Al’s Secret Christmas Gift to Me

al at birthday partyToday, I went to see my brother, Al. He had wandered into the therapy, to ask the therapists to fix his legs. He legs were under the deep heat therapy, and his whole body was full of tremors.

He told me he woke up and did not feel right. He said when he got up, he felt like he was going to fall down. I think he laid back down and let the nurse know he was feeling bad. He told me his tummy hurt, and he just did not feel right.

No nurse came to me with any reports, but I did find out that staff wants him to start eating a little bit more food. He is beginning to taper off his appetite, due to constant pain.

He said that he had another unwanted visitor. This was the visitor that I had spoken to prior and said that Al did not really want her to come back. Al told me,” You would be proud of me Terry. I didn’t have to go get the nurse, I just told her to leave”. I looked at him and said”If this is what you wish, than I am behind you”. He replied back,”She says she will call you and tell you I would not let her in”. I thought to myself, Go for it lady.

A therapist came up to me and said that she thinks so much of Al and that all the staff is crazy about him. She and others were going to be his armor and help guard him from people who may upset him. I appreciated this, as I can not be there 24/7.

I took him the little ornament from Hallmark. It is the old-fashioned radio, that as you turn the dial each day, it says little messages up  to Christmas day. He smiled at me and told me thanks.

Most of my visit today was spent in the therapy room. He believes so much that they can help him, and although he is not scheduled for this process any longer, they do not want to burst his bubble.

When it was time for his lunch, I walked with him down to the dining room. I made sure he had his food, and then I told him I would see him the day after today. I said good-bye, and I always say I love you to him. For the very first time, Al smiled up at me, and said I love you too sis. My heart melted, and I smiled all the way out the door.

No one can do so much to me with their hateful words, or bad attitudes, to erase the beautiful moment, that Al gave me. What a wonderful Christmas gift I will always treasure.


Ghosts From The Past

The Satan Pit

I went to see my brother today. He knew that I was coming to take him out to lunch. He had been lying down, but when I arrived, he got up and smiled at me. We put his jacket on and took off.

All through lunch, when ever I glanced at him and he at me, he smiled. A peaceful, innocent smile. I was so happy. I had asked God to bring a peaceful lunch and he answered quickly. Thank-you God for answering me so promptly with this request.

He did not want to go any other places so we went back to his facility. I had brought him some surprises, and he had opened the first one, when a strange lady walked in and walked over to us, and looking at Al handed him a clear jar of candy taffy pieces.

She introduced herself as a very good friend of our aunts. When she mentioned the name of the aunt, Al started to cry. Huge tears fell, and he told her to leave and to take her candy with her. This woman refused. She is in her late sixties at least, and neither Al nor I had ever met  her. Where was this strange woman’s respect for other humans?

There are many bitter feelings from the past five years, that Al and I carry. I, have forgiven these people, but when their names have come up, the wounded heart comes torn a bit more. Al is different. He forgets nothing about the past, and so he carries his pain as fresh as if his heart was  hurt yesterday.

Al asked her to leave once again, and the lady said no. I had sat there observing and listening, allowing my brother to fight his own battle, but when he could not get her to leave, I stepped up to the plate. I hit the ball right to her, asking her to leave, that she was upsetting him, and she placed her hands on her hips, and said,” I would like to see you make me leave”.

Now I am a very compassionate person, but I can also be a mama bear protecting  her cub. I stood closer to her and I said again,”Please leave this room now! He has asked you and as you can see, you have him crying”. She would not move from her spot. So I moved her by getting in front of her nose and forcing her out the door of his room. She continued to talk loudly making Al to cry harder, and finally the nurse came forth and told her to leave. Still, she would walk up to his room and stand out in the hall and wave and giggle. I think she was some crazy nut!

I walked back into Al’s room and also one of the aides came in and she and I tried to calm Al down. It took some doing and he calmed down, but it should not have happened in the first place. I have lightly touched on the fact, that our family, what little is left, had abandoned us after our father died five years ago.

