The Past 24 hours

Cover of "Separate But Equal"

You may or not noticed that I was not on here yesterday. I started my day off in a good mood. The sun was out and it was above freezing. I had surprised my brother by stopping at a drive-thru and getting us both some lunch.

I think we was definitely surprised as he kept staring at the sack trying to see through it. We went down to the dining room and after getting his food out for him he immediately started to complain of new pains in his leg.

This is the leg that has never been as affected as the other. The nurse walked by us and heard him talking about it. She stopped and told me that he has been complaining about it since Friday. She stated that the pain medication doesn’t seem to be helping with this yet.

It made me feel bad as now the Parkinson’s Disease has decided to hit both legs equally. I felt helpless so I changed the topic to our lunch. He did seem to enjoy it but I could see he was having some issues with swallowing.

I asked him if he had a sore throat and he said he just keeps trying to swallow real hard because something is stuck in there. I knew then that it was the throat muscle due to the PD that was causing the problem.

It makes me sick that although Al can smile and say hi to every staff that goes on, the nasty PD is still moving right along inside his body. It is determined to do its ultimate best to strip all that Al has left.

I only stayed during his lunch time as I had received a message from my son asking if I wanted to ride along to Ft. Wayne with his family. I jumped on that with a yes since I had not been out of the house much since Christmas.

I told Al I would be back on Tuesday and took off. The ride with my son was about forty minutes and I chattered a way all the way up as I had not really interacted with humans for some time.

We went to a flea market and I picked up some little lights for electric candles. You know the ones that have a coating on them and look like a flame? Then I found my brother a Christmas Coke bottle so I grabbed that for him. I will take it tomorrow. We walked around the mall for a while and I could tell I had spent a lot of time in bed. My legs felt a little like jelly as they sort of wobbled through the mall.  We stopped on the way home and ate at Five Guys. It has awesome fresh home-made hamburgers. The fries are so huge in one order the four of us were able to share one large order.

I thanked them for getting me out of the house and then came in and did absolutely nothing. I guess my legs and body were tired from the walking so I rested on my bed, no nap though.

Later that night, much later I found a movie on the GMC channel that caught my eye. I don’t know if you realize it or not but along with writing and antiques as my interest, I also study slavery. I only take one slice out of the whole pie. I study the part where the whites don’t want the slaves to learn. I read and follow how the blacks were not going to let some man keep them from moving forward.

So when this movie came on I started watching it. I was very engrossed in it although my eyes were straining to stay a wake. This movie lasted four hours long. I did it though. I stayed awake until the end.

The movie was called Separate but Equal. It was a movie about segregation and divide. School systems with blacks and whites. The equality in education. I am so for equality. Many have fought hard to get where they are today. Many fight harder and still struggle. Then others don’t need to fight at all and are handed everything with ease.

I won’t go into my own personal opinions as I would be here all day standing and fighting for equality.

Here is some information about the movie. Maybe you would like to see it also.

Separate, But Equal: The Film.

Quaker State And Lube Surprise

Al, my brother, is suffering so much every day with shrinkage of his leg muscles from this nasty Parkinson’s Disease. Some days I wish I didn’t know how to spell it or say it! He is living on pain pills almost around the clock now. I am worried about the effects all of this will have on his stomach, so when I take him to the doctor Wednesday, I am going to bring this fact up and see if there is something else we can try that is more potent and less times per day. I am always hoping for Al, even though I know we are in the comfort care zone. I want each day to be as  pain-free as possible.

With his muscles not knowing any other choice at this time, the shrinkage is its goal. The less Al walks, the more the muscle shrinks. With this brings less stability also. When he arises from a bed or couch. If he has been sitting for a while outside, or in a car, or even on his scooter, it causes pain and freezing.  Al is strong-minded and he is teaching me to be more like him in strength. He fights this disease the best way he knows how, by crying, cursing, and telling his body what he thinks of it.

Al wants to die, because he wants to live so badly. As he sees in his own eyes, that he is fighting a losing battle, then he chooses to die, and as I watch him suffer more each day, I want the Lord to take him home.

Yesterday, I surprised him. He loves cars, vintage cars, race cars, not as much as Coca-Cola, but pretty darn close. I took him into a flea market, and he spotted the red right off the bat! He started to walk over there, but could not make it. He stood with tears in his eyes, looking at me, saying I can’t walk. We didn’t have his scooter at this time, because I thought they had them there for use, but I was wrong.

I saw another lady who was running a booth, and she was in a scooter of her own, and beside her booth was a wheel chair, and she had seen Al’s predicament, and brought it to him to use while he was in the building. I thanked her so much, and although Al said nothing, I knew that he appreciated it also, as he could now go to the red section, coke.

At this point of Al’s life, I can not help spoil him when I can. I am being a two-sided coin, as one part of me is teaching him I won’t tolerate too much whining and negativity, and the other side knows his condition, so if I have the means I will let him have what he wants.

I wheeled him over to a red box, that once opened, showed a beautiful Coca-Cola radio. The dealer of the booth plugged it in for him, and Al looked up at me with those baby blue eyes begging without saying a word. I said, if  you want it, you can have it. I received the biggest smile. I had made his day, and he had also forgot for that moment he had Parkinson’s. He purchased another trinket of coke items, and there was not much more in the store that he was interested in, so we left.

We drove to a new restaurant that neither of us had ever been to. The Quaker State and Lube Restaurant. I knew inside that Al would love this, and I think he did, but he was in pain again, from sitting and standing and being shuffled around. He looked around at the decorations, but didn’t say much. He didn’t cry, but he did ask for pain pills.

Although, I am not much into cars, only that I can drive them, I am glad that we went. The decorations on the walls, and suspending in air were pretty awesome. The menu was the cutest thing. They had changed the names of foods we recognize into terms that matched the decor.

The food was fabulous, especially the stack, onion rings. They were perfect. Al had chicken tenders, with french fries and coleslaw, and for his drink it was very similar to the fair’s Lemon Shake-Up. He ate every bite!

We finished our meal and I paid the bill. I stood up and exited the booth, and Al followed. When he stood up, he fell though. He started crying, not from pain, but from embarrassment. I helped him up, and saw no cuts or blood, so I helped him to the auto, and we went home.

I know that he had a good time, but the ending was not what I wanted nor expected. It was just getting to be too much for him anymore. He is getting too weak, and the more tired he gets the more the body freezes. I am so glad I got to take him, and wonder how many more times I am going to be able to place that big smile on his face with those baby blues looking up at me begging without saying any words.