Being a Caregiver can be a Bitch


Oh my God! I instantly get pissed off when I read crap about caregiver abuse.

I posted an article about a family member and the caregiver abuse that was involved. How can people do this?

I know from my own personal experience; being a caregiver for a patient can be very stressful. It’s even worse for a family member to be the primary caregiver.

Caregivers have to watch the illness take over the life and watch to the very end; which many times ends up in a sad situation.

Family caregivers fight with various emotions. They are watching their loved one become less than the person they knew.
Many times there isn’t enough relief and the hours turn into many long and lonely hours.
Sometimes caregivers fight the memories. Why didn’t they do more, say more syndrome?
Then there is the background noise. People suddenly start claiming property or trinkets as if the patient was already deceased.

Thoughts have to eventually turn to the future. Questions roaming in the mind can often be; how will I make it? Why didn’t we prepare burial insurance? Will I have to sell the house? I can’t keep doing this forever; I have a job!

So many questions, so much emotion, and yet we continue to move through the days. Why? Because we genuinely care about the patient or they are our spouse and we love them.

My brother, Al, was no easy piece of cake to take care of. He was mentally challenged in his thinking, especially. Having Multiple System Atrophy and Parkinson’s, kept him even slower with his thinking.

Various times I was screamed at, threatened, verbally abused, and there were even a few times I was hit by him. Sure, the normal part of me said, FORGET THIS CRAP!!!! I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS.

That thought entered my mind. For God’s sake; I am human, but the love I felt for my brother; kept me going on for those seven years. I was blessed with, from God, to be a caregiver.

I actually loved and still love taking care of people who need help, but let’s face it, every day isn’t a picnic. Next month will be four years since I lost my brother to MSA. I wouldn’t change a darn thing I did. I know I did a good job. Well there is my little part of patting myself on the back; if you wish to see it that way.

The point I am trying to make is; not everyone is born to be a caregiver. Some can’t face watching the patient decline. Then there are those who seem to have the gift. They put their heart and soul into it, and care about nothing more than giving good care and comfort.

If you find you can’t care for a person. Don’t continue to do so out of guilt. Bad things happen from guilt. Examples, anger builds, neglect can happen and so many other things.

Except you are not the person to be performing this type of work.. Look at alternatives. Ask for help. Seek Respite care, family members, nursing homes, elderly attorneys. Do what is right for you and the patient.

When I read about caregivers who abuse and neglect their patients, I try to understand how it happened, but the fact is; it happened.

Thank-you for letting me get this off my chest.

Terry Shepherd
A former caregiver for many years
Now dealing with Parkinsonism/ Ataxia/ Dystonia

#MSA#Parkinsons #Caregivers#Patientcare

 

illness

Who? Who?


In my day; life was good; no better than today. Not just because the economy was stabilized, not only were students and schools working together, but morality was higher.

As I listen to the news and daily talk shows, my heart sinks, as I ponder on who kids can trust today. The saying was ” don’t get into cars with strangers.” ” Your policemen are your friend.”

Today, I don’t trust very many. The most groups I don’t trust are, teachers, politicians, ministers and high-office positions. You may say,” Why in the world do you say that”?

Simple, Satan is at work. Egos are too high, too much confidence, too much concern over self, too concerned with money and the need for power is; overwhelming.

Send your child to a training camp and there is a fat chance sexual abuse will be happening to one of those kids. Allow your child to attend private school or tech schools, or big and small colleges, you can guarantee somewhere, sometime, someone will be sexually abused.

I am not saying that all police, teachers, priests, high-up people are bad. What I am saying, is to some, the “I can get by with it and I need to quench my personal needs” approach is being more observed.

So much for the mental and physical damages occurring to those taken advantage of; the person doing the damage has lost their mind in the name game,”ME FIRST”.

It is just sick, the world is getting the SATAN SICKNESS and what’s worse, is some are helping to cover up the crime. Like I said earlier, who are our young people to turn to when they need to confide in someone? Who? Who can we trust anymore?