I sent letters to some of these people, using Al’s words, do you remember? Back this summer, he thought he was dying, so he had me write these letters. None of these people ever responded. In five years, no one has called, and my number has never changed. No one has ever asked how Al is doing, nothing. Now, they are coming out, but there is no one there to help Al, as I am not there every minute of the day.

I don’t know what these people expect to see or find. When there are hurt feelings, sometimes they are easy to come back to life. We have been having this problem for a couple of weeks now. I hate it, because they know by now that their visits are unwelcome, but yet they come.

The facility is going to start banning people and their names will be on a list of do not enter. I wish it did not have to be this way, but for Al’s sake, there is no other choice. I look at Al as a sick man who is in pain all of the time. He cries a lot already, so why should he have to cry even more by people out of curiosity only. In the end what matters to me is my brother. I can not take the time to consider each person’s motives, I don’t have the time. I will fight to the end to keep people out of Al’s life if this is what he chooses, and he does at this time.

One more thing I may add to this sad afternoon is this; Satan, you heard me ask God for a peaceful lunch with my brother, and you got mad. You decided to send in the army to destroy us. You did hurt my brother. For heaven sakes, the man is slowly dying. Let him alone. Deal with me Satan. I am stronger, and I will chew you up and throw you back to the pits of hell. Leave Al and me alone, we don’t need your help!

No Escaping

DA-loops in PD

DA-loops in PD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had taken two days off from seeing Al, and so today, I was going out there. I am having problems and I don’t know what my problem is. I have thought of all kinds of reasons it must be, but have not come up with the right answer yet. Maybe you see something I do not see.

I have taken care of my brother for about five years, and it was never easy, but the love I have for my brother, and the support from all of you have helped me to continue through the months.

Then it got to be more for me than I could handle, physically and emotionally. The falls, the lack of comprehension, the Parkinson’s Disease in itself, takes a toll on the whole body, mind and soul. As my friend Jo, over at Camsgranny says, it is ugly and rears its head when ever it can.

Now, he has been placed going on almost two weeks, and I feel like I am in mourning. I can’t get excited about Thanksgiving or Christmas. I forced myself after I saw Al today to go to the grocery store and buy the needed items for the Thanksgiving feast.

I mope without wanting to, I actually cry now, because he is not here. I feel like I have lost another member of my family, and actually, I have not. So why in the world do I get all stressed when I go to see him, since I miss him so much? I got in my car, and as it was warming up, I could feel my body starting to tense up, and my breathing getting shorter in breaths. I don’t get it.

I walked in to the facility and went straight to his room, but there was no one there, so I came back out into the hall and heard B1. Oh, now I know where he is! He is playing Bingo! I walked down there and instantly picked him out among the crowd. He was intensely trying to win, although he had already won three times!

I pulled his walker over to him and sat down on the seat and watched everyone play and I stayed quiet, not wanting to cause a commotion that may keep them from seeing a number and yelling out Bingo!

I did not wait very long, and Al looked at me with a smile, and said, What’s up, and I said just here to see and visit with you bud. He didn’t say anything else until Bingo was over and then he let me know all of his problems.

We sat there for a while talking as everyone else had disappeared from the social room. He told me he is seeing double, and that his vision is blurry. This is the second time he has complained about it. Part of me wondered if his vision was double, how could he play bingo, but if you know Al, he will suffer through anything to be around other people. I also wondered if it is his new bifocals strength in his glasses,was the culprit, but since this is the second time he has complained, I went to the office and stated my concerns. Now they are going to schedule another appointment with an eye doctor, to gain a second opinion. I will be glad when this is done, then I will know what is hiding behind those glasses.

He complained of ankle and leg pain, so I checked his ankles and they were filled with fluids. I could see my finger prints in his skin from where I had squeezed lightly. That stupid PD is going straight for his heart. I would just like to rid my brother of this disease. I want to be able to reverse everything this illness has taken a way from him.

