Lessons In Every Situation, Roar Into 2014
2013 for me. I don’t remember a whole lot. Life seems quite a blur. Al was in the nursing home from January until June. I remember plowing through snow and cold to go see him. I never wanted him to think I didn’t care.
Groceries were not bought much. The bills remained the same most of the year. The TV shows got sillier. None of them really grabbed my attention except American Idol. Somehow looking forward to two nights a week to this show made the winter months go by faster.
June came and Al came home and then life was still not that bad. Life is never as bad as we think it is in the moment we are living it. When we move on down the road and are faced with different challenges, we sometimes look back and think, I wish I could go back to that time.
For a while I was still able to get Al in the car. We went to some antique shops. We went out to eat. I was even able to take him to one more big car show. We went places and Al was placed in an adult program where he could socialize with others. Life seemed pretty good.
Then it was like a blink in an eye life began to change for the worse. Al’s MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) seemed to really kick in. No longer was I able to get him in the car alone, and with no help we had to give up the outings. Life became a little more quiet for him and me.
In no time at all Hospice was involved. Al went from being able to shave himself to me shaving him. He no longer could brush his teeth, I did it for him. He went from finger foods to some help with eating to now; which I feed him all of his food and drinks.
He went from a being able to stand with assistance in his wheelchair to his legs no longer holding him up. Today, he is bed bound. He gets all of his baths in bed. Only a month ago he was still able with lots of help to get a shower.
Now he stares at the TV when his vision will focus. His eyes water, his fingers and hands are locked in a prayer position. His legs are curled in a fetal position, not bad, but getting there.
I have learned to lean on God more and more through this illness of Al’s. I have been angry at God, screamed at him, asked for forgiveness for not being as faithful as I could. I have learned to lean on others for help, such as Hospice, homemakers and ministers.
I have learned who my true friends are and who I can count on when in need. I have learned that I have a huge support system with many people on the internet. I have been shown how many care about Al by all the cards and gifts that have been sent.
I have been taught that to gain strength, all I have to do is pray about it. I have learned how to cook for one and puree for Al. My laundry has doubled, cleaning is still going strong. I am tired and now try to nap when I can. I have learned that the house will always be waiting here for me. The dirt is going anywhere.
I am glad that this year is ending tonight. I would not really want to relive it again. I am hopeful that things will be brighter in 2014. I pray that the Obama Healthcare works itself out.
I hope more lean on their own strength and realize they have more to offer this world than they think. I hope Al finds peace and is reunited with our parents. I pray that I will be able to move on and remember Al with smiles. I hope jobs pick-up and crime is less. Schools offer the basics and we have less drop-outs than ever.
My family will expand by two this new year. I wish for my own family good health and common sense, so that they can survive yet another year. Life isn’t easy, it won’t be from this day on. But with careful consideration and a loving Mom standing behind them, they too will find what they seek.
I hope that each of you stay safe tonight. If you are going to drink, please don’t drive. Beware of your surroundings. Don’t be too proud to take a taxi home if you need to. Tell you children you love them. Hug your parents. Stay positive. We are in this together no matter how many miles separate us. It is up to you and me my friends, to make or break this world.
So to each one of you, Happy New Year, 2014.
P.S. Don’t forget to change your calendars and write 2014 on your checks tomorrow.
Warm like Mommy’s arms
Soft like Grandma’s lap
I look at you and I feel love
I feel safe when I’m with you.
Will you be my friend?
In times I want to cry?
When I feel so all alone?
When I think no one understands?
Will you play with me
Will you follow me where I go?
Will you be my best friend?
For today I do not feel good
Mommy and Daddy are in heaven
And I feel all alone
Please say you’ll stay
You remind me so much
Of how good life used to be
Today, I need a friend.
Not A Good Day So Far
For the first time I want to sit down and give up. I think I am just tired from a caregiver’s view.…
For the first time I want to sit down and give up. I think I am just tired from a caregiver’s view. I am not depressed. I feel defeated. Al had terrible nightmares all night long. He woke up screaming I don’t know how many times.
