Hour By Hour

My heart is heavy burdened tonight. On the outside I look alright, but on the inner soul it is breaking. My friend is leaving Monday morning. She has been my rock and I am very thankful for the time she has stayed with me.

But a sadness remains as Al does too. I so didn’t want to be alone when that dreadful last breath was taken. God has his plan and I had my desires. The two do sometimes not coincide.

Last night Al took another turn for the worse. His blood pressure went very high. It was 160/120. Quite frankly, it frightened me to death. I could not find his heart beat as it was too soft.

His one lung is swollen. It is obvious to the naked eye. One side of his chest is swollen. His one side of his face was all puffy. His eye was almost swollen shut and his face was puffy.

His breathing was very shallow. I think one time he followed me with his eyes, but for the most part I don’t believe Al is here with me. He stares a lot, looking at nothing. He is now on oxygen. Water is given very little. Baby food can no longer be given in the meals as he chokes on the very tiny, soft foods. We are down to applesauce, and very strained veggies.

I don’t understand any of it. I don’t like the way it is going. I am questioning everything that is happening and what isn’t. I have even put off blogging because I have nothing good to say.

Who wants to hear or read someone’s blog when they are so sad and frustrated? But I had to write. I don’t know if it is healing to me or not, but I am getting it off my heart and onto paper.

I am living almost hour by hour, waiting, watching TV and not hearing it. Sleeping and waking up too often. For me, this needs to be over. For Al, I pray it will be soon.clock

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?”


Reader Appreciation Award


Jim has nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award.

I want to give credit due to him for this nomination, but after giving so many nominations yesterday, and saying so many silly things about myself, I am going to pass on that part of the rules.

The rules are to give credit to the one who nominated you

Tell seven things about yourself

Nominate five others

Here is a little bit about Jim:

  1. I drink. A lot. There, I’ve admitted it. It’s true; I almost never drink alcohol anymore, but I do consume more than 6 liters of water every single day.
  2. I find it impossible to answer the question “What is your favorite food?”. I like so many different foods, and there are so few I dislike, it’s impossible for me to name a single one as ‘favorite’.
  3. I have social anxiety disorder. I’m never, ever comfortable in large gatherings, and avoid them whenever I can.
  4. I have dozens of pens, but only one I can use regularly. If I try to write with a different one, my thoughts scatter to the winds.
  5. I much prefer to write with a pencil; a yellow National No. 2 (from Atlanta, GA) is my favorite. I use it until I can no longer sharpen it.
  6. I recently published my first book, New Yesterdays. Readers are staying away from it in droves.
  7. I routinely carry on conversations in my head. Full conversations with multiple participants. Frequently, they seem so real that I later actually believe the conversations took place. That has caused many an argument when asked “Why didn’t you tell me about this?”.

Thank you so much Jim for this very nice award.

You all make sure to stop by and pay him a visit now, ya hear????


Fight or Flight

Panic attack

Panic attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She sat hidden in her home, afraid to even peek out the window. Her palms were sweaty, and her breathing was rapid. Her life consisted of being part owner of an antique store and  caring for her dog and two cats. Inside, her four walls, life seemed pretty normal, but if someone came to the door,or she was in the public eye, you could observe her body gently quivering, a paleness white washing through out  her face. Her eyes would become large with fear. Once she was at work, and her partner she worked with had an appointment that  morning, and wouldn’t be in for about two hours. The building they rented became silent. She could hear the creaks coming through the walls. The floors crackled as she walked from room to room, straightening items on tables and shelves. A customer came in. She glued on her nicest smile, and welcomed them to their antique store. After a nice sale, she could feel her heart starting to race a little bit. She immediately told herself to stop it. This is ridiculous. She was at work and she wasn’t going to deal with this. Go away! As she went about her morning  checking on her inventory, she could feel her fingers start to shake and the back of her hair was beginning to cling to her neck. She walked into the bathroom, and took a couple of paper towels and wet them in cold water. She wiped her forehead off, and the back of her neck. She sat on the stool, with her head bent between her legs, trying to get the dizziness to stop. The doctors had told her before that the only thing that was going on with her was inside her head. She was becoming an emotional mess.That if she didn’t get control of this she would end up in some loony farm. The doctors had offered her  nerve medicine, but she refused to fill the scripts, knowing that wasn’t her problem. Another doctor had told her she was having panic attacks, and that she would feel this way, but to just let herself feel each thing that was happening, and she would realize after wards she wasn’t going to die. After feeling like she was going to pass out, and feeling the trembling going on all over her body, it did stop. Her heart started to slow down. She got up from the stool, and forced herself to open the back door and walk outside into the bright summer day. She inhaled the fresh air and forced a smile  back on her face. In about ten minutes, she was back to her normal self. It had worked! She had honed in on the reactions her body was going through, and realized she was not going to die. She fought it! She made it! She still had the panic attacks happen, but each time they did, she would practice repeatedly staying in touch with what has happening inside. Eventually, the panic attacks would only visit if she was extremely tired. She would take control, and often times take a nap, waking, feeling refreshed and able to go on with her day.