He finally got up and started to walk, but I could see his knees buckling and his tremors were quite lively. He walked about twenty feet and said his feet were throbbing, so we sat for a bit, and then he got back up and walked to the therapy room. Evidently from what I have heard, he wanders in there periodically to see if they can help him remove some pain.

Today, the therapist sat him down and put this infrared heat on his knees. She said it penetrated way down deep inside. Each knee took fifteen minutes, so we all started talking about Thanksgiving, and I was telling Al when I would be there to pick him up that day, and then he started crying.

I am not speaking of big bad crying, I am talking soft gentle tears that could not be restrained. The therapist asked him what was wrong, and Al said he hated the holidays. He said that they were not the same as when Mom and Dad were here, and believe me, I knew what he was talking about, as I feel it every year about this time too.

He continued to cry and the therapist and I tried to change the topic, but Al’s mind gets stuck like a record on one song, and it is very hard to change the music. My heart was breaking, and the more he cried, my heart broke into several pieces.

At that moment, I hated life, I hated Parkinson’s Disease, I hated his heart being damaged,  his eyes being affected, and his ankles being swollen. To myself, I pleaded with Mom and Dad to come back just one more time. Do it for Al, do it for me, we miss you so bad.

Without knowing it the therapist brought me over a couple of kleenex and I said what, and she said wipe your face. I touched the kleenex to my cheeks and when I looked at it, it was soaked with tears.

Thank goodness it was noon, as it was time for Al to eat. I walked him down to the lunch room and made sure he was sitting properly on the seat, and then I told him I needed to go get groceries, and get home to let Polly out. He looked at me with his teary eyes, and asked him if I would come back tomorrow, and I said of course, you are my baby brother.

More Thank-You’s For Al’s Cards

Get Well Card

I want to take a moment of your time and say a huge thank-you to all who participated in sending Al cards, some even sent me cards, which was a nice surprise. Al still looks at my hands to see if I have any mail for him when I go to see him at the nursing home, and now, I have two more to take to him tomorrow.

I went to see Al today, and he was in therapy doing leg exercises. The therapist was telling Al how good he was doing and making big process. I had to admit, hearing those words made me feel good also, and for a quick moment, I wished that this meant he was going to be able to throw that walker a way one day, but Al did more than think it, he asked it.

He told the therapist that since he was doing so good, that his Parkinson’s was finally going to leave and he gave a big old smile, and then she busted that smile and turned it into a frown and tears.

She said no, you won’t ever get to the place that you won’t need the walker, we can’t fix the PD, but we just want to try to keep your legs strong for a bit longer. He sure did not understand and told her so by saying, but you said I am doing better……..I backed out of the therapy room a moment while I let a couple of tears flow for his sadness at hearing this,when he truly did hear that he was getting better.

It reminded me once again, that doctors and nurses, therapist sugar coat, telling me Al is doing great, but instead they forgot to mention the PD has now penetrated his heart muscle.

I want to say thank-you to:

Patricia Beggs

Kathy Fehr

Melody McAtee

Jim Wright


thank you all!!!!

Gut Wrenching Pain In My Heart

It has been strange around here, Al fell last night. He fell between a base against the wall

Relative direction...

and his recliner. I had put up so much of his collectibles on to shelves, but there were still

several items on the floor, all hiding right where he fell.

He was confused and he did not ring his bell to let me know he was getting up. He has a clock sitting on his table next to his bed, only inches from his face, but yet he got up, did not put his glasses on nor did he use his walker, and he said that he was going over to the opposite wall of his bed to see what time it is.

An open scratch on his behind, but other than that, nothing happened. I was able to help him get up, but my mind kept switching back to the coca cola glass bottles sitting inches away from where he landed on the floor. He landed on a musical reindeer, that stood about a foot tall and smashed it to pieces. The bottles were sitting directly beside the reindeer.

After I checked his body out for red marks, blood and bruises, and got him safely seated, I picked up one of the bottles and showed it to him, and I told him how lucky he was because the way he fell, he could have taken a bottle right through his eye.

He started to cry and said he does everything wrong, which makes me so angry, because I never tell him he is wrong. I do que him a lot, guide him in the right directions of different things, but do not ridicule him.

