And I Smiled
From the moment I woke up this morning I have been the best darn actress I could; until late this…
And I Smiled
From the moment I woke up this morning I have been the best darn actress I could; until late this…
From the moment I woke up this morning I have been the best darn actress I could; until late this afternoon. I must have woke up on the wrong side of bed. I was pretty busy yesterday and I don’t know if age, or the over-time of caring for Al did it, but I was darn tired, but I smiled.
From the moment I made that first cup of coffee and had that one sip, Al was ringing he was ready to get up. Inside my head I was yelling, no not yet. My coffee cup isn’t empty yet, but I smiled.
Then the phone rang earlier than usual. It was the shower gal letting me know when she was coming. Looking at the clock and hearing Al, I knew it was now or never. Time to force those eyes open, get the muscles in gear, and go get him up.
He is half laying in bed. How this illness helps him do it, I don’t know, but his head was frozen in mid-air. If I tried to do that, I would have a headache for sure. Rhino, the cat hissed at me because he didn’t like it I was hovering over Al. I took a moment to sweet-talk him and then got Al up and I smiled.
I got his breakfast and then tried to take a few moments to drink my lukewarm coffee when I discovered someone had tried to look into my credit. This pissed me off. I had let others ruin my credit in the past and it took me many years to fix it and be on top again. No one was doing this to me, not on a Monday morning for sure.
The shower gal came; I smiled. I eventually got Al on the bus and then I got some disappointing news. Nothing bad or serious but sad. That made my day just a little rougher. I was definitely on a roll of the biggest pity party in town.
Then I would mentally kick myself, reminding me I wasn’t the sick one, Al was. I would stand strong again. I bounced back and forth like a rubber ball until it was time to meet Al’s Hospice nurse late this afternoon. We saw each other at the main door and I smiled.
We talked about the gloom that lingered in Al’s room all weekend and then when she visited Al some of my mood must have rubbed off at breakfast because he also wasn’t in a good mood.
After the meeting the nurse wanted to talk to the Day Program coordinator about some new medication orders. I was sitting in the threesome listening to the conversation when I turned and looked out the tiny window in her office. There was a bush, with its bare branches starting to show, from fall being here. On top was a sparrow sitting there all by himself. He looked lonely.
I saw myself in him. I was lonely. How can I be lonely when I had a good day yesterday with family? Don’t ask me, because I don’t know. I stay so busy with Al I would think I wouldn’t have time to think about the word, but I did.
Suddenly right in the middle of the meeting the tears began to fall and soon I was weeping. Embarrassed that I was making a fool out of myself right there in my brother’s Day Program and yet not able to stop the tears.
I needed a release I think. Of course I felt more humiliated as the two of them came and patted my shoulder and said words of comfort. I dried my eyes and we said our goodbyes. I got in the car and lit up one of my cigarettes knowing I should quit but not strong enough to do it yet.
I took off out of the parking lot and headed for the gas station. I needed milk and I knew I couldn’t leave the house tomorrow because Al will be home all day. I was thinking about how close it was to Al being brought home on the bus and I didn’t have supper prep work done.
I was about a mile from home and the car turned into a drive-thru. When I got home I had supper on the table and Al came about 15 minutes later. He was quiet and so was I. We ate, I changed him and he wanted in his recliner. I sat here at the computer with my after dinner drink; coffee, checked emails and then laid down while Al napped.
Here it is time to go to bed and now I am awake but I think once my head lays down I will have no trouble going to sleep. After all, tomorrow morning I will hear the sounds of Al wanting to get up first thing. I just hope I have time to drink that first cup of coffee first and I will smile.
Last night I went to bed very early. My mind and my body were beyond exhausted. I feel like I slept decent, but I woke several times. Each time before my brain was in thinking mode, Al and the facility were right there.
I kept thinking back to last night when the nurse told me a couple of times that every time she walked by Al’s room he would glance up and see her and he would put his call light on. She commented on how it was becoming very irritating to her. She had work to do and all he was doing was asking for negative attention.
