The Man in Her Dream

Monica sat up in bed in a cold sweat. It was 3am and when she looked at the television a set of wiggly lines were running across the screen. Laying beside her was Fluff, her 7 year-old cat.

Looking out of her bedroom door she saw blackness. Everything seemed alright. She wiped the beads of sweat from  her brow thinking she had experienced a terrible nightmare.

She laid back down. She closed her eyes, but her brain was having trouble meeting her wish to go back to sleep. She began to think about what she had to do tomorrow. A long day at work.

Casey’s is where she worked. She did the payroll and this was towards the end-of-month. She had to go back over records and make sure there were no mistakes and no holes. It was going to be a long couple of days.

Her birthday was coming up over the weekend. Her boyfriend and parents had got together and planned a surprise party for her; but Jim, her boyfriend told her about it and ruined the surprise. Monica smiled as she thought about how much she loved him.

She placed her thoughts back to what needed to be done. Sleep, she had to get some sleep. Thoughts settled and she drifted off to sleep. She was woken up once again but not be another dream, but hands that were reaching under her blanket.

She sat up, trying to scream, but nothing came out. Both of her hands started beating the blankets and then her feet took immediate action and began kicking at the dark shadow hovering over her.

The hands sought her legs and gripping with a ferocious tug, she was pulled out from her bed and landed sharply on the floor. Kicking with feet and hands and finding her voice, she screamed, ” let me go, let me go. Please don’t hurt me. What do you want? Let me go”.

He drug her from her bedroom floor out to the living room. Her nightgown being pulled up her skin was being burnt by the carpet. She wanted to cry, but she didn’t want to show defeat so instead, she screamed louder with limbs attacking anywhere pain could be sought.

He pulled her up and thrust her onto the couch. From his back pocket he pulled out some furnace tape and clumsily taped her mouth and bound her hands and feet. Her eyes bulged from fear.

He began to walk to the side of her and she stuck out her legs and he tripped over them. Struggling with all she had she stood up and began to hop towards the front door. She tried desperately to wiggle free from the tape that was holding her hostage around her wrists, but she was unsuccessful.

The intruder was angry by now and he yanked her back from the door with such force she landed in a tail-spin and cracked her head on the corner of a lamp table. From that moment on she spun into darkness.

He picked her up and carried her out her back door to where he had his dingy, dark van with the back doors opened. Tossing her inside he quietly shut the doors. He looked around to see if anyone had heard her screams.

Seeing no shadow of life he quickly went back inside her home and took what ever valuables he could find. Putting them in the bag he pulled out of his jacket he closed the back door and jumped in his van.

He left the neighborhood, breathing a little too fast. The broad had almost ruined his plan. Calming down some and lighting a cigarette, he took a couple of deep puffs. His mind gearing towards the abandoned warehouse.

There he would drop off the goods and collect a handsome pay-out. He glanced towards the back of the van and saw that Monica was still knocked-out. He started to smile as the semi that was coming towards him began blaring its horn.

The van crossed the road and the semi pushed it towards the gully. The van flipped over three times. The intruder hit his head on the steering column and then slammed back towards the head rest before hitting the column once again.

He woke up to a bright flashlight shining into his eyes. Blur of men surrounding him asking questions to see if he was alright. He heard the back door of  his van open and suddenly the trigger of a gun was pointed towards his gut.

Making sure he could stand the officers pulled him out and cuffed him. The sounds of an ambulance neared and soon Monica was laying on a stretcher. The tape was cut off and she woke to a soft, female voice.

” Are you hurt miss? Did he place his hands on you?”

” Uh no, he didn’t rape me. I don’t think he hurt me. My legs and arms feel bruised.”

” We will get you to the hospital now. You can get checked out and after that we will be waiting to question you. I think you are a very lucky lady mam. We have been searching for a guy who fits his description. If it is him, you have helped to capture one of the giants of the sex-traffic ring. Now just relax and we will take it from here.”


One Foot in Front of the Other

I am up early this morning again. I think this is becoming a habit. I wouldn’t mind if I had full days of work and didn’t want to take a nap within four hours. I flipped the TV on and went to the station where I could watch my super woman, I Love Lucy. She makes me laugh even when I don’t want to.

This episode is about their boat trip to Europe and she misses the boat. It made me think about how bad she wanted to go and what measures she would go to make this happen.

We all go through issues each day. Some are easy to solve, then there are others that require a thought process and at times the answer can not be seen through the fog. Yesterday I watched one of my favorite shows called Every Day Living with Joyce Meyers.

Her topic happened to be on choices  also. She made me see how many decisions we make each day. Anything from rising out of bed, to balancing our checkbooks. We make choices without even thinking about them.

