I Am Needed

I should feel so honored that the first thing in the mornings I am needed. I barely get my butterflieseyes open when my cat, Rhino is right there with meowing. He is wanting to be petted. I have never in my life seen a cat that is so demanding in the petting department.

As I roll out of bed, my bathroom needs me. I feel the toilet calling out to me.  Then as I turn to leave I hear the sink saying, don’t you want to stand close to me and feel the showers of drops surround your fingers?

As I exit the bathroom I hear my coffee pot screaming at me. Fill me up, fill me up. Put some water in my tank and let me show you what I can do for you. You and I will be the best of friends today.

I am always needed at the cat bowls. Filling the one with fresh water and placing new cat food. What would Rhino say if he came out to eat and the bowls were stale and empty? I am truly needed in my own kitchen.

I look to my computer and I imagine how it has missed me through the midnight hours. I gently rub my fingers over my keyboard and it begs me to sit and visit for a while. I quickly glance at the time and realize I could possibly sit here for ten minutes. I can’t resist, I have to sit and talk to you about my early mornings.

Quietness is what I desire. Even the cat’s meow and the coffee perking place a smile on my face as I know I am doing things just for me. Soon it will be time to get off of here and go to the bedroom of my brother.

Hoping and praying to see that smile on his face, I know he needs me. He needs me to help hold him while he transfers to his wheelchair with very stiff legs. He needs me to let him know that I understand his mornings are rough and that I have compassion for him. He needs to know that I am going to be the one to change that brief, wash him up and put clean clothes on him.

He needs to know that I will be the one who will fix the breakfast of his desires. Whether it be chocolate chip pancakes, or french toast, oatmeal with chocolate chips and banana, or maybe sausage and eggs, he needs me.

He needs my help to place the toothpaste on his toothbrush. To turn it on and with hand over hand he needs me to help him brush his teeth. He needs me to hold his head up while he drinks from the tiny cup of water to rinse the toothpaste a way.

He needs me to take a truck or a car and place it in his backpack so he can go to Day Program. There he will be able to put the spotlight on him. He will feel important and worthy.

He needs me to make his lunch and pack it. He needs me to push him down the ramp and wait with him while we wait for the bus to come pick him up. After he is seated and I am waving my usual wave and expressing my love for him, I turn around to quietness and I smile as I walk back up the ramp once again, knowing that inside my four walls, Rhino needs me, supper plans are calling out to me. A new cup of coffee and my computer are singing out to me.

Cleaning needs me but I tell all to please hold. I want to enjoy this last part of my quiet morning before the world comes to life.

Wow, What a Day


When I went to bed last night the winds were howling and it was snowing. This forced me to pull the covers up closer and gave me a quiet moment to reflect on yesterday. Visiting Al was something I wish I had dreamed last night, but instead it was a day time reality.

When I went in to see him the first thing he did was complain about how long it took him to get dressed. He stated that it was a half an hour. I asked him why he didn’t get help from the aid standing near by and he told me he got dressed alone, except for his socks and shoes.

I had also taken him some of those soft sugar cookies with yellow icing and sprinkles on top. Are you familiar with these? You buy them in the bakery area. I will grab some for Al when they can be bought on the day old rack. I had them first here at home so I had managed to stick my fat little fingers in them first. By the time I had placed them in Al’s fingers there were two missing.

I believe there are 10 cookies total in a package. So when Al and I were conversing he also told me that the nurse the night before reamed him about how many cookies he had eaten. This upset him quite a bit as he explained to me that he told her the cookies weren’t full when he got them. What I don’t understand about the cookie issue is, the facility states they can not refuse Al any food. He had been eating himself all most sick and so a few months ago Al and I started doing his menus for each week. This is stuck too and Al can’t change it without my approval. So why was the nurse on him about the cookies? Even if she was genuinely concerned according to the facility they can’t stop him. So why get him all keyed up and go into the guilt and crying trips?

He said she didn’t believe him. From there on out it was a mess. I was there for about three hours and he had changed to talking to me in a way I could understand to either totally messed up or the Parkinson’s Dementia.

His biggest upsetting story was that usually he goes potty right after breakfast but this time he didn’t have to go. He told me that the aid said he would go so she placed him in the door way of the bathroom and made him sit there until the desire came for him. He stated that he sat there for an hour.

My biggest problem is not what you would think which may be the tears. No my biggest problem is while he remains in that place whom do I believe? Of course, I want to believe Al. He is my brother and has been known to lie to me in the past. His mentality is about 10 years old and maybe you can remember or even have kids around that age. If they think they are going to get punished they may lie instead of speak the truth. That is where Al would fall into the category. But to just outright lie is not his nature.

I have to also take into consideration that people who see animals on the floor smiling on them may be confused about the story they are telling.