Negative attention, I found to be an interesting phrase coming from a nurse in a nursing home. She was too busy for Al, too busy to say hi. What I got from it was that Al was feeling alone and he was seeking out human to human contact. No one that he could connect with in his life goes to see him. His family doesn’t show up. Ten years of the same church, only the minister has been there twice in six months. He has never received mail in the form of cards. It is just him and I. I understand how he once again feels abandoned and is on that call light.
I do my very best to be there with Al in person as much as I can. I am usually there every day or every other day. The only time I have missed is the three weeks that I fought that bronchitis back in winter. I worried that Al’s tender mind would think I had also abandoned him, so I called him each day.
It seemed that the cordless phone was occupied or they were about to receive a very important call, so many times I had to trust that my messages were relayed.
Don’t we all require and need to have human contact? Isn’t it a true statement that many youth are turning to sex, not for the sex, but for the words spoken and the human touch? Is my brother no different in his own needs? Sometimes special needs people are even more loveable and require more love. Look at the label they have over their head, Special Needs.
This has been one of the biggest humps on the camel’s back that Al is so depressed. Instead of spending more time with him, our world here in the U.S. pops pills into our bodies to replace what should come freely from our hearts.
Al is now on two antidepressants because he is alone too much.
I think of Al on a sister level and sometimes this makes life difficult. There are times I do not understand people’s decisions and the ideas of where they came from. Maybe I am simple-minded. I look at Al as a brother. an abused child, and a guy who was shunned by his Dad.
Now he sits in a lonely room with a TV and a roommate that doesn’t speak. The staff ignore him because they are too busy. He is lonely and crying out. He got so offended when the Social Service lady told him I had to bring home his coca cola can filled with eyeglass screwdrivers because she was afraid he would hurt her with them.
He has never forgotten this and with the disappointment of not coming home when he thought, his brain went into automatic mode and began to blame himself for not coming home. He wondered what he had done wrong to cause this. He told me he must have screwed up again. Thus the topic of the screwdrivers became utmost in his mind and he spoke of it constantly the past 24 hours.
It isn’t that he wants to hurt someone. He is referring to the screwdrivers as the wedge that comes between people and him. No one can speak to him because he is bad. They took him out of his room because he was voicing in a mentally challenged way about the screwdriver.
This was an automatic trigger for the facility that Al wanted to harm himself or others. I heard a couple of nurses state that Al said he wanted to harm a staff. I questioned Al thoroughly about this and he did nothing but cry and say he never said that.
I have no proof. I have not heard any of these words come from his mouth. Even when I was laying the law down with Al yesterday about the way he speaks to others, not once did he admit he said those words.
I don’t know who to believe but I can see the tornado spinning and I am the eye in the middle.
If this psyche doctor who is to come in on Monday morning to assess Al decides to go over my head and place Al in a mental institution, I will scream at the top of my lungs. I will throw the biggest, adult temper tantrum anyone ever witnessed. I will call every TV station. I will talk to anyone who will listen. I will bring down this place with the truth about how some nursing homes can be. I will place Al in his wheelchair and I will bring him home while they stand there wondering what it is I am doing.
I know that Al speaks of death a lot. He is in pain and he wants it to end. He wets himself and he is highly embarrassed. He spills food constantly and gets highly frustrated from his tremors. He knows that things he used to do are no longer able to be carried out.
He really doesn’t want to die, he wants an escape. He tells me God isn’t listening so he goes to the next best thing, death. With Al’s simple thinking he believes that if he ask God to take him home, God will do it because God loves him. Death makes pain go a way. He is more simple-minded than me and it is very easy to figure out.
Sometimes I can see the abuse that I suffered as a toddler come out like Al’s does. I want to be acknowledged also. I want to hear from people here at WP. I want to read the comments and see the number of Likes clicked. Aren’t I craving the same thing as he is? But with my brain working differently than Al’s I go about my life in a different way. I think abuse, any kind of abuse, is never totally forgotten in our heads. It can pop up in weird ways, but only seeing the complete picture does anyone figure out what is going on.