He begged for medicine. I gave it to him. I held his hand until he went back to sleep. About a half hour later he was dreaming again. The process just would not stop. This morning he didn’t want to get up, but he had to at least get washed and brief changed.
The bed was soaked from sweat. He couldn’t sit up good enough. So I either had my hands in water or I was pushing back up. I finally got it all done and changed his bed. He refused any breakfast.
I even gave him his favorite Caramel Apple doughnut and he pushed it aside. He is sleeping now. I am praying that when he wakes up he will feel more rested and maybe want to eat.
I am trying to keep smiling friends, but today I can’t even get my mouth to form in that direction. I called Hospice about him taking his medications when he is not eating. A nurse is on her way.
I had a little trouble getting my prescription although I get this infection every fall and spring as long as I live in Indiana. The doctor didn’t want to fork over the script because I wasn’t bad enough yet.
I explained about Al and how I could not afford to be down one day and didn’t want to wait until it got bad. Finally he gave in. I had to go to the Pharmacy and pay my monthly bill and fill the new script. I then had to stop at the camera shop as I needed a piece I didn’t have. I then definitely had to go to the grocery store as I can’t get out on weekends when Al is home.
So by the time I got home and put all the groceries a way I had a half an hour before Al was to arrive. This day went fast but yet I had that time frame for thirty minutes to do as I wished.
I was so shocked and very pleased that two ladies from M.S.A. web site, who I am honored to call my friends. Connie and Bonnie had both left me messages on Facebook and Connie even called me. They were worried about me as I hadn’t posted all day.
I didn’t mean to worry them but to be very honest except for my daughter and my best friend no one questions my where-a-bouts or calls to see if I am alright; so I was pleased as punch.
After I spoke to Connie I played around with my camera. I took a photo of our tree and then doctored it on a photo program. So here it is, my play-time project.
When Al got off the bus he didn’t want supper. I am starting to get used to those words. He wanted to nap. I imagine he was tired. He didn’t seem like he had a good time at his party but I am thinking he was just too tired to talk about it.
I changed him and put him in bed. When he gets up I will offer him supper in bed, served like a King. I will not work so hard to transfer him from bed to recliner and back any longer. I hurt my neck and back muscles because he is just too weak to help.
I think he will be alright with it. He was in bed all day yesterday after breakfast. I got him up and fed him and washed him up and then put him back in his bed. I just made sure I turned him every two hours and sat him up off and on. He got waited on hand and foot. You know, I could handle that myself for a day, being waited on hand and foot.
Ever since Al came home last evening something hasn’t been right. Setting aside the fact that I could see he was very weak, I also tribute this to the fact he has been in a bed for five days.
But there is something else and I could not put my finger quite on it. Now that Al has been here all night and today I see a little more issues. Breathing for Al is difficult even when I am not moving him.
I did get him out of bed today. I pushed him to the kitchen table and he ate. He didn’t want me to feed him but it took him an hour to eat, but it’s alright, we weren’t going anywhere today.
The Hospice nurse came today to see Al. She checked him over. Al could not take his deep breaths like he needed to do so she could listen to his lungs. He leaned to the side and didn’t sit up straight. His voice is so soft and he doesn’t articulate his words so understanding him is very difficult.
Today I have seen him breathing deeply. He is struggling and I am giving him medication to help with this. I just checked on him and he is actually stopping breathing and then breathing again. It is not like that special breathing at the end of life, but very similar.
The Hospice Doctor and the nurse, and Hospice House all agreed that it was time for the next step. I have dreaded this for months and now it is here.
He can still go to Day Program if he can function here at home enough to go. I know he wants to go pretty bad tomorrow as they are having a Halloween party. I hope he can go too for his sake.
The other decision that was made is all of his medications minus pain and seizure and BM aides have been put a way now. Writing that sentence about rips me in half. I am not dumb. I know what that means.
I want to write more, but I can’t write now. I just can’t deal with it, sorry.