Al was still upset during lunch but when his food came it did deter his mind for a while. After lunch he was right back at the same story. His issue was that the nurse that he told about his morning didn’t believe him. Which was that he dressed with no help and the cookie ordeal.

Another thing I learned is that some Dentist I did not know came into his room yesterday and got Al to check his teeth. When Al mentioned to him that his sister had not told him about the visit, the dentist replied, don’t worry , the insurance will pay for this.

There are strict rules that no one is to be in Al’s room without my permission and knowledge. I have a couple of reasons that I won’t go into now but I have always told Al that if a professional or not wants to see him, I must know about it first and then I will tell Al.

After all of this had gone on for so long I asked to see the head nurse in charge of the building. I explained to Al that I would look into all of this. It was the only way I could satisfy Al and also let him know that I believed him.

Whether I believed Al or not, I will still act on his behalf and try to dig to the truth. When I had my short little meeting she denied anything I said. She said,

Al always has someone in his bathroom when he gets dressed.

You know that Al gets very confused.

You gave permission for him to see the dentist.

Now first of all Al is up and dressed and down to breakfast by 8am. How does this charge nurse know what goes on early in the morning when she doesn’t arrive until 8am.

I realize Al gets confused, but I have always believed that even the biggest rumor starts out with a bit of truth.

The Dentist, right before Christmas I received a snail mail stating Al was going to be going to an out-of-town visit to an eye vision shop for an exam. First of all with all the good doctors right here in town why would they take him a  half hour drive a way. Secondly, when I received the letter I called plus went in and told them Al had just been to an eye doctor in October for an exam and new glasses, so this was unneeded. I also told her at that  point and time that because of Al’s issues I had particular doctors that I wanted Al to remain with. Therefore we would not be needing their doctors who are linked to the facility’s accounts.

The charge nurse took me up to the nurses station and pulled Al’s file. She showed me where I had signed on the dotted line on the day I had brought him in that I did give permission. Evidently when I went in December than about the eye exam nothing was actually changed on his file from my request.

I don’t know if someone forgot to do it or if there is a kick back of a resident using their choice professionals. I lost on that one and now have to start over again on Monday to try to get this changed once again.

When our little chit-chat was over and I tried hard not to catch the ball of guilt I was thrown and the head nurse trying  to make me realize Al was a patient there and therefore out of his mind, I went back in to see Al. He was laying down with his bed alarm hooked to him. He was crying and getting a little loud with his words.

His point he was trying to make was that when he first lays down they hook the alarm to him and place it on the back of his shirt. But when he is tired of TV he likes to flip over to his stomach and go to sleep and he can’t because it sets the alarm off. He has moved too much. What he was trying to express but the nurse didn’t understand was that he needed someone to release the alarm when he flipped over and then reattach it. Al’s mental issue isn’t connecting to the fact that all he has to do is turn his call light button on when he wants to flip over and they will change the placement of the alarm.

The nurse went on and on about how she had to keep it out of his reach, and she wasn’t changing her mind. She and Al argued for several minutes while I watched the ugly scene happening.

I finally stepped in and told her what he was trying to express but she either didn’t get me or by then her nerves were frazzled from talking to Al. So this went back and forth with the conversation being from the missing cookies, to no one helping him get dressed, being placed in the bathroom for an hour , to the alarm.

Once again I left Al crying and feeling like no one cared or understood him. I told him I loved him and that I would see him soon. I went to my car and called the doctor. I explained most of what happened. Now they are arranging a special doctor to come and see Al to see how he is doing and if they can do any medication changes.

I want Al to be content, but  I don’t want him all doped up. Seeing him all drugged up to keep him quiet is like me watching  him just lying there waiting to die. There was no talk about whether Al was telling real stories or not. It was all about how can we change this to keep him quiet.

I don’t know what is going to happen but I told the facility and the nurse from Al’s doctor that I demanded a visit with this new doctor  right before he went in to see Al. In fact as I am sitting here thinking about it I may do this plus be there during the visit. I just don’t trust all doctors, sorry. And since Al can’t speak for himself, I do.

I want to be informed of what thoughts this new doctor has. I want to be informed of what changes he may want to make with Al’s medications and I want to know the side effects and changes I can expect.

I am now to a point where I want Al comfortable but not so drugged up he is out of it, but I don’t know if I can have this happen or not. I am not sure if Al told all the truth or bits of it or if Dementia was involved. I don’t know if the facility is telling the truth or protecting themselves.

All I know is that I can’t wait to get Al home. It will be my eyes that see what is happening and I won’t have to hear second-hand stories. The more Parkinson’s advances the harder it is to keep him calm but I am darn sure going to give it my best shot.