He was very quiet the rest of the night, as he usually is, when he falls. I believe he gets shaken up mentally when this happens. He remained quiet today also, he even without permission or asking me to help, leaned over and moved those items behind the recliner, which is what I have been trying to do for weeks. I told him that he should have at least let me know he was going to do it, or have me help, because leaning over forward, is asking for a fall. He cried again.

This afternoon the therapist came for her last visit, and also the nurse came. She has two more visits to go then all home health care is done. After being fairly quiet today, Al let loose when the two ladies were here.

His tremors were a wreck, flying all over and rapid movements. He burst into tears, and he told them how he was stupid and a retard, and I did not want him here, and he was a failure, and I wanted all of his stuff out of his room .

None of this is true. His being down on himself is his feelings alone, and no one else’s. I do not want his room empty, he is mad because we are rearranging things in his room, and Al doesn’t do well with change.

Both the nurse and therapist tried to calm him down, but he was tuning everyone out but himself. They tried some exercises to calm  his tremors, but he wasn’t budging from  his frame of mind.

Then I made the mistake or maybe a blessing in disguise. I stood up and said,I can’t take this anymore. It has got to stop, please stop. The tears, the arguing, the lack of ability to comprehend anymore what I am saying!! I just want to run and hide!!

What had I said? What had I done? I clamped my hand over my mouth, and sat back down. I had let my feelings out of their hiding place and the professionals had seen it. They had seen my frustrations and tiredness.

The nurse looked at me and said, I was wondering how long you were going to be able to pull this off. I would have been pulling my hair out a long time ago. We both so admire you for what you have been doing and for how long you have been doing it, but don’t you think it is time to actually consider placement for him, where he can get more therapy and be around other people?

Instead of waiting for my answer, Al is over on the couch screaming that I want the house for me alone, and that I don’t love him etc. This is what happens each time Al and I try to talk about maybe finding a better place for him. His guilt words being thrown at me like poison darts, always make me crawl back in my hole and keep me quiet.

Not this time, the nurse and the therapist took over the situation while I sat there in surface shock, and they started talking to him about how much happier he would be living in a home where there were nurses and staff to be with him when he fell, and the games that went on inside, and all the new friends. He began to cry, and then so did I, and then the ladies followed. Pretty quickly it turned into a pool of tears right on the carpet.

Al finally broke down and said he might be happy living in a rehab home, as the ladies called it. The therapist wrote an email to a facility here in our home town to try to get information on what had to be done in Al’s special circumstances.

By now, it has been two hours since they have left, and my heart is in my big toe. I am feeling the guilt no matter how I try to slap it away. I failed him, just like his dad did, no I didn’t, yes you did. I walked into his room just now and looked at him to see if he was alright, and instantly tried to imagine what it would be like to not have him living here, and I turned around and left.

I literally forced myself to think about how I could go back to work, and I could go pick up Al and take him to lunch, and he would actually be glad to see me and we would laugh and chat, bu then my thoughts would come instantly back to you failed him. No I didn’t.

I am not sure if I can do this, I don’t know if I can get rid of the guilt and let him go, even knowing he may be better off. Maybe this won’t work out anyways. I have tried to look into it before, and always got a no, or he is not on Medicaid, so no, but maybe it will work out………………

I need to, no, I have to keep looking straight at Al, and how many times has he fallen, and his confusion, and the EMS’s having to come pick him up off the floor, and his tears, and his sadness. I am thinking of me and not him.

Dad died, and that was it, over. I had no one asking me for permission to let it happen, it just happened without my consent. This to me is ten times worse, I am being asked.

Parkinson’s Disease and Emotional Abuse

Crying child

Where do I start and end this? The past 24 hours have been maybe a bad dream, but my body feels to weak to have it anything else but real. It started last night, as I have already posted, at the DQ, with Al not getting his own way.

We brought it home and Al decided on his own, to carry the turmoil into the evening. After his idle threats and temper tantrums, my body felt so scared with goose bumps, a hot feeling all over, and tense neck and shoulders, I broke down and forced him to go to bed, and then went to my phone and called a friend, that I was hoping would help me to calm down.