Written by my feelings,
Terry Shepherd

 

law

Prayers Are Answered


Thanksgiving morning, the house was alive. Children running and yelling. Pillow fights, playing Tag, jumping up and over the furniture. Mom in the kitchen and dad hovering over her; telling her how to do this and that, although he didn’t have much practice at anything in the kitchen.
There was a small table with two chairs. The mom of the husband, the children’s grandmother, sat quietly at the table in the corner. Ellie drank her coffee and puffed on her cigarette. She was trying to go back in her own memories of this holiday and was wondering if these days too, were full of chaos.
She put her cigarette out and in a wispy voice asked, “Is there anything I can do to help, either of you?” No one replied. I am not sure if it was due to not being heard, or maybe just being ignored. Ellie cleared her throat and then stood up to her walker.
She was dressed still in her night clothes. She had a faded flannel, floor-length nightie on and an almost two tight faded, pink robe. She gathered the belt tighter as to hide herself and slowly walked towards the sink. “I said, is there anything I can do to help either of you? I’m not really doing anything and maybe I could set the table or get out the glasses.”
“Old lady, you have done enough. You harped and harped at us until we gave in and let you move you and your stuff in. You spend more time in your room smoking or you let our kids get by with shit when you are supposed to be babysitting and setting a good example. You are here for Thanksgiving aren’t you? You didn’t pitch in any money for this fine food we are going to have did you? No, I , no, we don’t need your help. Just go back to what you were doing, which is nothing.”
Ellie turned her head away as she felt the tears begin to fall. Those words cut to the bone. She didn’t want to move in with her family. She never wanted to become a burden to anyone. Tears fell faster as she turned and walked back to her little table. She remembered the days when she was beginning to get weak. She had fallen a few too many times and the ER finally admitted her for a broken hip. She was told in no uncertain terms, that she wasn’t going to be allowed to return to her home. She needed a place to go.
Ellie only had two children. One lived in Alaska and the other here in the next city from where Ellie had lived. Her husband had passed away a few years ago from cancer, and although she got lonely; she was doing fine on her own. No one seemed to want her as a permanent live-in, but she did end up here at her son’s home, and she guessed she would have to deal with it until the day she died. She hoped that would be soon.
Each morning before she put her feet on the cold floor, she thanked her God for a roof over her head, food to eat, and another chance at life. She also prayed for God to do something so she wouldn’t be a burden anymore to this family.
Some days she had visitors from her church she used to go to. They would drink coffee and chat about what was going on at the church or fill Ellie in on the town gossip. Although no one said anything, her friends noticed the tears. One time when her closest friend had come to visit, she saw it. It was black and blue, about the size of a fist. It was on her arm. Someone had harmed this woman, this friend of hers. It was probably that mean, old son, who only let her be here so he could spend her money.
Thanksgiving day left and the weather turned pretty cold. Snow fell and the ground was covered in pure white. At nights she stood at her walker, staring out at the snow. The moon making sparkles on the snow-covered tree branches. Sometimes she would hear a car pass, and they made a crunchy noise. She was glad she was inside, but she missed the winter’s crisp air.
It was a couple of weeks that had gone by since she saw her friends. Actually, it was getting real close to Christmas. The phone rang and her son yelled, “It’s for you old lady.” Ellie walked to the hall and picked up the phone. “Hello, this is Ellie.”
“Hello mam, my name is Robert T. Wagonor. I am a friend of your friend Betty. I go to the church sometimes and fill in for the minister. I was wondering if Betty and I could come pay you a visit.” Ellie liked visitors. “Yes, that would be real nice. When will you be coming?”
“At 1, right after lunch. Is this alright with you?”
“Yes, see you then.”
Ellie got herself her lunch and then went in and made herself as presentable as possible. She went out and sat on the couch awaiting her visitors. It wasn’t long before the knock at the door came. Seeing no one was going to let them in, she got up and walked to the door, opening it wide, saying, “Hello, welcome, come on in.” They followed her and waited for Ellie to sit, then sat across from her.
” I would like to get right to the point of our visit. It has come to my attention that this may not be the safest place for you to live. You deserve to be safe and happy. Can you tell me if our thoughts are wrong?” No one said a word. No one shook their head. ” The church has had some meetings and we have talked to people here in town who really care about the well-being of senior citizens. With the help of the city and private donations, we have been able to come up with enough money to pay your rent for the next six months. The place we are talking about is called, A Place Like Home. We want to take you there to visit and see what you think.” Ellie agreed and was helped with her coat, hat, gloves and boots on.
In less than half-an-hour, they were all sitting in a cozy living room. A fire was crackling in the fireplace. There were nice, soft chairs and rockers, a long sofa. There were plants sitting in the window’s light. Soft, lacy curtains covered the windows. It felt like home. Some of her friends from the church were there and Ellie learned they lived here all the time. It was less then four days when all finances were transferred to safer hands. It was less than four days when Ellie was sitting in one of the rockers, not smoking, drinking her tea, laughing with the other ladies. This place was her home. This place was like home. She rested her head back, listening to the others talk, and smiled. Thank-you God for fixing my problem.
Written from my heart,
Terry Shepherd.
God bless our Senior Citizens.