Writing that last sentence made me wonder what choices I have made without thinking in my forty-five minutes of waking up. Let’s see, I decided to get up. I made the choice to light up my first cigarette. I chose to pour my first cup of coffee.

I decided to play Candy Saga before doing anything else. I easily channel surfed to the Hallmark station. I chose to turn the over head lights on instead of opening the window blinds.

Look at those decisions  I made without putting any thought into it. What do we do when we are faced with more difficult choices? What if the answer we want is so heavily weighted that we will do anything to have it our way as Lucy did in her show?

Lucy was determined to get to the ship she had missed. Her husband, Ricky and her best friends Fred and Ethel were on the ship and she, always being in some sort of silly mess had missed the ship.

She had no way of reaching that ship but by helicopter. To add laughter to her situation she screamed and demanded another way; but in the end she stepped out in faith. She was so afraid of riding in that bird with no door on her side, because she wanted to be reunited with her loved ones.

Do we step out in faith when we are unsure of the outcome? Stepping out in faith is such a simple process. All it entails is placing one foot in front of the other and walking. We are experts at that aren’t we? After all we learned to take our first steps somewhere between the ages of one and two.

I have not stepped out in faith many times in my life. Fear of the outcome has kept me on solid ground with my feet frozen in spot. It upsets me when I act like this because I may be missing out on something that would make my life fuller and richer.

I have learned since Al has passed that instead of me trying to beat myself up emotionally or crying because I am scared; to put my faith in God. I have an imaginary basket that I vision God holding. It is labeled Worry Basket.

Every time I face a decision that is not easily fixed, I toss it in God’s worry basket and try my best along with prayer to listen to God’s whisper and follow his direction. It does work.

It relieves stress and the spinning of thoughts in my mind. I have chosen this route with my moving this month. My moving is a big deal. I am listening to God speak to me. I am determined to do what is right. I have no doubt  I am walking towards is the right path; because I am allowing God to lead me and I know he wants only the best for me.

I want a change in my life. I need a different scenery to look at. I can want something so bad just like Lucy did. She wanted to get to that boat and she found a solution. I want to walk the path that  God has chosen for me so found praying and listening for his word is my solution. I am stepping out in faith. It can be scary, but I know God will never steer me wrong.



I Am Frightened and Confused

I am worried. I had different things to worry about when Al was here. Now priorities have changed. I have to go to work. I can only work part-time if I want to keep my small disability check. I can work 20 to 25 hours per week.

I didn’t give it too much thought. I have always been a caregiver, so I guess I will remain one; but the phone doesn’t ring from my placed ad. I applied at a place my brother was affiliated with for years yesterday and got an interview this afternoon.

Part of me was excited. The other part of me just wants to get the hell out of dodge, so to speak. I really don’t want to go back into care giving. Taking care of my dad and then Al has about finished me up. Another issue is I am not positive I am ready to go to work emotionally, but a girl  has to eat right?

I went to the interview. It seemed to go fine until I had to explain that I didn’t want to work late evenings nor could I work forty hours. It went down hill from there. I told the lady I was more interested in days. I explained with my Diabetes I do not do well on third shift. It messes with my numbers too much, plus I know that with my age I don’t do well not getting my sleep. She pretty much told me she would keep it on file.

A part of me was fine with this. I hate to say it, let alone admit it on paper, but I don’t want to work with disabled clients anymore. I would love to have a job where there are people I can talk to and I don’t want to see sickness and death for a long time. But what’s a girl gonna do? To help spread awareness for MSA or to help an ill person, I can do this. To work daily with mental challenges, I am tired. Al was a challenge and I just don’t know if I really want to do it again.

I keep telling myself, Terry, at the age of 60 you should have done better in your life. You have no mate to help you out. You don’t have a bank account to squeal about. Girl, you are on your own and you better take what you can.

But I can’t see good enough in the dark to drive. This is why I told the lady I couldn’t do evenings. It wouldn’t look good to go to work and then not be able to drive home because of darkness.

There are times I feel like I have so much to offer to the world. 23 years of medical training. 7 years experience with MSA. A published book and a second one in writing. Yet here I sit, unemployed, not having the foggiest idea where I fit in.

I pay my bills when they arrive, but I want to eat and be able to enjoy some type of social life sometimes. Maybe I am just asking too much. After all, who wants a disabled, 60-year-old gal, when there are so many young people out there fresh out of high-school or college.

I can’t use my hands for a long period of time, and I can’t walk much due to Neuropathy in my feet. I am scared my friends. I must be good at something. I should have something to offer at my age. I am so confused.