We talked and it seemed to help and by the time we hung up, I was able to smile again. I decided to go in and check on Al one last time before I checked into sleep land, and he scared the crap out of me. It was dark except for his night-light, and I was standing in the door way not yet in his room, when I heard him say, what do you want?

I know that I jumped a little bit and then told him I was just checking to see if he needed anything and he claimed he didn’t need anything that I had to offer. I saw him stirring a lot in the bed, so I walked over to him to see what the problem was, and he had a hand towel at the side of his body and it was wet.

I asked him what was going on that there was a wet towel, and he said he was wiping up pee. I told him I was going to pull the covers back and check the bed, and it was wet. We talked about the urinal, and then I went so far as to replay how he has to use the bed remote to sit up in the bed before he can use the urinal properly. He said he could not. He said that he could not get it in, so as we re-enacted the scene, I saw that from him getting older, there was a shrinkage problem with his personal body part, and knew then that this was a definite problem in bed.

In the end after talking and him still being snippy with me, I decided that it would be better to wear a brief, in order for him not to have to try to make something work that would not work. I had him roll from side to side as I changed the bed pad and chux pad, and then I placed him in a brief.

He called me some choice names as I made sure he was comfortable, dry and warm and then turned and left his room. It was then about 2am. In my room I could hear him through the baby monitor still calling me names, and I tried very hard to ignore it but my heart and soul were crying as this whole evening had broken my strength, I usually can manage to carry.

I tried to go to sleep but he was noisy, and he never went to sleep until 5am this morning. To say the least, I did not feel good at all today physically or emotionally, and to top it all off, he was still on his roll from the night before.

I had decided this morning, that no matter how much I love my brother or how very hard I tried to please him, it wasn’t going to ever work. It would take a miracle from God to change the despair and sadness in this morgue, we call home. Because I loved him so, I made up my mind to place him. Maybe if he didn’t see his dad in my face, he would maybe find some happiness in his life.

A therapist leader came to our house and he instantly took her back to his bedroom and tried to convince her how mean I was and that his room had plenty of room to hold more cars. I instantly grabbed her and pulled her to the living room and briefly explained what had happened the night before at the DQ, and that he was trying to play her against me, and she understood.

He made a big mistake by telling her he did not want to live here and that he wanted to go to a nursing home and that he just wanted to die, because she took this news back to her head nurse in charge.

After she left, he decided to continue his badgering of me, and I stood up from the couch and told him I didn’t want to hear anymore talk, and I wanted him to return to bed. He fought me but I won and I got him safely placed in bed. He went to sleep and I went to the couch and fell into it with a large headache and tears running from my eyes. I was exhausted and prayed that he would sleep for a nice period of time.

God must have answered that prayer because he slept right through lunch, and by this time, I realized that I had taken my own diabetic medications in the morning and had never made it to my own breakfast, and now I was skipping lunch also, due to wanting to sleep.

The phone rang and woke me up and another therapist wanted to stop by in an hour or so, so I said alright, and at the final moment, I went and woke Al up. I was still dragging and Al made sure he told the therapist how bad he had it here and that he was miserable, all because he was still throwing a fit about the car at Wal-Mart. By this time, it was four pm. She is a very good therapist and worked with Al’s muscles some, but the main topic was Al’s attitude towards his own dad and how he still carries the bitterness and hatred of his dad, and how he pretends that I am now his dad and so he treats me exactly the same. The therapist listened to him and talked and gave suggestions to him on how he needed to drop the past, and live for today. They talked about how I did love him and that I was good to him, and she explained that his sister does even spoil him, but he did not buy any of it.

She explained to me that he has a block in his brain and he is stuck in the past with the emotional abuse of his father. He went on to tell her that he wanted to die, that he had nothing to live for, and that he wanted to go to a nursing home. She tried to talk to him about how nursing homes are so much more restricted than being home, and that he would not receive the love there that he does here, and in the end, with her holding him in her arms, she and he were crying, and I was sitting on the other end of the couch crying myself, he made a comment that he did not deserve anything in this world, that he was a bad person, that dad had mistreated him and he just wanted to die.

