Where Is My Strength


English: A countertop dishwasher

I am usually so strong, so I can hardly believe I feel so weak and tired. It is only 7:30pm, and I have hours to go before I can go to bed, since Al stays awake so long from his tremors. I sometimes think that it is also partly a habit by now, that his eyes do not want to close until 3:30am. So I will be safe and say it is a mixture of the two.

It was a busy, busy day. No, I didn’t have to clean in the house. I did find the minutes to do a load of Al’s laundry since we changed beds out this morning, and I have just now folded them.

Thanks to so many prayers, my head no longer hurts, and my shoulders do not feel too much pain, but my eyes are so droopy. Is this due to stress or the day of visitors, or maybe just both.

I want to apologize for not responding to too many blog comments or read too many today. Every time I sit down to the PC, my eyes get weary and fuzzy from lack of sleep.

I read two blogs that spoke of me and Al, so I reblogged them so you could read them also. The one was the visit from the blogger friend, who came here to meet Al and me  yesterday, and the other is a very nice man who talked about me being so strong.

Guilt sort of came over me after reading his remarks, as today, I don’t feel the strength at all. I feel like I have worked in the fields of a slave owner. I am going to lay down on the couch out here where Al is also lying on the opposite end of the wrap-a-round, and I hope Al forgives me, because I know I will be out. I should not do that, but I am hoping, that since I am a light sleeper, I will hear him moving, or trying to get up.

Everyone showed up today, the nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and the bed company, along with a nice surprise of my granddaughter and daughter-in-law. I tried very hard to turn my head when I had to yawn. LOL

I had made a batch of potato soup today during the breaks of visitors. I had made a white sauce and had cubed potatoes, bacon, fresh sliced carrots and many spices. It was waiting for us for supper. Al said he wasn’t very hungry, and I begged him to eat a little, which he finally did.

I hate to see him lose weight, as he has already lost 53 pounds, so I told him a big thank-you for eating a small bowl of it. I feel so bad for him. He has asked many questions today, which I expected. He was told to put his canes into retirement, and another walker was sent out, so now he has two. One for bare floors and one for carpets. This is really confusing to him, but I just kept saying all day, everyone cares about you so much, we all just want to make sure we do our best to not let you fall. I think I must have said it at least 20 times.

When supper was over, I cleaned up the mess, and placed the left-overs in the refrigerator, and pushed the magic button on the dish washer. Thank-you Ms dishwasher, for not making me stand here tonight.

The tears are fifty per cent gone now and the house is quiet except for the dishwasher and Jeopardy, so I am getting off of here. I am so sorry to all, but I can not stay awake any longer.

Another Inch


A dishwasher containing clean dishes

A dishwasher containing clean dishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have crossed another inch  through the door way of truth  tonight. I was broken-hearted. I was broken because I had to tell my brother that he could not continue doing something he had done his whole adult life. A silly thing to you and me, but a serious thing to him. One of his routine chores Mom always had him do and up until tonight he has done it here also. The dishwasher. Sounds petty doesn’t it? It isn’t though. Al is getting so weak that he can not unload the dishwasher anymore without almost falling. You asks, well can’t you help him? Of course I can help him, but he gets angry with me, not wanting my help, wanting to do it himself. With his lack of coordination from his mental challenges, he can not figure out how to use his cane and walk the correct way to help keep himself standing, nor  can he do anything with one hand only. I was outside early this evening, watching my grandkids play in the pool. Al had gotten up from his nap and went straight to the kitchen and was unloading the dishwasher.When I came in to check on him, he was in a frozen mode and his feet were not moving, he was slanted over pretty far and seemed to be in a stuck position. The cane was nowhere in sight. I did find it across the kitchen leaning up against a wall, too far for him to reach. His knees were bent more than ever and he couldn’t push himself up. I rushed over to help him, reminding him that I need to be around when he is going to try something like this. He wants his own way, and I want mine. He wants to continue to do as he used to, and I want him safe. One fall, only one, is what is going to land him in the hospital with a fractured hip. I have seen it over and over many times, patients in nursing homes for the rest of their lives over one fall. Please don’t say that I don’t understand what it is like for him to have to give up things continually. I do, this is why my heart breaks. He is not only my brother, he is my patient. I have to mix my love along side of professional care. We all ate supper together, and he remained very quiet. I knew that he was angry with me, but I tried  my best to ignore it as I didn’t want to get into another scrap with others present. After they left, I finished up cleaning the kitchen and asked Al if he could get his shower over now since I had time. He agreed. All the while he cried and cried asking me why I was being so mean to him. I kept explaining the way Parkinson’s worked, and had him look at his own knees as they were so bent from him standing so I could wash his legs. It was like a light bulb turned on for him. He sobbed even harder as he asked me if he was going to have everything taken away from him. I said no Al, there are still many things you can do. You can walk still, you can dress yourself in the mornings, you can still use the bathroom by yourself. This is not what he wanted to hear. He wanted to hear that he could undo the dishwasher. I told him he could do it if he would let me help, which made him start yelling a little bit. He was frustrated with me and the disease. He ask me if he was going to get worse. Oh my God, he had brought up my worst fear, my worst topic. I sat down on the side of the tub and continued to dry him off and said, Al, I don’t know how much further this is going to make you tired, I don’t know the future for you. He said, I want to know, you have to tell me!!! I said there is a chance that you may someday, not be able to do things for yourself, but I will be here to help you all the way. That was it. He gave in. His whole body sobbed and shook. Tears were in my eyes also, as I knew I had broken his heart one more time. You may ask, why didn’t you just lie to him? If it were you, would you want to be lied to, when you already suspected the truth? I don’t think so. I finished dressing him and helped him get his toothpaste on his toothbrush. The crying stopped as fast as it came. He is in his room watching TV. These are the moments that exhaust me. These are the moments that people do not understand that I do nothing BUT take care of Al. Al is my brother, whom I love and also my patient. He has rights to the truth, when he ask an important question. He has rights to be treated with dignity, and he has rights to be loved. I have to make some pretty heavy decisions at times. Answer his questions when he is in his ten-year mental state, or answer them when he is in his adult state of mind. Tonight, I know I did the right thing, but I have the broken heart that follows. I don’t care what illness it is, it changes all of your life from the inside out.