 

Read to the End of my Halloween Story


Johnny was the bad boy. He was a bully to his sister when he was young. He took her toys a way from her. He jumped out and scared her. He liked anything that would make her get scared or cry.

Ava and Don were his parents. They saw what he was doing many times but they would always come back with the same remark; boys will be boys. He will grow out of it.

When Johnny went to middle school and upper grades, he was always being called into the office for skipping days. The principal hated his smart-alec attitude. He would try talking to him, threatening him, calling the parents; but nothing worked. The principal felt guilt for thinking he couldn’t wait to get that kid out of his school, but he did think it and often.

Johnny did end up quitting school in the tenth grade. School seemed to get better and calmer after the bad kid left, but out on the streets it became eerie. His parents told him he was old enough to get a job,” so get to it”.

Johnny had several jobs as cooks, dishwasher, waiters but after a few weeks he just didn’t go back. There was something definitely wrong with this kid.

It was October 31st, 1967. Johnny and his hood friends were out. Their goal was to destroy as many properties as possible with eggs, toilet paper etc. They had all been drinking and probably would have been better off sitting in jail.

They came upon an addition where the houses looked neat and complete with tidy yards. At least two vehicles sat in each driveway. This was going to be their major drop for their dirty treating for the night.

They hid under a big, old elm tree. They got all their supplies out and divided them with in the group. One of the boys raised his hand to throw the first tomato.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a huge, dark, wispy shadow. It was coming towards them. Although it was dark, the shadow seemed darker and scary looking. He dropped the tomato and looking at the other guys, each just shrugged their shoulders as if saying, “get over it fraidy cat.”

The shadow came closer and closer. Soon it was hovering over the group of boys. Without a blink of an eye, it sucked them up like the end of a hose on a professional sweeper. In a poof, they were gone.

What do you think happened to those boys readers? Can you fill in the end of this story?

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

 

scary clouds

Living in Today’s World


My mind wanders back to the day of 9/11, 16 years ago. What was I doing? Where was I? I was going through my own hell on that day. I had split up with my ex. I was living on my own on minimum wages. I had lost my mother a year prior. I was lonely, miserable and sad, angry at everyone; including myself.

I remember having slept a restless night, probably from worrying too much, instead of leaving it in God’s hands. I woke up later than my normal time. I got my coffee made, sat down to drink it and flipped the television on.

Oh my gosh! What! What in the world is going on?

I listened and learned our country had been hit by mean and hateful people. Lives had been lost. Quickly, I forgot about my problems and thought about how my mother wasn’t here to see this.