His body was sobbing and shaking and my heart was breaking, as this scene unfolded. The therapist spent a lot of time here off the work clock trying to help Al see that he is worthy, but at this point I don’t know if it helped or not. All I know is that she tried, we all cried, we all know the problem, but the only one that can fix it all is God and Al.

Maybe A Miracle For A Few Hours?

Indirect myofascial release, Charlotte Stuart ...

Indirect myofascial release, Charlotte Stuart doing pain reduction procedure, Nelson, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wonderlane)

The last four days were so nice for Al and me and then it ended this morning. His tremors were back to full force and he was having a lot of pain. His whole day seemed to be nothing but tears and pain.

His shower girl came and he spoke to her of death and he cried the complete time she was here. She even remarked what a change there was from Monday. Then one of his therapist came and did some exercises and he cried and complained of too much pain. He would tell her he wanted to quit because he hurt too bad. She really did not let up, as I assume she knew what she had to do as his therapist, but my heart ached for his pain.

After she left it was only fifteen minutes until the next therapist came. This doesn’t usually happen this way, but today it did. When she came in I told her he was in a lot of pain and was not feeling well, and I didn’t know what kind of luck she was going to have with him, since the other therapist had just left.

I told her he was in bed, that he had headed there as soon as the last lady left. This therapist is what I call the cream of the crop. Not only does she know her job well, she is kind and compassionate, and does her best to bring Al’s spirits around. She told me she was going to go back to his room and do some massages on him, and I instantly felt jealous! LOL

She was back there about a half an hour, and when she came back she said that he was totally relaxed and asleep. She explained to me what she did, and that it was something that was not practiced that much anymore, but she hoped that it would help him. She explained that he could feel relaxed only for the moment, or it may last a few hours.

She said that his body was a limp noodle right now, and I just looked at her. She said he is so relaxed, that he was not even having one tremor. The procedure she used on him that not many use anymore is called Myofascial Release.

This is a link that I found online after she left, because of course, I always have to google what I don’t know so I can get with the picture. I placed it here in case any of you want to check it out for yourself or someone you know that could benefit.  I went in and peeked in on him, and he is lying very still with his body totally stretched out. Wow, that must feel wonderful to him.

I am not even going to wake him up, since supper is in the crock pot, it will be safe, ham and beans on a chilly day. I will let him sleep until he wakes on his own. I am so anxious to see if there is a change in his personality or his movements and what he has to say about the whole massage.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that it last a few hours instead of a moment. I will let you know later on how it went.


And May You Stay Forever Young...

Al woke up today in a fairly good mood. I didn’t see any frowns or grins, no chatter and no tears. I call it the mellow stage. He ate his breakfast and then I washed him up and made his bed, and emptied the commode.

He then came out on the couch and sat down, and soon the first therapist arrived. She  makes Al work hard, I think, and although no words are spoken, I can tell he is not a happy camper.

When she is getting ready to go to her next patient, he takes her back to his bedroom and   they’re talking for several moments. I could not tell what was being said, but I could hear voices. When they came out, he sat back down, and I walked her to the door and followed her outside, asking her if he was alright, and she said he is just sad.

Just sad, do you know how much I hate those two little words? The last time I really saw him in an excellent mood was back in May at his big birthday party.  I told her good-bye, and said we would see her next week.

He stayed this way from then until now and is still the same. The second therapist came, and she works harder at trying to get Al to smile then any exercises. I think she was taking a mental break from his teary eyes, and asked me what I do, and I told her I write, and she asks what do you write. I just happened to have the poem here that I wrote last evening called, Dedicated To My Brother, and I offered it to her if she would care for a sample of my writings.

I heard her make a small moan from her throat and then I saw two tears run down her face. She handed it back to me, and said she loved it and that I should publish it. I blushed, as I always do when I get a compliment, and said thank you.

