I Asked, And He Answered

Today was the day that I went and picked up Al to take him to our favorite restaurant. I got

Close up image of Cradle cap

Close up image of Cradle cap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

there on time, and he was dressed in his coat and hat and all ready to go, but something seemed different.

I thought that the main reason he wanted to go to the nursing home, was different from my reasons, he wanted to socialize. Every time I go there, he is not socializing. I can’t put my finger on it, but something is not the same.

I know, it takes time as you all tell me, and this is an adjustment period, but I saw things today that made me quite upset, and I did say something when I took him back. When we got to the restaurant he could not take his own jacket off, and when I questioned him about simple things he cried and I could tell he was confused or didn’t understand things.

He told me he was getting prunes for his snack, so I simply asked  what else to go along with them, and he said nothing. I asked him if he asked for anything else and he said no. He didn’t know he was supposed to ask.

His fingernails were awful. They were black and I could tell by some colors under his nails, that he has been doing some digging too. Here we were at the restaurant, and I could barely eat, looking at his nails, or I would have been ill.

I asked him about activities he had been doing, and he said therapy. I asked what else, and he said nothing. I asked him if he told anyone that he wanted to be involved with activities, and he said no, he didn’t know what activities there were.

He explained to me that his vision is blurry again, that he can not see. I told him I didn’t know what to think, as we had just picked up brand new glasses for him two weeks ago. He said he didn’t know.

Everything was I don’t know and tears. There was more confusion today than I had ever seen before. I am going to give it up to PD, that this is the reason. I dropped the questions when our food arrived, and we ate. He ate good but could barely got the glass to his mouth, his tremors were so bad. I could see that he is definitely getting weaker in strength.

In the car on the way to the restaurant, his tremors were so bad, it made me dizzy watching him. I am not sure if this is the progression of PD or what. He ate a breaded cheeseburger, fries, a diet cherry cola, and a piece of sugar cream pie, so he has a good appetite!

After we were finished, I searched through the store for snacks for him to take back. I had taken him snacks that were left over from here at home, when he was placed, and he was sure to let me know he was running low. I can’t figure out if he is eating the snacks during the day, or at bedtime, and this is why he is not being offered snacks or what is going on.

He told me that the nurse told him to take his money and buy himself a shelf for the wall. He started crying because he said that the nurse should know he doesn’t have any money. See where his comprehension is coming in? I explained that the nurse thought if she told him that he needed the shelf then he would tell his sister, and she could go get him a shelf, which I did.

After lunch, and getting the shelf, I asked him where else he would like to go, and he said no where, he was ready to go back. I asked him again, saying anywhere you want to go, let’s go, while it is nice outside, but he still said no, so I took him back.

Once back he was content to sit in his recliner. I  had brought him some goodies so he and I opened them. He could not open anything by himself, his fingers were too weak, so I opened and he watched. I had gotten him something that he had wanted so bad, the merry-go-round that you see at Christmas time. It plays music and lights up. I just knew he was going to be so excited, but all I got was a half-smile.

After we opened everything and I discarded the empty boxes, I placed things within his hand’s reach, and told him I was going to go speak to the nurse. He didn’t say anything, so I went out of his room for a bit. I found his nurse, and for the second time, I explained about the filthy nails, and that they needed to be cleaned every single day, and hopefully this time, I said it plain enough. I explained to her about his cradle cap all over his face and in his hair again. I explained  when I brought him in there, about the terrible cradle cap due from the PD and that his head needed to be oiled each day and lotion needed to be applied to his face each day. I said all the work I had done is now gone, because it is all back.

I explained with a smile, that I was not trying to be a pain in the butt, but, if they didn’t do as I requested, his face was going to be a mess and he was going to start digging and scratching like he did at home and he would be a bloody mess.

She listened and she made notes, so hopefully this will be taken care of. I explained for the second time that Al won’t ask for anything, and then showed her the list of things that he wished for, and she said he needs to speak up. I said that I agreed with her, but he will not speak up. He is mentally challenged, and doesn’t get the picture, ask and receive. Once again, more notes. Hopefully through time, this will all be taken care of. I just don’t want him to suffer for things that a minute can fix.

