Parkinson’s Disease or Medicatons?

English: a shell of an unidentified gastropod

I am being told by nurses at the Nursing Home and the pharmacy that Al‘s new Exelon Patch is not causing him to act so strange. Al reminds me of patients I used to be in charge over. He is dazed. He sleeps more often than not. His lips don’t move so I can’t understand him anymore. He cries all the time and he is confused.

The other day he asked me if I was going to come back for lunch. I was already there and we had just finished lunch. He is now confused about what day it is or sometimes what time of day.

Today when I walked in there he was very depressed looking. Come to find out he thought I was coming earlier. I told him that I don’t come earlier anymore because he is always napping. He apologized, and I didn’t want him to. It isn’t his fault he is napping.

I can’t totally trust the professionals. My gut tells me that part of this is Parkinson’s but another part are these darn medications. I have explained myself repeatedly that I never want Al doped up to the point he is not enjoying his life at all.

This is a drug world we live in. Not just the illegal ones, but the legal ones too. The pimp or supplier is often our physicians. I am upset. To spend the time and the money on gas to only see someone who is a shell really makes my skin crawl.

He has a plate guard that goes over his plate. Today at lunch he could barely lift his spoon up and over the guard. Of course he started crying then but he also wanted to do it himself. He refused any help.

Friday the kitchen was asked by the Nursing Supervisor to puree his meats for the entire weekend. I had been in on Sunday and had brought him a cheeseburger. It took him a half an hour to eat half of it. He finally told me to quit bringing him sandwiches. He refuses most of his meats at the facility.

I have been a licensed CNA for over 23 years. My charting for food intake has been the same no matter where I worked. Here at this facility they mark 50% above or below. There is no monitoring for proteins, sugars, or carbs.

I keep telling them since last week Al is not eating his meats. It has to be a texture thing I think. He chews it alright but then can’t swallow. He gets down applesauce, puddings and ice-creams very well. When I went in today I asked the nurse, the supervisor nurse, and the dietary manager all about the new experiment of puree meats for Al over the weekend.

I got the same response from everyone. I don’t know, I wasn’t here over the weekend.

Did they even try it? I don’t know. What will happen to Al if he gets too little protein? The Dietary Manager said she could substitute his meats for cottage cheese and yogurt. I didn’t realize yogurt was a protein. I guess I learn something new every day.

So what is going on? Is this Parkinson’s Disease causing him problems with swallowing? Is it the medications making the swallowing lazy? Or is he just too out of it to put any effort into swallowing?

When I got home from seeing Al there was a message for me. The facility has made a new appointment for him at a new neurologist. I don’t mind, but if they put him on more medications that freak him out or make him an empty shell, I swear I am going to scream.

I don’t want my brother to live like this. If he isn’t going to have any life at all, then why bother with anything. I don’t want an empty shell for a brother.

Let Me Go Back

The Cave Boy of the Age of Stone

Let me get silly

Let me loose

Let me be

Who I once was

Let my fly

Out ore my head

Let me watch

And giggle

As I soar above

The heavens

Ne’r touching

The solid mass

Of life’s problems

And harsh words

Let worry escape

Release me from

These bonds

Let me go back

In time of

Worry free and

Innocent laughter

Terry Shepherd