She then turned back to Al and I actually left then. I got in my car and ran to the bank real quick and then went and got gas. I had forgotten how quickly I can do things when you are not waiting on someone else to get out of the car etc.

When I returned, I asked Al what kind of exercises he had done and he said something I didn’t recognize and so I asked again, and he said he didn’t know. The therapist laughed and told me what they were called, and I asked Al if he enjoyed them and he didn’t say anything.

The rest of the time she was here, she tried kidding with him and doing her best to get a smile on his face. He just wasn’t budging, in fact he was going on to her about how he felt like he was worthless to everyone around him. She went on to try to pump him up and tell him all that he could still do, the same things that I try also day after day, but there was nothing. He stared at his lap with no tears and no expression.

I almost think I would rather have him yelling at me then to see this face. All I can do is to remember the neurologist said last week, that the part of the brain that connects with feelings is gone……………………

The Path I Followed

I am  having a bored moment. Can you believe it? I am actually waiting for a while longer and then taking Al to the doctor.

I was surfing my Facebook, and came across this saying someone had posted. I stopped and stared at it, and then reread it a couple of times.

I got excited at the prospect that I, me, only me, can make anything happen if I, me, and only me, believe!

This gave me a few moments to reflect back on my life and go over my to do and wish list.

When I was in high school, I had a dream and a plan. I was going to go to college for four years right after graduation and become a physical therapist.

Then I changed it later, and decided that I wanted to be a therapist for troubled teens.

Instead of doing these, I chose the other route, and got married and started a family. Now many years later, after raising my family, the best I knew how, I realize that I have believed in me. I have followed my dream. I am helping others.

I have been a CNA and a Pharmacy Technician, playing both roles for the past 22 years. I have worked with many types of patients, making them comfortable, and I have also helped patients feel better by getting their medications ready for them.

For five years after this, I did private care. I took care of some lovely people, some husband and wife couples, others whose families worked, and needed their loved ones cared for. I was their therapist in some ways. I was a good listener, and I spent quality time with them. I also had my name put on the hospice list in our town, and got a few calls to help care for one who was at their end of life. This was the most challenging and rewarding job I have ever had. It brought me to a different level of humanity. It drew me into the personal lives of their families. It helped me to understand and see first hand how a body prepares for leaving this earth. It is very emotional and your love flows from within straight to their souls.

After leaving hospice, I took care of my own father, who suffered from bone cancer for one year. I was not only his therapist, I was his right hand lady. I did everything for him, except take away his illness. As I laid beside him on his bed, holding his hand, telling him how much I loved him and how much I was going to miss him, I had to add also, that I knew and understood why he had to leave me. I told him he would be brand new with no more pains, and to give mom a hug and kiss for me. He died holding my hand a few moments later.

After that chapter of my life was over, I immediately started caring for Al. I have now been caring for him five years this December. For him I have also been his therapist, listening to all he says. I am also his teacher, guiding him hopefully in the right direction. I am his nurse, placing a bandage over his heart. drying his tears with my words, and offering him comfort from the Bible. I use examples of others to help him remain strong. I give all that I am able to give.

He may be mentally challenged, and he may not understand all that is being said to him. He may have moments of dementia, but that only happens in the present world, the past world is very keen to him. Mental challenge is not what people think. It varies in different degrees of it. When someone is mentally impaired, there is usually an area where they are even smarter than I am. God did something special when he created these people. He made them so that they touch our hearts, in ways no others can.

So today, as I look back, I may not have received that four-year college degree. I may not have that

US Navy 060822-N-2832L-128 Navy Lt. Rachel Ode...

US Navy 060822-N-2832L-128 Navy Lt. Rachel Oden, of Casa Grande, Ariz., a physical therapist plays with a young girl during her first day of physical therapy for her neuromuscular control deficits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

certificate hanging on a wall in an office somewhere, but I have more than this. I have years of experience with the human life, learning to love what we do not call normal. I have learned to be a good listener, and to only offer advice when asked.

