Chapter 22


The test was scheduled for the next day. Al asked a lot of questions but I assured him it was not going to hurt. I explained how they were just going to take a fancy picture of him. He seemed content with that.

I was there when the specialist arrived. He set everything up and explained the procedure to  Al and me. After the wires were attached he begin doing his magic. When it was all done, the doctor showed me what he had suspected.

Al had some brain damage happen from the seizure he had. He said that I should not be surprised if in the near future Al would begin to show Parkinson’s Disease as it was so strong in the family.

Al didn’t seem to really understand and I explained as briefly as I could. I didn’t want him to get this disease. I had seen the effects of it with three different family members. The specialist unhooked everything and left.

The next day Al was released and we went back to our normal routine of living. I tried to brush the doctor’s words to the back of my mind. Why worry when he showed no signs of it.

About three months went by from that day at the hospital. I started noticing Al was tripping over himself. He fell a few times getting in and out of the truck. I tried telling him to be more careful, to walk slower and not to be in such a hurry, but in the back of my mind, those stored words were starting to surface.

The next time he fell out of the truck was the last time. He not only cut his legs but he was limping. I called the family doctor and made an appointment to take him in. After seeing Al, he sent him to a sports doctor.

The new doctor did x-rays on Al’s legs and he had torn ligaments in both knees. That was the last time Al rode in that truck. We went car shopping and got something that Al could get in and out of with ease.

Nothing stopped for him. The car made it easier but then a slight tremor started being seen in Al’s one hand. It went from there to the upper arm and then on the same side the leg started to twitch.

Once again I called the doctor. After checking him he thought it best to send Al to a neurologist. He told me he was pretty sure Al had Parkinson’s Disease. I smiled at Al as the doctor spoke but inside I was screaming, no, no, no.

The appointment took a couple of weeks. In the mean time Al didn’t have the tremors too often. When he did have them I could see they bothered Al. He always told me he was trying to get them to stop but he couldn’t.

I started researching this nasty disease. Although I had been familiar with the word and had seen some of what it can do, I needed to know more. I didn’t like what I read. I kept reading the same thing over and over, no cure and gets gradually worse. The worst I read was there was no cure and Al could suffer for years with this.

Upon arriving to the appointment he had Al do different tests. Strength and walking, squeezing fingers, and gait. The doctor diagnosed the final words Parkinson’s Disease. He explained about exercise and how Al could benefit greatly from it. He explained how the tremors may spread from the one side to both sides. He said the head could shake or the lips tremor.

I shook his hand and thanked him for the insightful information. Everything was going to be different from now on. My family members had terrible tremors and one of them ended up in a wheel chair. I was going to make sure Al lived life and had as much fun as he could possibly have while he could.

There was nothing really prescribed for Al at that time. There were no special changes that we made. We just waited and dealt with what he was given each day. The tremors did continue. They moved from the one side to both sides.

He didn’t have the lip tremor and he didn’t drool. Other than the shaking of the hands and legs he led a pretty active life. I continued to allow him to go to his adult day care. I wanted him to not have to think too much about the doctor’s visits.

He was scheduled appointments every six months to see if the disease was progressing. Only then did we actually voice the word Parkinson. Al still went on the outings and seemed to be having a good time.

I then started hearing him complain about his hands. I had noticed they were shaking a little stronger than in the past. He was mad because he was beginning to lose control over them. He was beginning to spill things he was trying to hold.

I noticed that he would sit on his hands to get them to stop shaking. For some time that did seem to help. The more he seemed to struggle the more I began to spoil him. I took him  out to eat all the time.

We went to the flea markets and shopping. What ever clothes he wanted I tried to buy. We looked for coca cola items even harder. Life was still pretty good when I look back at it now.

He then began to complain of chest pains again. I took him back to the heart doctor and his exam showed him that Al was just stressed out from the shaking. He started prescribing calming medications. Before too long had passed, Al was on Parkinson’s medications along with antidepressants and also  the calming medications.

Laughter Between Two


Tonight I stepped out and gave in to my weakest treat, the Dairy Queen Mister Misty Freeze.dairy queen I can go forever without them and then bam, I think of one and have to  have it.  Usually I will have two in the same week and then I can go for months without them again.

While waiting for it to be made I saw an elderly couple come walking in. They came up beside me and I looked at him, and saw something I recognized. I looked at her and thought she was someone I knew also.

I asked her if she was so and so and she said no. I told her she had a twin out there and we both laughed. She began to tell me that her husband was a teacher at one time at Lincoln School here in Warsaw.

Then I knew instantly who they were, especially him. Those eyes, those deep, blue eyes. He had been my fifth grade teacher and I had the biggest crush on those eyes. I was always thrilled to sit up front so I could sit and stare at him.

She told him I was one of his students and he asked my name. I told him but it didn’t ring a bell. He asked some of the students names who had been in my class. This took a thinking cap but I came up with a couple of names.

We both laughed when he made a crack about it only being ten years ago. He asked, ” Has my voice changed much?”

” Oh just a little,” I said. Then in a deep voice he said, ” Terry, get back in your seat and quit talking.” We both roared in laughter as the old, familiar words came running back to me.

Yes, that was his famous words to me. I talked  too much in his class and I talked too much in every class throughout elementary years. He gave me a pat on the shoulder and told me to be good the rest of my life and I promised I would try.

That just made my day. I went back to my seat with my treat and actually had to put that thinker cap back on to try to figure out about how old he is today. I must say that age has not ruined those good looks of his nor his deep, blue eyes. It was great to run into you Mr. Gene Butts, my fifth grade teacher.