But would he go as far as to harm himself? That I am not sure of. I would like to think absolutely not, but I can not guarantee it. I do know that since he has been in this facility he has sunk to an all time low. They loved him at first. When his money was gone they told me he didn’t fit in. He has been filled with more pain and pills than ever. He is miserable and now it has gone so far as staff say he is dangerous.
They have placed him at the dark end of a hall with no bed alarm and no call light. He has a little bell that he is to use if he needs help. He was given nothing to drink except for mealtime until I bitched and threw a fit. Then they took him a four-ounce plastic cup of water. I was with him yesterday when he had to go pee. He kept clicking the little bell for what seemed quite a few minutes. Finally I hunted someone down and was told that I had to wait. They said there were only two aides for fifty people. What was I to say to Al? Go ahead and pee in your pants. I know how this makes you so happy. But instead I could say nothing but lie and tell him they were on their way.
I don’t have the answers but yet some things are very clear.
Al is in pain 24/7 and he is tired of it.
The facility does not have time for patients that want to do more than sleep in their wheelchairs all day.
A mentally impaired brother has now been turned into a wicked leper.
The facility has not wanted him there ever since they took all of his money.
I will fight my very best for his human rights and for his dignity.
If I lose, the only thing I have to worry about is myself, because I will not want to go on knowing he is locked behind some padded walls with drool hanging out his mouth and he doesn’t recognize me. I would rather be dead than to see this.
Dear God, I know I was very angry with you last night. Please forgive me. I come to you on bended knees and ask for your help. Please give me the strength to keep fighting. Please hide Al under your wings and keep him safe from the evils of the world. Please let my mouth speak the correct words as I speak to the facility, that need to be understood. Please Angels, stay close to my brother. Let him feel God’s love and arms around him. I say this through broken tears dear God, as I have nowhere to turn but to you. Amen.
– Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Dept. officers arrested a second Warsaw
woman involved in allegedly striking a 4-year-old toddler. Deputies went
to the residence of Jolene Marie Swihart, 30, Wednesday and arrested
her on a preliminary charge of battery resulting in serious bodily
injury to a victim less than 14-years-old. KCSD deputies and officials
with the Department of Child Services initially began an investigation
Monday at the same residence that led to the arrest of Sherena Michele
Every week here where I live a case is reported of child abuse. Each time I read about this topic my mind just explodes. Maybe it is because it touches my own life when I was very small.
Maybe it is because the punishments are not near severe enough. I have even read cases as of late where the abused child was returned to the home of the abuser. What is up with that crap?
Why isn’t the punishment so intolerable that an abuser would do nothing less than think over twice what could happen to him or her? Is child abuse so common that it is now coming out of the woodwork?
Has it been going on for generation after generation and MUM was the word? I was reading the comments about this particular case and someone stated, we really don’t know if they are guilty or not.
Pleaseeee, look at that child’s bruises. Look at the thin body. Take a look at the skin around the lips where duct tape was placed so the child would not speak.
Alright, maybe the person is the wrong person direct, but I bet a million bucks that they are aware of what was happening. Or worse yet a party to it.
So many of us, and I am guilty also, of asking, what makes that child be so difficult to raise?
Well, maybe there is so much information we were not privy to be shared with. Maybe there are months or years of abuse hidden in that child’s mind. Can an abused child be fixed? Who’s responsibility is it to pay for all the therapy?
These are questions I am throwing out here to you. I want you to voice or in this instance, write your thoughts.
What is it going to take to get this to stop? How long does the abused have to suffer? I don’t care if it is calling someone stupid, retard, fatty, four-eyes, sexual, emotional or mental, it is all abuse.
We were placed here by God for much more than the cruelty that is allowed to happen to humans.