I sat glued to the television. I didn’t get much accomplished that day. I grew quieter in thought and just watched the TV. Hour after hour, my heart sank. Before I knew it, I was beginning to pray.

I had been brought up in church. I did the weekly church thing, but this moment, I found myself drawing nearer to our God. I felt tears dripping as my heart tore more open from this world tragedy.

From that day forward, God and I became closer friends. He helped me get through my father’s illness and death. He helped keep me strong for my brother’s seven-year illness and his death.

He showed me I could make it on my own in almost any situation. He helped me draw closer to my children and to understand I was not only their mother, but I could let loose of the trying to guide them in their own lives, and just plain enjoy knowing they love me, no matter what.

Today, I thank God for awakening my need for him. I pray for all those lost in the terrible 9/11. I continue to pray for our world of disasters today; other countries in turmoil and hate, tornadoes, fires and hurricanes. I pray for our Congress and President Trump.

No matter what my opinions are of any goings on, the fact is; God is in charge and knows exactly what to do. Now, today, I am fighting my own health concerns. I try to give more to God and enjoy the little things in life; like waking up.

I try and succeed most times, to find the good in the negative in people and in my surrounding situations. God is good. I don’t know why he doesn’t stop some things from happening; but I know he has his reasons. Maybe, he wants us all to draw near to him, lean on him.

So many of us feel we are in charge of our lives. We have to make the decisions. We must make sure our children are happy, our spouses and partners are happy. Our job performances are noticed, our paychecks bigger each year.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter, none of it. God brought us into this world out of ashes. He will take us out of this world in a blink of an eye, and I promise, nothing is going with us, nothing.

All that matters is; we love God, praise his name, give thanks for everything we do  have, continue to love him when things don’t go right, and the biggest to me, is TRUST HIM, and don’t worry about what others are thinking or saying. We are God’s child. He made us perfect in his vision. He has us right where he wants us, each moment, each day, each year.

God bless our country. God bless our military. God bless you.

 

September 11th Terrorist Attacks

Put That Crime in a Box


I live in a city in northern Indiana. I am not sure why I am even stating that fact; as it doesn’t seem to really matter. This happens in about any town that has any politicians involved.

There are crimes, and then there are crimes. Get what I mean? Some of the crimes in my opinions are so petty, and being locked up provides certain luxuries that some senior citizens would give their right arm to receive plus the fact it is taking up valuable space for those crimes more serious, and of course, you know who is footing these  bills of three meals and a shower, right?

I am not able to speak on experience. Crap, I am just a pebble on the beach in our town. No one really knows who I am, and with what happens inside the box, I don’t think I would want to be discovered, so I will just remain one of many pebbles.

What gets my goat though worse than anything is crime. Now if I don’t report any changes within ten days to the government, any or all of my benefits can be ripped away for long periods of time, and maybe permanent too. There could also be a threat of jail time, and like I said, I am a nobody, and I did pay into the system for a time, so of course any benefits I receive, weren’t mine in the beginning, right?

Then there is the ones who have a name, have some money sitting under the  mattress and in the bank, and they commit a crime, and suddenly it is not labeled a crime or the guilty get pushed under a new name, a new category, and BINGO, all charges are forgiven or suspended.

I can’t say the crime. I don’t know if I would get in trouble or a knock at my door, so I will just say, it has been on the news, plastered on the internet, so I have to believe that there was truth in what happened at one point.

All I am trying to point out here is this; if you do the crime, I don’t give a hoot what your last name is or how many bundles you got in the bank, pay the price. You are no better than me or any other pebbles in this world.

People, quit giving the bad guys a break. How about giving a break to those of us older people who are fighting to eat every day, pay our rents and utilities, get rides to the doctors, struggle paying those co-pays. Oh shit, I could go on and on at the unbalance in our world, but hey, I am just that pebble, so who is really listening. Oh well, I feel better just getting this off my chest. I will sleep well tonight, will you?

