Right Now

Right now I am starting to get Al’s clothes packed once again as he will be going to the Hospice house. He is no better and I can barely think. They, the doctors and nurses are going to tell Al he is going to be termed as bed bound.

I didn’t have the heart or the guts to take a way what he has left. But the truth is he can no longer stand, or rarely, and his body is tired.

I am torn up inside. Hospice says Al just can’t take anything anymore. They feel the only way to help him is have him bed bound so they can medicate him enough to stop the tremors pretty much. I just don’t know. I just don’t know.

The words do not come easy                                                     M.S.A. logo
As I am choking up
My brother is going to leave
Me and tears shall fill my cup.

The silence of when he is gone
For even a few days
Gives new meaning to what is ahead
I can not even begin to say.

For although I hate M.S.A.
I know God has a plan
This is Al’s ticket to heaven
All we need to do is hold his hand.

The tears fall so easily
They pour as a flowing stream
My heart is cracked in fragments
Because this has shattered my brother’s dream.

He wanted to go to Atlanta
Where coca cola is made
He was invited by the president
But the plan was never laid.

And now I must accept
That one day he won’t be here
But I know that he will be in heaven
And his pain he will never fear.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
Al’s sister

Get Me Out of the Washing Machine!

Let me out of the washing machine. I am being spun around and washed until there is no  dirt remaining. Can’t you see me in here? I am punching the safety glass, blowing more bubbles through my nose than even the soap has and yet no one rescues me.

Every day someone throws me in another dirty pile of crap. Expecting me to come clean, to know all the answers. Well listen here, I am just a plain Jane gal from the small midwest and I don’t know anymore than you do.

Take me out of the washer and place me in the dryer with some towels that will grow fluffy as they dry. I will bounce around falling gently on each soft piece of cotton. I will lay my head down and let the warmth of each slice of fabric wrap me gently up and cradle me through the timed cycle.

When the buzzer goes off, you have been warned that I am now in perfect, like-new condition once again. Hold me gently. Fold me evenly and lie me carefully on the shelf. Remember my color and please don’t grab for me first. Let me rest for a spell. Let me get my thoughts back together.

Then come for me. I promise I will be at my best. You can pick at my fiber and maybe I will not look you in the face with a dumb blank stare. Maybe I will be useful immediately when you probe me. Maybe I will be the best darn thing you have looked at all day.

july 4th skyThis was my morning friends. My brain isn’t even a wake yet and already the phone is ringing. People want answers. People ask about Al. How is his pain, does he need anything? This is great, I couldn’t ask for more. But, can you give me five seconds to wake up? Can you wait until I have had my first cup of coffee or maybe splashed some cold water on my half-closed eyes?

You have to remember that I don’t get as much sleep as I used to. Al has rough nights and sometimes isn’t asleep until wee hours in the morning.

As I had to do a complete bed change on Al’s bed this morning and also change my bedding, fix him breakfast, wash him up, get him dressed, shave, brush his teeth, pick out which car he was taking to Day Program for Show-n-tell, fix his lunch, make sure he had pop money, start the laundry, put new sheets on the beds, answer the phone, answer the cell, I was pooped. I had all this done by 8:30am.

As I left to meet with the Hospice nurse I saw an accident waiting to happen on my way to town. A very elderly man was riding a riding lawn mower. He was mowing close to the edge of a pond. He was also on a slant. He was so darn close to the edge I just had an eerie feeling that the pond would suck him in at any moment.

I actually stopped on the edge of the road and watched him a few minutes and then I prayed for his safety. I met the nurse and she asked me 20 questions. Hospice and two doctors are considering taking more of Al’s medications a way. Letting him ride out his journey in more comfort instead of continuous side-effects.

This is something that I am totally mixed up about. If you take a way his medications what will happen? Will his heart stop? Will his blood pressure soar? Will he be more comfortable? I don’t know the answers, please don’t ask me my thoughts. This is my baby brother and I have been the one all along dragging me feet in the sand.

Don’t put this pressure on me. Ask someone else who isn’t close to him. I am not a coward. I just don’t want to be the one responsible if Al dies earlier than he should. How could I live with that?

I left the meeting and went to the car wash and washed the car. It was so full of bird poo that I am surprised the paint was not starting to chip a way. I stopped at my favorite little shop that sells used consignments and bought Al some Coca Cola post cards, a coca cola battery operated radio, and some coca cola coaster. I can’t wait to give them to him when he comes home.

I collect a few things. One of them being shakers. The old-time giant salt shakers? Yes, those. I found a really old one. The lid was tin and pretty thin, and the shaker was worn itself but the word salt was still clear and the shaker is in that old yellow color. It was a good buy so I got that to add to my shelf.