Oh Lord this world has turned upside down. There are many demons walking around in too familiar clothing. Help us Lord. Tell us what we can do to save these innocent victims. Show us how you want us to help. Amen
This is a prompt from Plinky.
This is a fine line for me. What do I believe in that is impossible. What do I believe in that is probable.
Impossible may include ridding myself of my Diabetes. I have had this for over 30 years. It is definitely not going anywhere unless I can afford to have a pancreatic transfer. I hear they cost a lot of money, so the probable for me is a no.
I have been heavy my whole life. I blame it on my biological mother, well at least I used to. She gave me whole milk and that’s all I ever had for many months. Today’s research is that the fat in the milk is very bad for you. This is not impossible that I will never be thin, but improbable. Maybe I have gotten used to the weight I live in.
There are many things that affect our work to lose weight. Mostly though it is our outlook on our lives. Maybe if I had a boyfriend, it would be probable that I would lose weight. When I look at my age it then turns to impossible. Why bother, I am just getting old and having aches and pains anyways. You can now see how I have argued with myself after I lost the initial 100 pounds. If I lost 35 more pounds I would strut like a fine Peacock.
Some of the world would like to convince me that believing in God is an impossible dream. I have seen proof with my very own eyes. He exists. Even with Al walking today it is a miracle. It may have stemmed from the pain patch. But where did the pain patch come from? Who gave the scientists the knowledge to be able to make these? God did.
I don’t think that living here in Indiana that it would be probable that I could have Florida weather. Now that Spring has sprung and we still have cold weather and a big snow storm coming Sunday and Monday, warmth all year is impossible.
These are just a few things I have thought of. I am sure there are hundreds of other ideas I could think of but I am hungry for my supper, so I am now stopping at number 4.
I was slipping so quickly into a mild depression after placing Al in the nursing home. I didn’t realize that I would go through this. I knew that I would miss him, but to get to the point I could see nothing but God and hit and miss things surprised me.
Then I quit eating as much as I did, plus I took up sleeping as a part-time job. When I went to the doctor and was told I had to go on insulin, I knew I was in trouble. I asked for thirty days to heal myself or at least to see a positive change. With the encouragement of so many friends on here, and the fear of needles, I signed up for classes to help myself.
So the classes involve Monday, water aerobics. This is a class of seniors, doing water exercises. I didn’t really think I would feel too much from the class, but believe me I did.
Tuesday’s class I went to was a yoga class. This helped my mind, plus stretched the muscles. I felt like a ballerina as I did things with my body that dancers do. It was delicate and romantic, if you looked at it in the right prospective. I truly enjoyed that class. In fact I go back tomorrow for the other session for this class.
Today I went to Zumba for seniors. It was for seniors when I looked around at the other participants, but it felt like I was getting a youthful work-out. I broke out in the sweat. I moved to Salsa and Zumba. I bent, I jumped, I swayed and I wiggled my hips. I got a good work-out. They may extend this class to two days but right now it is only on Wednesdays. The bad thing about this class was that I kept fighting off the munchies all afternoon. I did eat but I ate healthy. I did cheat on some whole wheat crackers. I think I ate about six of them.
So I did it. Since I noticed that my whole being was changing, I have now lost seven pounds. My sugars dropped a lot. They had been running in the high two hundreds, which was rare for me. Last night before I went to bed I checked because when my sugars are where they are supposed to be, I struggle through the night with them dropping down in the sixties. I feel very sick when this happened. One or two times I have had to crawl to the kitchen to get something to eat because I was shaking and sweating so bad, I could not walk.
So I check my levels now, so I know whether to get food to place on my night stand. So my sugars were 106. They had dropped from 280 down to 106 with just three classes so far. I am going to say this without bragging. I am so proud of my effort.
I don’t understand why my feet are so cold. I don’t mean cold like cold, I mean like ice, burning ice. Right now I have a sock type slipper on my feet plus my Ugg look-a-like slippers on and they are on the verge of being cold. I already blogged about how I had to deal with them last night like the burning cold they got.