 

Obviously, people who commit crimes should be punished. Even people who steal socks and ‘Snow White’ videos should probably do time if they have priors, especially serious priors. But the punishment has to fit the crime, and the standard has to be the same for everyone. Matt Taibbi
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/matt_taibbi.html

Has Fallen


HAS FALLEN

How sad, one nation
Under God, for liberty
And justice, for ALL
Has fallen.

One marvels at change
Some look in awe
Our country in crumbles
Has fallen.

We have but one God
Who watches and cries
This wasn’t what he wanted
Has fallen.

Murder of innocent
Bombs and rape
Guns running rampant
Has fallen.

One nation, under God
This is who we were
Let’s pray and hold hands
Words heard for the fallen.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

Photo taken by Terry Shepherd

 

 

wp-image-1235209068jpeg.jpeg

The Broken Dream


All his life he could remember wanting to be a policeman. When he was three years old, he got a big, black toy car with a bright, red siren on top. A plastic policeman sat in the driver’s seat. He could picture himself laying on the floor playing with that one car for hours.

As he grew up, his parents took him to visit the police station. The captain gave him a police hat that had a shiny badge on the bill. That was the biggest day of his life that year. He also visited and made many friends at the fire department. He got to practice sliding down the pole. He sat in the big chair of the trucks. His buddies even invited him when there were birthday parties.

When he grew up, yep, you know it, his first job was with the local police department. A brand new rookie, who already felt at home in his clothes and surroundings.

Although his town was once peaceful, life had changed. Bad people had moved in and it was his first day that he got the call to answer a domestic problem down in the bad side of town.

He was the first to arrive. The husband and wife were out on the porch screaming at each other. He tried talking, but no one was listening. He stepped in and prevented the wife from getting bashed across the face.

Another police car pulled up and taking his gun out of his holster, he fired a shot into the air. The goal was to shock the madness on the porch. Instead it spooked the husband. Without hesitation, he reached for the rookie’s gun and pulled it out. He shot him in the heart twice.

Stillness filled the air. The husband dropped the gun. The wife sat on the steps. The last officer to arrive, rushed to handcuff the prisoner. He went to his buddy. ” You loved life. You loved your job. You died doing what inspired you. Gonna miss you buddy.”

“Officer down, officer down. 10-0. Send an ambulance to 1040 Hero Lane.”

Dedicated to all Fallen Officers in America

 

sirens

The Old Lady in the House on the Hill


Old lady Maude had been brought up much different than most children in her area. Her parents were suspicious of everyone. Dogs and cats weren’t even allowed as pets. The fear was they may become rabid and bite through the full moon nights, and someone wouldn’t wake up.

The odd family lived down a long lane at the edge of town. At night; the curving road would send shivers down your spine, just staring down the long, empty vine. The owners felt like they mattered to no one because people just didn’t seem to understand their views on life. They went about their business and seemed to only exist in the world.

When Maude grew up; she became her parent’s likeness. She lived in the old house her parents had left her. She lived alone within the walls. The spiders and anything that crept through the house on the darkest of nights, became her friends.

She hated people in general; except the one neighbor on her right side. When she would walk to the mailbox, and if he was outside, he would wave and say good day. At first; she ignored him, but after repeated gestures, she did wave and eventually said her first hello.

Maude was in the attic one day and came across some trunks that had been her parents. She opened the hunched lids and found various clothing. She spent the better part of the afternoon trying them on.

She took the best ones and the next day when she went to the mailbox, she was wearing an A-line dress, with a brooch and matching shoes and hat, which had a big, floppy flower dangling off it.

The neighbor was out and instead of doing his usual good day, he stared and said nothing. She noticed, but said nothing, making her way to get the mail. When she was about half-way back to the house, he met her.

He stuck his hand out to shake hers. “I guess we have never been formally introduced. I am Jake and of course you know where I live. It is my pleasure to meet you, and your name is”?

She let a small smile sneak out and said, “Maude”. From that day on, the two kept company at the mailbox, chatting about nothing, and then without thinking she invited him to supper, and he agreed.