Just Call Me Ms. Detective

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingredients: butter, flour, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Français : Demie-douzaine de cookies fait-maison. Ingrédients: beurre, farine, sucre en poudre, œufs, vanille, soda, sel et grain de chocolat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My feet are on fire!!!! I have Diabetic Neuropathy. I have been taking so much stuff out of my brother’s room. We are switching rooms and bathrooms. His wheel chair will not be able to get into the hall way to his old bedroom and bathroom.

This is very hard work when there is a lot of walking for me. The nerves in my feet become  fire bugs. I have photos I am going to show you of his stuff and his and my rooms. I am waiting on my son to get here. He is going to help move the beds etc from room to room.

I don’t have proof but I think I put all the pieces together about Al not feeling well. I went out to see him. He was just trying to rise from napping. I asked him some questions while trying to get his shoes on. You know Ms. Detective here. I went to raise his leg so I could put the first shoe on and his legs were so stiff when I moved them they didn’t budge.

I am always amazed at how PD(Parkinson’s Disease) works from the inside of Al’s body. You don’t see the damage it is creating. After getting his shoes on he could not stand. I had to get help. I have to admit this worries me some with him coming home. I am hoping that moving more by going to the Day Program will help grease his body a little and loosen it up. If not, I will have to go to plan C, D or E.

Al had fibbed in my opinion. After I wrote you about him not going out because he was sick I thought instantly to a bag of cookies I had baked and taken to him. The detective in me targeted those cookies. Where were they? Where was the bag? How many have you eaten out of the three dozen I brought you? You know they type of questions……..

His reply was that they were lying on top of the trash can and the housekeeper had just came in to clean and picked them up and tossed them in the big trash can. I asked him why he didn’t say anything to her and he said, ” I don’t know.”

I searched the room upside and  under in and out but nothing. I went to the nurse because at that time I had no solid reason not to believe Al. I told her about the cookie deal and that I had actually seen the housekeeper outside Al’s room only minutes earlier.

She hunted the lady down and with gloved hands dug through the trash. She came back with there were no cookies in the trash but there were empty bags. I interrogated Al once again.

I made up a little story to get the truth out. I told him that they may have to take him to the doctor and do tests to see why his stomach is so sore and sick. I said,”If you tell me the truth that you ate all those cookies it will end the search and concerns. You won’t have to go to the doctor then.”

He said “Well maybe I did eat them in the past two days, I don’t really know.” The nurse was standing there and she looked at Al and said,” You made me dig through that trash when you are sitting here lying?” I shot her a dirty look.

I know lying is wrong. I also know that too many professionals have said Al is eating left and right because he is so depressed. So on one hand I hated to bitch at him because of is over eating due to depression.  On the other hand lying is lying.

I explained to him that lying is wrong. I told him to always tell me the truth no matter what, I will understand. He said, “Sorry sis, you make good cookies.”

Oh brother, use that soft crap on me now will you I was thinking. I had him apologize to the nurse. He was in bad shape today not only from the cookie party but his body was in so much pain.

I wheeled him down to the dining room but I don’t think he was going to eat or at least not much. He will feel better after he goes, shall we say number 2? Now if the cookies were borrowed or dumped or eaten or given a way and he is still ill tomorrow, I will investigate further on his health. I am pretty sure that the reason Al felt sick and could not go out is too many cookies.

I imagine he ate them between you and me, but I can’t brow beat him when I have no proof. After all look at all his other things that have been five finger lifted since he has been there.

I will be so glad to get him out of there. The depression does affect his ability to remain strong. Seeing and socializing through day care will do him wonders, if I can just get his room and mine done.

Al's room movingAl's room moving 2Al's room moving 3Al's room moving 4my room movingmy room moving 2

Do You Think Al Will Like This?

All recipes is where I borrowed this recipe from.iced pumpkin cookie recipe It is called Iced Pumpkin Cookies.

The recipe may not be readable to all, so here are the directions.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1t. baking powder

1t. baking soda

2t. cinnamon

1/2t. nutmeg

1/2t. cloves

1/2t. salt

1/2 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

3T. milk

1 T. melted butter

1 t. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt, set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1t. vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in with dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To make glaze: Combine confectioner’s sugar, milk, 1T melted butter, and 1 t. vanilla. Add the milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Now I adjusted my recipe. This is what I did.

I added whole wheat flour instead of white flour. I added 1 t. cinnamon, plus 1t. pumpkin spice, instead of the spices above. I used Splenda instead of regular sugar.

For the icing I made mine with 1/2 stick of melted butter, 1t. almond extract, instead of the vanilla. I didn’t glaze, I made the icing stiff enough to spread. I want to taste my icing!

pumpkin cookie icingpumpkin cookie finished