That was relaxing. Although I was thinking of Al while shopping, wondering if I could find him something, I wasn’t answering questions. I was alone and it was nice.

I stopped at the grocery store and got Al more prune juice and pop. I never want to be without either one of these. My sugar dropped too low while I was in the store so the deli gave me a chicken strip and a little cup of apple salad.

I stood there eating it kicking that stupid Diabetes right in the butt. I hate being a diabetic, I really do. When I am not hungry of I am busy I don’t want to take the time out to eat. But when my legs became jello and black shadows were forming around my eyeballs, I knew I was in trouble.

Thanks to the store I made it safely on my way and now am home. Thank goodness, I have an hour and a half before Al comes home.

Daily Prompt; RSVP

http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CELEBRATION.

I would invest in one more gazebo since the winds took down my other one. I would place a nice-sounding waterfall inside of it. I would place indoor outdoor white lights all around the top of the inside. A special ceiling fan would be running at the top with those feather like blades.

Outside of the gazebo, there would be two tables. One for foods and one for gifts. All the white lights on my ramp would be turned on. My party would be at dusk. Lighted torches would light the path to the crackling fire pit. Sticks would be lined up around the pit for use of hotdogs and marshmallows.

From inside the house with windows open would be nice playing music. Nothing heavy, I am sorry. I have to be in the right mood for the fast stuff. I think this night would call for calming music. Happy music, yes, that is what I can hear in my mind.

On one table there would be cold cuts, hamburgers, hot dogs, relish trays, salads, finger foods, chips and plenty of buns. Silverware, plates and cups; of course all paper so we can dispose right in that fire.

The other table would be filled with gifts. They would either be vintage cars or coca cola items. All decorations hanging in the breezes would center around coca cola.

Everyone would show up. There would be no turn downs. All the people he worked with. All family left would be here.

Soon a van would pull up in the driveway. The door would be opened and the lift lowered. There would be sitting Al in his wheelchair, and the guys would walk  him over to be the guest of the night.

The two men who brought him here would unload all of his possessions and take them to his bedroom and put them a way. I would wave and smile big as I thanked them and watched them leave our home.

The rest of the night would be spent in merriment celebrating Al’s return home from the nursing home.fireworks 4fireworks2fireworks3fireworks1

Half of Me Stood Still While The Other Half Went Off

English: Certified HIPAA Privacy Expert

English: By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007.

I just got off the phone with Al‘s facility. I talked to the nurse. Al has been on my mind more than usual and I just felt something was wrong. Of course they never made the attempt to call me and tell me he wasn’t acting himself. He refused to go out of his room. He refused all activities. The only thing he did was going to meals.

She just happened to be the nurse that called Social Services when she had already went through Al’s room. So she and The S.S. went through Al’s room again. She told me he was embarrassed by talking so rudely to staff yesterday.

I stopped her in mid-air and said,”No the reason he is quiet is because he feels threatened once again. You were in his room searching and then you brought someone else in to search again.”

She said,”We needed to find the money.”

“No, you needed to call me first. If you would have made me the priority you would not have had to search because I did it for Al. The money is gone. I knew it, Al knew it.”

“He had several codes he was breaking.”

“Such as?”

“He had weapons. He had a pair of nail clippers. He had small screwdrivers in a coke can.  He had candy on the floor.”

“The screwdrivers were to  use to take backs off and I will take these home tomorrow when I come. The candy is not on the floor, the basket is. If he has to keep the candy on the bed, then he has to get up from the recliner each time he wants a  piece. The nail clippers..”

“We already took those a way from him. If he wants to use them he will need to ask us.”

“Oh, so he can use them with supervision, is that what you are saying?”

“No, he is a diabetic. He needs his nails trimmed professionally.”

“I see, so you are going to keep them and he can use them if he asks for them but then you won’t let him have them because they need to be done professionally. Why wasn’t I called first?”

“We wanted to see if we could find the money first.”

“Bad reason. From now on there will be no searching unless I am present. Period. You say he is quiet. Yes I imagine he is. The only things in life that matter to him are his cars and coca cola. Every time I turn around you are sending something home with me that is his. Of course he is wondering what you are going to take a  way from him next. He isn’t like you and me. He doesn’t have a spouse or kids. He has no job. He can barely walk. He is here instead of having freedom like you and me. All he has is his collections. Your facility has made it very clear that if anything comes up missing you will not replace it, so why do you give a hoot if a car or money or anything comes up gone? Let him have his loved items. If it comes up gone then it is his loss but he enjoyed it up until the missing time.”

“Oh, I see you don’t care if his stuff is stolen.”