On the way home on one side of the town was clouds and on the opposite side of town was sun. I snapped a photo of each side coming home. When I looked at them both as I placed them on here the two reminded me of me. Two different sides, a little dull, a little bright. Someone who doesn’t know which way to go or what door to walk in where the person on the other side will say, Yes, you are hired.

clouds 2clouds

Stressed, That’s What I Am

Yesterday Al slept most of the day. It was pretty busy though. People drifting in and out. Me trying to run to the grocery store. A smell of fresh air and the oldies tunes beating on my radio.

Today, it is entirely different. Al is talking about people I don’t know. He doesn’t know the caregiver’s name. My friend came here late afternoon yesterday and he didn’t know who she was either.

Today, he is awake and confused. He is laying in his bed saying, ” Please, please, please”. He is talking about someone named Tiffany. I am not familiar with this person. He has asked for the basketball game to be on. I put it on. He wants it changed. He wants the lights and TV off.

I can barely deal with this today and I am looking so forward to Monday morning. I used to feel sadness or guilt when I thought of him leaving, but today, I have to admit him and I having a break from each other for a few days could do him, and me possibly wonders. I think I will run a way, just like this horse, gallop into the winds!!



I Lost It

It’s been a couple of day since I have written. The reason why is shame. Shame on how I fell apart. The knowledge of knowing someone saw me at my weakest. Seeing Al still show signs of leaving this earth and yet he is still here, lingering for what?, I don’t know.

Yesterday my girlfriend arrived. I had already been suffering from fighting off the panic attacks from returning from 20 years ago. Fighting to stay strong through seeing my brother fade from this earth.

The truth is my friends, that although I know that having Al in heaven is the most blessed reward, I can’t handle him leaving me. It is the most selfish and yet human feelings I have felt in some time.

I started feeling and becoming worried over the little things I was feeling inside. A warm feeling would go through me from head to toe. I would get dizzy and as this progressed so did my fear. Fear of dying, fear of leaving this earth before Al.

As I obsessed I was able to, without trying, to allow my blood pressure get to a dangerous point of a stroke. The harder I tried to calm myself, the higher it climbed. I was out of control and even with my girlfriend here at my side, I couldn’t fight what was happening. I was losing the battle and needed help.

Seeing my brother’s lips turn to a purple/blue didn’t help matters. My diabetic numbers bottomed out, forcing me to have to live the rest of the day with trying to recoup from this.

Hospice nurse arrived mid-evening and checked on Al. No one really knows why he is still lingering. I have to say that God is the only one, and maybe some day I will understand this whole ugly mess.

The nurse checked my blood pressure and then instructed me to call my Doctor. I did do that and he had me take an extra pill which helped but I couldn’t rid the anxiety I was feeling.

The truth is I am an excellent caregiver but an absolute failure at caring for myself. I have always thought I can conquer all. I can fix anything, and yet there I was a total mess, right in front of my friend, to boot.

I called the doctor first thing this morning and got an appointment for today at noon. My friend took me and as soon as I saw my wonderful friend, the doctor, I broke down into a pot of tears.

He blamed my sugar ups and downs and my stress all on being a caregiver for a brother. He wasn’t angry at me. He did let me no in no uncertain terms that stress can kill. He prescribed me a medication that will help with anxiety, and told me not to take the extra blood pressure pill.

I took it after getting it filled and it helped. Early this evening the feelings came back and I took another. It does help but doesn’t make me loony. It just takes the edge off. I am a different person tonight. I am still very tired, drained and worn out. I slept this afternoon and will most likely sleep tonight.

Al lays in his bed fighting to die and I lay in my bed fighting to live. I pray God realizes that I am a weak creature. My strength is becoming weaker. Al wants to desperately go to heaven, and I want this over for the both of us.

Al hasn’t spoken in a few days. Tonight he opened his mouth for food but couldn’t really help in keeping it in, so we sort of made a mess with him eating. He is still eating but mainly baby food. His swelling was down in his hands last night, but back today.

The infection we thought was being controlled is not working. It was back in full force. The facts are the illness of MSA, Multiple System Atrophy, is so full inside of Al, that it is seeping out of his body.

Although we turn him regularly, his skin is breaking down. Sores are appearing that we fight with medications. Most of the time he doesn’t realize I am in the room. On a good moment his eyes will follow me. Sometimes he will watch the TV, but most times he sleeps through it.

Faye, one of the caregivers brought him a wonderful set of The Three Stooges DVD’s. I have it playing a lot for him because I know if Al was truly here with me, he would be laughing right now and calling me in the room to say, ” Look at this Terry, look at this. Isn’t this funny?”