Anyways, tomorrow is the last day, unless Friday I want to pick up another water class. That class is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I picked Monday only because of the other classes, but I do have Fridays open. Should I go or let my body rest and sleep in.
I also need your prayers. I have been praying for two months for a job. Now that Al is not here, I really need to go to work, at least part-time. All I know how to do is be a caregiver, and a writer. I placed a babysitting ad on a Facebook page but after a week, I still have received nothing. To very honest, I don’t know what God wants from me. I listen but hear nothing. I placed three ads for care giving and nothing. That is not the way it used to be. I had more job offers and not enough time. So please pray that I hear what God is saying. If there is a brand new door opening, pray that I see it.
When I was asked to read at the book club on the 24th of this month, reading one of my stories, I quickly pondered on whether this may be a brand new door, but I know in reality, it is rare to have writers earn money, at least enough to call it an income. I am not stressing out totally, but need to be doing something to earn money.
I have to be careful though what I do and this does worry me. I have bad neuropathy in my feet. I can’t stand on them very long without feeling like I have no feet. So this would keep some jobs from me. I have arthritis in my lower two discs in my back so this would eliminate long-standing for me. So thus the prayers being asked from you. Thank-you in advance for praying for me.
As you all know Al fell on Friday and he is also on new medications. I don’t see any difference in his PD, but I have not seen the tears as bad, nor have I heard him speaking of dying as much.
What I am noticing is that his sugars are higher than they ever were, which still aren’t high to me, considering I am also a diabetic and would love to have my sugars at his numbers. Also, his appetite has plummeted, but also has his heart rate and blood pressures.
Why does there have to be so many side effects to medications? Can’t they make one that just deals with the problem, instead of getting other parts involved? His knees are giving out. I don’t know what this is about and I asked the head of the therapy this morning when she was here, why.
She believes it is just a part of Parkinson’s. Just. what a word, one syllable, a small word, but so powerful. Just a disease, just a part of life, just a part of his un-stableness, just. Let’s toss it to the river, and find another word that is more compassionate.
Today, we go to the doctor for a check up of the new medications he was put on last week. We are also going to find out the results of the lab works done last Monday. I am supposed to ask for a referral to a urologist also, since the hospital said they could not put a catheter, regular, nor a special one for prostate problems, so we need to see a specialist to see how much this gland is enlarging. He is not happy about this visit, as it is too far away from lunch time, and too far from supper, and of course, the major part, it interferes with his nap, but I could not help it, there was no other time slots for the day the doctor wanted him to return.
The therapist said that Al has strong legs. What does she mean strong legs? Like mine or yours? Then why does he fall, why are his knees beginning to buckle away quickly, and all of a sudden he is down.
Yes, this is a new thing, about a week ago, maybe something to do with the new medications? He will be walking along and all of a sudden his knees give out, and down he goes. He has not fallen completely to the ground. He has been lucky so far and used his walker to catch himself, but this is happening, so I will be asking the doctor if his medications could be causing this, so how are his knees still strong. Why does he walk so unstable, and topple over so easy, if his legs are so strong.
I did something Sunday that you may think is silly, but it helped me so much, that I even cleaned some of my too high shelves off, plus I cleaned both bathrooms. I have had trouble sleeping the past few days. I am so dead tired, but when I lie down to go to sleep, my mind is whirling, so yesterday, I got out my Christmas CD’s and played a couple of them. They lifted me up, and I was able to deal with everything pretty well that day and even slept better last night.
I guess it is not that far off from Christmas. I have seen Christmas commercials on the television, and when I was allowed to escape Saturday, I saw decorations in the stores. These stores are just screaming, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND! What about the people who can not spend, do you think the stores care, that they have made some sad and maybe sent them into a whirl of depression, because our brains are being taught that Christmas is spending, instead of who’s birthday it is?
Well enough for now, I have blabbed past my time. I will let you know what we find out from the doctors today, later on. Have a nice day!