Birds And Al

Today was terribly windy outside. I sure hated to have to go out considering I still have a small cough left. Al had a care plan meeting that I needed to attend to. He was sad as it was too cold and he didn’t get to go on an outing with his driver today. His legs are hurting so bad that this is making him more miserable.

His voice was raspy so I used the flashlight to look at his throat. That little thing that hangs down in the back of his throat was lying on the side. His throat was a little red. He had no fever, but I reported it to the nurse.

Since he is having trouble with swallowing O.T. is going to get involved again to see if he is straining too hard to swallow. I sure hope that isn’t the reason, because the news would not be good news.

I am working on getting him out of this facility and into a better situation. Many people are involved in this project. Al agrees with me he would like to move. If I get everything worked out he will be in a home, group home type. He will have fewer clients around him. They will be more like him and closer in ages, so he would get more attention. His food intake would be more closely monitored and so would his spending money.

After I visited with him for an hour I left his room and went to the meeting room. No one was there so I had to use my time wisely. I got out my camera and went to the window and took these shots. I am hoping you enjoy these as much as I did taking them.

After the meeting was over I did some work on Al’s menus for the week. Without my two cents and guardianship  they can not say no to his foods. He has gained too much weight so Al and I together chose his menus. I hope he felt included so he doesn’t get as upset.

I stopped at the grocery store and picked up basics in case we do get that big amount of snow tomorrow. I just received a phone call from the lady who is going to be helping me move Al out of this facility. Darn, darn, I have to get out tomorrow after all. I am sure it will be cancelled if it gets too bad as she is farther north than I am. She will get more snow than we will here.

female cardinal at millerstwo birds at millersredbird at millersfemale red bird at millersone bird at millers


Is Winter Gone Yet?

snowy roadsYou should have seen me this morning. I know a lot of you would have been having a good laugh at my expense.

This morning was Al’s swallow test. When I woke up and looked outside the window, I was disappointed. It was snowing. Now don’t get me wrong. I think snow is grandiose, but only when I am inside looking out.

It has been so darn cold here these past couple weeks, but God knew I needed to go to this appointment so a bit higher temperatures were given to me. It was 18 when I took off out of the drive.

When it warms up in increments, you take the chance of having snow. Guess what, it was snowing. My darn car is rear wheel drive. This is not a good thing when you live in a snow belt area. But hey, it didn’t snow in Florida. I just hate to purchase another car and have long-term car payments again. Mine will be paid off next year.

So I warm the car up an elongated amount of time. When I got in it still seemed a little chilly. I took off. Where I live is the biggest hurdle. Getting out of the addition. The main roads were snow-covered and icy in spots. I drove about 20 m.p.h. It didn’t bother me too much since others were driving the same speed.

I finally got there and as I was walking up to the hospital entrance I saw the van that was bringing my brother. I waited and when I saw him I waved through the window. It felt odd to see him in his wheel chair. Only because yesterday he had a better day. She explained that the walk alone inside the corridors would make him so fatigued,  we would have more problems and I understood that perfectly.

The test was very easy and didn’t take that long. They did switch his regular diet to mechanical soft and added PRN a product known as thicket. You can use this poweder  to thicken liquids to honey, pudding or thick consistencies. We used to use it here at home.

I thought the muscles in his throat were not working but this was not the case. Al gets so exhausted from chewing foods, that the effort to swallow becomes more difficult. The doctors are hoping with less effort to chew maybe he would be able to swallow better his drinks. He told me that he could not drink all of his milk at breakfast this morning because 8 oz. was just too much. Hearing him and the professionals I can now understand or get a better picture of what is happening in his mouth. It was fascinating to watch the x-rays as he chewed and swallowed

So I gave him a hug good-bye and told him I loved him. I watched the driver place him back in the van and then went to clean my snow-covered car once again. After sliding in spots I was in no hurry to go back home. But it is crazy to sit in a hospital parking lot waiting for the snow to stop and waiting for the city to clean the streets, so off I went.

I got about a mile from the hospital and my eye started feeling very irritated. It is better today but still not healed. There was something in it. I just knew it, but I was driving on slick streets.

I tried so gently to get what ever was in my eye out, but no luck. For one reason, I was already struggling to see with equal vision with the gel fogging my one eye. Another reason was no matter how I tried, the gel was slippery to my fingers. Darn it. My eye lashes were opening and closing so fast not even a fly would have come near for fear of being batted to death.

I could not pull over. As I drove with one hand, I moved my swollen eye lid around as much as I could until finally it sank to the bottom of my eye lid. I could feel it but at least the fluttering of the eye lashes had simmered down. I had about five miles to go at 20 m.p.h. I took all main streets and tried to keep my eyes as wide open as possible to keep the little pest from coming back into view.

Finally I made it home. I flipped off my boots as quick as I could. I went to the bathroom and got the hand mirror and looked at my glistening eye. It was red and irritated. This is normal though. If you had been pinched over and over your would be red too.

I peeked everywhere I could but I saw nothing. I didn’t dare wipe my eye too much or I would lose the medicine in it and I am only allowed to use it three times per day. The corner of my eye was starting to itch and when I looked very close I saw it. There it was. I ever so carefully inched my fingers as close to my eye without blinding myself and on the third try I got it.

It was about a half-inch size of white fuzz. I took that little bugger and flushed him. Gone out of sight and out of mind. I comforted my eye with words of I will not pick on you anymore. I will let you rest until the next dosage time rolls around. I am so sorry I irritated you to the point you saw red. It’s going to be ok now.

So all in all, Al had some changes, but no puree food yet, just a different texture of foods. I slid in the snow but made it to his appointment and back home. As soon as I parked in my own drive, I thanked God for keeping me and other drivers safe. As I was walking up to the house leaving snowy foot-prints behind me I thought, I hope Al knows how much I love him. He is the only person I would get out in the snow with a messed up eyeball for.

Swallow Test

English: Question marks with transparent backg...

I received a phone call earlier today. A staff member was letting me know that the appointment for Al’s swallow test is January 25, 9:30 am. She said for me to meet her and Al at the hospital.

I said thank-you and hung up. I jotted down the time and then I sat here wondering why the hospital? What kind of test is this? What are they going to do to him that he has to go to the hospital?

Does anyone know what is going to happen during this test? Will Al feel any discomfort?