I have been given the desire to be a helper. This is who God has made. Me, a human being, capable of loving, feeling, being able to touch others lives, capable of being hurt.

I am happy that even though I didn’t realize it  until this very moment, I have followed God’s path for me, and no matter what others think of my crazy thoughts and ways, I know God is proud of me.

The Closet

Problem with exposure, I would have needed a f...

Problem with exposure, I would have needed a filter I guess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She hid in the closet, never wanting to come out. Afraid of disappointing someone again with her words or actions. She had always needed approval from someone, anyone. She had  many disappointments in her life, and had lived with  false hopes for most of her teen and adult years. No one really knew her as well as they thought they did. They did not see this empty side in her heart. She spent many years trying to win approval from husbands, children, employers. Although she got a pat on the back at times and was sometimes given a good word, it never filled the empty bucket enough. She gave of herself often more than was needed. Her issues were not the problems of others, but the problem of her own self. She gave so much that she ended up becoming a door mat for others to walk and stomp on. People would go to her with a problem, because they knew she would figure it out, or do the job required, because they knew she was too weak to say no to them. When a person hears things about them in a negative way in their early childhood days, these words not always, but can remain for years with them. It helps the child or adult to see them for less than they really are. Can you be having a rough day, things not going the way you wish they were, but yet, you can smile and pretend to the world, that all is alright with the world? Can you let people believe that you have a perfect marriage, relationship, job, children? When deep inside, if the real gut-wrenching truth were told, the world would see that you are no different from they are? You have problems also. It is how we deal with our problems that is the key. Some believe that you can cuss someone out, getting it out of your system, snubbing them off, giving up that friendship, or relationship. Some believe that if they just bend in prayer, God will wipe all  pains away. Some abuse alcohol or and drugs to forget their pain. Some blog, some tell their best friends, and even some go to therapists to let them help sort out their pain and sorrow. I went to a therapist once in my life. It was for being afraid of the dark. When I was married to my first husband, there was a time period where he worked third shift for many months. I would do great through the day time, but when night-time fell, and the children would be fast asleep, the silence and darkness would creep into my heart and build a fear that was overwhelming.I always had the same fear, that someone was looking in my window, then coming to get me. I can remember at times I would go and wake up my oldest child and have her sleep in my room  thinking in some deformed way, that if something would happen, she could protect me. I advanced from this to taking a butcher knife to bed with me. First, keeping it under my pillow, and then at times sitting up all night long with it held in my hands, until the first day break, then exhausted, placing it back under my pillow, I would fall asleep. When husband came home, he was ready to eat breakfast, and I was ready to sleep. I would get up and fix breakfast and soon after the kids would wake up and this would start my day, and I lived like this for many months. At that time, I didn’t go to God. I relied on my own healing, which was a total failure. I went to a therapist for this fear, knowing I needed help in getting over this. Through therapy, I learned many things about myself and some reasons that validated my fears. I refused to believe these terrible things about me. It was in that same year that I had found my real mother, but at an earlier time than this time when I had to stay alone at nights. I went to my mother and questioned her as to my findings from my therapy. It was all true. Our minds have ways of covering for our  painful events. We can block them out, and then something triggers those memories, but we are not quite sure why we feel this way or that. I learned that not only had my real mother  kidnapped my brother and I when we were two and three years old, but she had actually left us alone at nights, while she did whatever she did at nights. I learned that she had used me when money was short. She worked at a fruit grove and she would brag to others about how beautiful I was, and they all agreed and had to share in the beauty. Along with the false hopes and the knowledge of what was done to me and left alone at nights, I can now understand why I have a need to be loved and accepted. Is this a sign of weakness in me? Should I be ashamed to say this out loud? Maybe I should continue to carry this inside my heart.  What good does it do me to tell you, people who do not know me, of such personal things in my life? It starts a healing process. It helps me to recognize that I am not the only person who has problems. It allows you to see a bit more of who I am, and why I write the way that I do. It allows you a better insight of my thought process. It allows me to start opening the door of the closet, I am hiding behind.