Al is a complicated person. He has trouble with comprehension, and understanding, but in other ways he is very brilliant. He is crafty in some ways, and very innocent in other ways. He made the mistake of letting me know that he had money in his wallet. I asked him how did he get money?

He explained he goes down to the little lady at the front desk and tells her he wants money so he can buy a soda or snack, but then he doesn’t buy it, he clings to his money. So he had done this each day and now had a nice little pile in his wallet.

I explained to him for the third time that he can not carry money, that something could happen to it, and if it did, the facility will not make it reappear in his wallet. I am sorry, but inside, I was laughing a little, because he just amazes me at how he thought up this idea to have money once again. On the other hand, I feel bad for him, because he has carried money all through his adult life, and now the facility says no, you may not.

I told the nurse what had happened, and they walked him down to the front desk lady and had him put the money back into his account. He got upset with them instead of me this time, which was a nice change, so I don’t know what his next creative idea will be.

It was a good day, and I may seem a little picky, but I keep my ears and eyes open, and I do ask questions, because Al is going to answer me much better than any staff volunteering answers.

Now, I am home and have taken Polly outside, then brought her inside, and she peed again on the carpet. It stresses me out, I am sorry. My mind is not healed from all of the daily issues from Al, and here, I have a pup, who is the cutest thing, but I am too stressed yet to enjoy her. Walking on my feet and on my heels, whimpering if she doesn’t get held every second is driving me up the wall. I love her, but for heaven’s sake, give me some breathing space! Part of me just wants to sleep and drown out everything around me that I think of all the time.

Something has to give, but I am not sure what it is. Thanksgiving is next week, and although it looks like it is going to be a small dinner gathering, I have not even went to the store yet. I just don’t want to. I have to change my train of thought!



Continuing Story Part 33

Drake and Dahlia had a good feeling about their upcoming wedding. Everything seemed to becoming together nicely. He had his suit, she had her dress. He  had his best man, and


Dahlia (Photo credit: Jonathan Gill)

she had her matron of honor. They each had their rings for each other. The flowers were ordered, the church and the minister were reserved. Family and friends were coming. They could think of nothing else they needed, but the food.

As Drake drove back to their home, he reached over and grabbed Dahlia’s hand and told her how much he loved her and could not wait to make her his wife. He could see the smile stretching on her face. He felt he was the luckiest man alive. He felt like he could not take his eyes off of her.

At that moment, the crunch was heard, as the car was being slammed into the car ahead of them at the stop sign. Drake was thrust forth into the steering column and then bounced back and slammed into the back of his seat. Dahlia was pushed forward and her head was meeting the windshield, forcing it to crack, and then she was slammed back into her seat and once again she went forward hitting her head again, but on the dashboard this time.

The car became quiet and all inside were still, but moans could be heard from Drake. The man that they had slammed into had been jolted but thankfully not injured badly. He had a cut on his forehead. There was not a high-speed and so Drakes car had pushed the car ahead of him into the cross streets, but he was alright. He got out of his car and stumbled a little getting his balance, and then walked back to the car that hit him.

The front of the car had been dented but not pushed in so far as to trap the two inside the car. He went and looked inside the windows at the two sitting there. He saw that Drake was sitting there rubbing his head, and glancing over at Dahlia he saw that she was slumped forward, her seat belt holding her in place.

Traffic that came up from different sides, stopped and turned off their engines. One lady ran over to see what she could do to help. She stated she was a nurse. The gentleman, David, who was hit, told her about what he observed, and the nurse ran over to Dahlia’s side to inspect for injuries. She yelled at one of the bystanders to go call an ambulance.

The nurse asked David if he was alright when she saw the cut and blood streaking his face, and he said he was fine, just a little shook up was all. The nurse opened the door of where Dahlia was sitting and felt her wrist for a pulse. She found it and yelled that she is alive, but she is unresponsive. We need to get this one to the hospital as quickly as possible.

David did his best at inspecting Drake and asked him if we was feeling any pain other than his neck, and Drake said he thought he was alright, to not worry about him, to please take care of this lady beside him.

Soon they all heard the roaring of the siren as the ambulance drove quickly to their aid. The driver and his helper jumped out and went to the back of the ambulance and threw open the doors and got the gurney out and as the nurse yelled at them to come to this lady first, they went over and tried shaking her and asking her if she could hear them.