 

It came to be that on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they dined at each others homes. Each gave a guided tour of their homes, and it was a month later, the intimacy followed. Maude had never felt that way in her entire life.

This was love, she just knew it, and she fell hard for him. On the other hand, he had had many relationships in his life. He was what we would call a “gold digger”, and he wanted her gold. Stories had been told that her parents hid money all over their house. They never spent any money on anything other than necessities.  He wanted it, he tasted it, and he would do what ever he had to do, to get his grubby hands on it, even if it meant courting Old Lady Maude.

As the months passed, the invitations passed by, and Maude made her presence known by a knock at his door. It was a blustery day in March. It was Monday evening. He wasn’t expecting her and when she knocked; their was no answer.

After waiting became a problem, she turned the handle and it opened. She walked in and without calling his name, she walked the rooms until she happened upon the door to his bedroom.

There, she heard moans. Raised voices, pleading for more. Maude listened until she could stand no more. She quietly turned the brass door knob and opened it just enough that her eyes could take in the view.

There on the bed was a woman and her man. Her face became hot. Her heart started beating fast and hard. She quietly closed the door and exited the way she had entered. Once back in her home, the words of mistrust came rushing back to her.

Her parents had been right. You could trust no one in life, not even the people you thought would never hurt you. She had to pay him back. She had to get revenge. She thought and thought. She paced the floors.

She thought of the most painful ways to hurt him. Should she make him suffer? Should she make it quick and clean? She went to bed with no supper and continued thinking out her plans.

It was on the next planned date night, he was to have supper at her house. He arrived on time. She smiled at him as she let him in the front door. She led him to the familiar dining room where an already pulled out chair awaited him.

 

He sat and she began bringing him the planned menu. A bowl of soup, with a trace of arsenic in it. Next came a tender slice of roast beef, with a spice of rat poison sprinkled on top. A salad of greens with just the smallest trace of anti-freeze, mixed in with the salad dressing.

She sat with her plate and watched eagerly as he ate bite by bite. After his plate was cleaned, she saw his face turn pale white, then blood red. She smiled as he grabbed his stomach and then vomit a green, foaming mass onto the floor.

“What? What did you give me? Are you trying to poison me”?

Maude asked him one simple question. “Aren’t you trying to poison me? You with your skilled words and manners. Reeling me in like a fish on a hook. The moment my back is turned, you have your penis in another”.

He tried to stand. He wanted to choke her. How dare she accuse him of such things. Look at how he had wined and dined her. He even bedded the old woman, and this is how she returned his favors?

As he stood, he fell to the floor. White foam dripping from his nose and mouth. He lay there lifeless. Maude checked his breath; there was none. He was dead. She rose and cleared the dishes. She rinsed everything in the hottest of water and washed them in bleach.

After the evidence was erased, she rolled the body onto a rug and drug him out to her back yard. She pulled  him to the edge of the cliff and with a giant push, he went cascading over the edges; bouncing off of rocks on his way down.

The wild animals would eat him alive. She smiled and rubbed  her hands against her clothes as if to erase all fingerprints. She walked back to the house, and took a bath. She knelt at her bed and thanked her parents for showing her the way people were. She promised her parents no one would ever touch the money hidden in the walls. After her prayer, she crawled into bed, covered up and went to sleep without another thought.

i-dont-feel

house

In the Ghetto


In the Ghetto

 

In the alley

Late at night

Lays an innocent child.

Crying, hungry, scared.

Mamma tries her best

But life’s not been fair.

Hooked on drugs,

Forced upon her;

She has to give

Up her child.

Crying for

Her past mistakes,

When she wanted

To go to college.

There was no money.

Parents fell into

The trap of poverty.

She tried to earn money;

But he took advantage of her.

“God forgive me of my sins.

I am dying

And I don’t want

My child to see this.

Please let someone

Find him and

Give him a

Home of hope”.

 

Written by,

Terry Shepherd