many broken bones now that every cough was a torture chamber. I called his internist and was going to take Tom to the ER and his advise was to simply double his pain medication and the sedative part of the pain mediction would relax him enough to sleep. Now I know that’s not the answer to why Tom started coughing so violently and it certainly doesn’t provide a remedy for me when it happens the next time. Hang in there my friend. My thoughts and prays are with you and Al and I pray daily for Tom that he’ll survive long enough for us to get a diagnosis that can treat whatever is happening to this man I love with my entire being.


  2. I keep thinking of the two of you Terry, you write that you are not ready for this, of course not, we are never really ready for the most painful things we have to live through. The good thing is you are not called to be ready, your calling is to keep serving Jesus as you do by loving and serving your brother. You do all you should do and are all you are supposed to be, just rest in the thought that God is ready, ready for keeping both of you in his arms, both in life and death.Love and prayers from me..


  3. Still praying for you and Al. I like your bug. It does seem weird that the world just keeps on going no matter what is happening with us. But I think it is also comforting in the fact that God has a plan for our future, a plan for good and not for evil. He has a plan for his whole creation and he upholds it and keeps it going. God loves you and Al.


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