Getting no response, they placed a neck brace around her neck and then gently pulled her from the car and stretched her out on the gurney. They quickly placed a mask over her nose and mouth and hooked the tubing to a portable oxygen tank. They took her vitals, and noted this on their reports. They then covered her with a warm blanket and placed her in the back of the ambulance. They then started and IV drip on her and then the driver got out of the back, shut the doors and got into the front seat of the vehicle and with sirens racing, he took off for the hospital.

David offered to drive Drake to the hospital in his car. There was not so much damage that his car could not be driven. Drake in a slight daze said he would appreciate this but he could not let his car sit here, and by the time he got those words out of his mouth, a wrecker had appeared. Between Drake and David, they gave the instructions on where to take the car, and David helped Drake out of the car.

He staggered a little but could walk fairly well. David told him that he thought it would be a good idea to let the hospital check him out as well, just to make sure there was nothing more seriously wrong than just a sore neck.

Drake agreed, but his mind was not on himself, it was the precious cargo that was being taken to the hospital. He walked with a little help to the passenger side of the car and with David opening the car door he sat down and buckled up. David got in on the driver’s seat and glanced at everything inside of the car. It all looked normal, and he turned the key to the ignition, and the car started immediately. He took off slowly making sure all was alright with the car, and then finding it safe, they took off at normal speed toward the hospital.

When they arrived at the hospital, Drake opened the door by himself and got out. Walking in a slight drunken state, he started walking toward the ER doors. David kept his pace with him, and when they got to the registration desk, Drake asked quickly about his fiancée, and the receptionist said she had just received the paper work on the patient, and until they knew more, she suggested the nurse and doctor check him out also.

Drake shook his head up and down nodding that this would be alright, but stating he wanted to know how Dahlia was as soon as there were any reports known. David took a hold of Drakes arm and helped him to walk over to the seating area to wait until they heard his name announced.

The Unexpected Visit

Silverways Nursing Home This modern building w...

Silverways Nursing Home This modern building was purpose-built as a nursing home, and accommodates 68 people. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I walked into the facility, stopping at the secretary’s desk and announced my presence. Sitting behind the desk, was a young girl, with a short bob hair cut, low cleavage blouse, and bright red nails. She was talking on her cell phone, and glanced up at me, and told her other half of the conversation, she had to get off of the phone, that she would call them back. She laid her phone down, ran her fingers through her hair, and chewing her gum, she led me to the D.O.N.’s office. When I walked in the door way of the Director’s office, she also was on the phone. I could tell from the bits of conversation I was hearing, that she was talking with someone who wasn’t happy. I motioned to her that I would step outside the door until she was prepared to take the time to speak to me. She kept on talking, and smiled. Out in the hall, I looked around at the furniture. It looked new. It didn’t look like it had been sat in much. There were artificial bouquets of flowers sitting on each of the table. My head turned because I was hearing loud noises coming from the residents. Someone wasn’t happy right now. The smell of urine was drifting in and out of my nose. It was pungent. I saw a maintenance man, running a machine to keep the floors shiny. I turned back to my notebook, and jotted some notes down. The Director came out to me, and shook my hand and told me her name. I noticed there was no name tag on her dress. She was an older lady, dressed in a flowery print dress, that came to her knees. She had black dress shoes on, and her hair was short and in a hair net. She saw me looking at her hair, and she let me know that the kitchen staff was short, so she was filling in . She reached up and took it off and threw it away. I made another note in my notepad. She asked how she could help me and I told her who I was. I saw her eyes open a little wider, and she almost choked on her own spit. She straightened her dress, and proceeded to sit back down and start her perfectly, rehearsed set of questions, for people such as me. She excused herself a moment, and made a couple of quick phone calls to other extensions in the facility. After hanging up she plastered her biggest smile on her face and looked at  me and told me she was delighted to meet me, and she would do anything that was required in order to help. We got up and started to walk the halls. Stopping at other offices, nurse stations, and food department, making small talk and introductions. He jotted down notes as they went about their tour. The tour almost done, they made their way down through each of the three halls. He saw no one in sight. He jotted this down. The D.O.N. noticed him writing and hurriedly explained that it was mid morning, and so many residents were getting their baths right now. That is where the aides were at. This is why the halls seemed quiet. He walked into no particular room, standing in the door way, examining everything, leaving nothing out to the naked eye. In one room he witnessed an elderly lady asleep in her wheel chair, her one leg was showing, lack of being covered up. Another room, he saw a tiny little frame in the bed. He walked over and looked down at her. She had vomited up her breakfast, and she was lying in it. He glanced down at his watch , and notated in his book, time, 10:50AM. Another room, there was no one in it. Walking down the opposite hall, two aides were kneeling on the floor, trying to help a man stand up. He had fallen. Another notation. No nurse around. Nurse light was not on. He turned and looked directly at the D.O.N. and she flashed him her pearly whites, and ran her fingers through her hair. The last stop was in the kitchen.  He found the main chef, checking the food in the oven for doneness. Two kitchen aides were putting napkins, and glasses, and wrapped silver ware on the dining room tables. The back screen door to the kitchen was open. He popped his head through and saw a few employees smoking, and as he was observing the grounds, he could over hear talk of a personal nature and even some swearing. He stepped back inside, and jotted some more notes. Walking back to the D.O.N’s office, they stopped at her door. She told him that it was a pleasure to meet him, and if there was anything she could do for him, just give her a call. He told her he she could expect a phone call prior to another visit the following week. As he walked by the secretary’s office, he saw that she was talking on her cell again. He walked out the door and to his car.