“Yes I care but I care more about Al’s feelings and attitude. He is very sick. I am tending to think more about keeping him calm and as content as possible. Those cars and coke things can be replaced. He can not.”


That was our conversation. She ended it with, “I will call the S.S. lady and tell her what you said.”

I wished her a good day and said good-bye.

Al and Polly

English: Coca-Cola 375 mL cans - 24 pack

English: Coca-Cola 375 mL cans – 24 pack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have never taken so many steps as I have the past three days since I moved back to Indiana. Maybe I will drop a pound! Today was a busy day, which I was very thankful for, but last night was taking me back to when my kids were infants, and you had to get up with them every two hours, and this is what I did.

I had been so exhausted from crying and tired from everything, that I took Polly outside at 10pm and then I went to bed, with her in her crate. It was wonderful, me, the television, my fan, and Polly was asleep. At midnight I had a terrible dream. I don’t know who it was or what it was, but I remember it was a deep, clear voice, and it said one thing. Al has just died. Yep, that was it, and I don’t even know if I can call that a dream, but that is all I remember and I jumped up out of bed and sat upright, looking around and no one was here. Then Polly started whimpering, feeding time and potty time, but this time she did not want to go back to sleep, but I did. I put her back in her crate, letting her know dark hours meant no play, but she didn’t get it, so she whined, I turned up the television, she whined louder, and I buried my head in the covers, but nothing worked.

I got back up and took her out and her little curly tail was just a going to town. She wanted to play! I did sit with her for a while and pet her and she loved that, so after she calmed down, I put her back to her bed, and she did not want that so the whimpering started again.

I got back up, geesh, I felt like a yo-yo. I got her back out and put her in bed with me and she crawled up to my shoulder, and buried herself in my body heat and went back to sleep and slept until five this morning.

Today was a new day. I fed her and took her potty. She is having troubles with drinking water, so I have to wet my finger from her bowl, and then she will drink. I really do believe I am a natural caregiver including animals now. LOL

I am still having trouble eating. I have found myself skipping meals or eating one tiny thing. I tried eating breakfast, but it did not want to stay down, so I gave that up. I told Polly that I had to go run some errands, and even though I knew she didn’t know, I put her back in her crate, and prayed she whimpered softly while I was gone. While out, I ran to the car lot to pick up a piece that had broken on my windshield wiper, where the spray comes out and washes your window? Yes, a tiny plastic piece that had cracked and cost $47.00. Expensive plastic if you ask me, then I went to Wal-Mart and took back the Ensure that I had bought for Al, because they would not let him have it,as it had to be a doctor’s order. It wasn’t even open, but it was a no go, and so I got Polly a flea collar because I found a few floating around on her and I do not want them multiplying in my  house, no way! I also bought her a wormer so I would have it in a few weeks when I can worm her, then I went to McDonald’s, and got a double cheeseburger and small diet, and I managed to keep that down.

Next, I went to see Al. I got to see his new room. It was much better,with a window view. I took him three bags of briefs and a bag of pads for his recliner a coca cola polar bear clock and a case of soda. I looked the room over and it definitely had more floor space but no more space than the other room as far as places to place knickknacks. Al was not in his room, he was down in the dining room and had just finished up with his lunch. As he saw me he waved and smiled, a nice thing in my opinion.

Right a way he started telling me about his bigger room, and then I began fitting the pieces together as to why the nurse said he looked like a kid in a candy store when she showed him his new room, because the conversation went from bigger room to bringing in more coca cola and cars from home, but what he wanted to bring in was an antique coca cola dispenser.

Now we had discussed things that he was going to take and leave here at home, before he went to the nursing home, and we both agreed that he would leave this big, vintage piece at home so it would not get broken or taken. He tells me today that now he wants it because his room is bigger and I explain that there is no more room for any place to put things and he got upset with me. The tremors got bigger than they were when I got there, and the tears came back, and the guilt trip placed on me was too familiar.

For the first time since he has been gone, I was glad that I could get up off of the bed and walk a way from it. I went to the nurse explaining why he was upset and she said that she would tell him his room was full enough, and then I said thanks and went back to Al’s room and he was telling me I didn’t care about him and I didn’t love me. I looked him in the eye, and said bud, I came here with cards, soda, another clock for you, and newspapers to read. I do not have to stay and listen to this talk, and so I am leaving, and I will see you on another day, and with that I got up and walked out of his room, out of the building and came home to Polly, who was anxiously awaiting for me to pet her and play with her, her tail just a wagging away and she was giving me kisses, and I said out loud to myself, I love you brother, but I want some happiness too, and I will see you tomorrow, and then I went back to playing with Polly.