The Big N

Last night’s sleep was restless. Plenty of nightmares about what was coming. The sharp point, looking at me, staring at my body. Ready for the attack. I dreamed that it ate me up and left me lifeless and laying in a pool of my own blood. Waking up in bad sweats, I should have changed the sheets, but how many times did I want to change them in one night? None, so I lay back down and drift off again, with the TV noise in the back ground, boring me into a sleep. Somewhere in my mind, the dream became alive once again. The look on her face was worse than any horror movie I had ever seen! Big buck teeth smiling at me, and if you looked real close you could see light bouncing off that one gold crown on the side of her mouth. Fat lips smiled at me, as she started walking slowly towards me, raising her hand, planning to do major damage to my body and my nerves. I felt wetness running down my leg, as she began to kneel beside me and whisper those awful words we all have heard one time or another. I woke again, sat up in bed. My hair was drenched in sweat. My breathing was rapid. My gown was stuck to me. I got up and went into my bathroom and splashed cold water on my face. Drying it off, I looked at myself in the mirror, and was scolding myself  for behaving like this. This was not a good thing. Nothing or no one should ever get a hold of me to the point that it controls me even while I sleep. I changed night gowns, and used the potty. Turning the bathroom light off, I went back to bed. I turned my fan on medium, switched the TV remote off, and turned over on my stomach. I said a quick prayer to God, asking him to help me overcome this fear, to give me rest. He must have realized that this was a matter of utter importance, because when I awoke next, the sun was shining. Daylight was here. I felt like a mac truck had run over me. I made it to the bathroom and turned the hot water on in the shower, just adding a touch of cold. I stood there, for so long, my fingers looked like shriveled raisins. I washed my hair, and turned my body in to

one of the most laughter inducing photos i've ...

one of the most laughter inducing photos i've seen in a while. come back and look later... you'll laugh again (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

sweet-smelling lather. Getting rinsed and out of the shower, I dried off slowly, realizing that when I was dressed it would be time. Wrapped up in my towel, I walked back to my bedroom, and went through each piece of clothing in my closet. I finally picked something to wear, and forced myself to get dressed. I went back to the bathroom and took extra care fixing my hair and applying my make up. My time was up. Almost late. I grabbed my car keys and headed out the door. Got in my car, and unfortunately, it started right up. The car knew where I was going, so it drove at a faster speed than I was used to driving and before I knew it, I had arrived. I walked in, she smiled at me. I heard my name being called. I got up and walked through the big, swinging door. As I walked in to the tiny room, there she was. The woman in my nightmare. She had pearly white teeth, and a beautiful smile. I was instantly put at ease, until she came towards me, raising her hand, showing me the needle. I let out a quick breath, and turned my head. Ouch! It was over. I smiled, she smiled. I left and went on my way.