Hi my friends. Today was a little different from other days. Al woke up after a restless night. He seemed alright but soon after broke into an ocean of tears. This went on for over two hours. He was asking for forgiveness, I don’t know why. He was naming off relatives, phone numbers, old jobs.
It was like he was revisiting a movie of his own life. He sobbed harder than I have ever seen him. It scared me, I couldn’t help it. I had never seen him like this before. I called the minister from Hospice and he paid a visit.
Whenever this minister, Bob, comes Al calms down, and once again this happened. Ever since the minister left Al seems to have accepted his own death nearing. I was told that Al is in the process of dying, what ever that means.
Al asked for different people. He started off by asking for my son, who came to see him. The two relatives in our lives that although I have forgiven, still make me very sensitive when I hear their names.
But Al was adamant about speaking to them. I finally gave in for Al’s peace of mind. I located the phone number in Florida and will make that phone call in the morning. The other relative I called tonight and Al was able to speak to her over the phone. The aunt is also paying a visit to Al within the next two days.
Al cried like a baby upon hearing her voice. After the phone call ended he told me that this was his last request. I feel it is nearing, a gut feeling I have. Changes have happened. Al’s tremors have ended.
His eye lids no longer work. The MSA has taken the eye lid muscle and weakened it. He can open them in the mornings but by afternoon he can no longer do this. He has told me how much he loves me and Rhino.
He has made many comments about how I will be after he is gone and I have answered him as honestly as I can, letting him know I will be alright. It is as if he is saying goodbye. His breathing has changed. He struggles and his swallowing has been effected. I can see that he is struggling to swallow anything.
I pray with all my heart that he is taken soon. My heart will break into pieces. I will miss him terribly, but he will be out of pain. He keeps telling me his arms are glued down, but the truth is, the brain is not telling the arms to move so they seemed locked along with his body contracting.
The only person he has been asking for is our half-sister. Although I have pleaded with her to come see him, I can not make her do it. I had to tell Al that I am so sorry but I just can’t make this request happen.
I told Al he is the best brother I could have ever asked for and I told him how proud I am for all he has done in his life. I thanked him for being my good friend and for going to all the auctions and flea markets and out to eat.
He held my hand and began struggling with breathing again. I quit talking as I didn’t want to get him upset. Al has never been able to accept that he is a good man, but I had to tell him. I sat with him until he finally drifted off to sleep.
Tomorrow I have foods to make and I have ignored the house so much. The Hospice nurse will be here also and my one daughter-in-law will be stopping by. Christmas Day my son and his family will be here for the noon meal and our Aunt will be paying Al a visit. Thursday my daughter will be arriving sometime in the day and the caregiver will once again return.
I miss Stacy already. She is a big help to me and to Al, but she deserves off her holiday also. So I will be busy, too busy for my taste. Al is the priority, the foods and holiday will work around him. I will do my best to touch base tomorrow night. Hugs to all of you.
Paul had lived on the dark edge of life. It finally caught up to him and he spent several months in jail. Theft being the number one judgement. Drug use turned from social to everyday living.
Saying hello and goodbye is what consisted of their conversations but at night when Paul laid down he started to dream of her. In his dream he was in love with her and he asked her to be his wife. She quickly accepted and he spent their entire marriage giving her every heart‘s desire.
But in the day hours the coldness whipped through his heart as he could not get more than a passer-by look. When his roomy wasn’t visiting Paul would question him about his sister. He learned that Pamela was her name. She had moved out from the family house when she was 13. Living with friends and on the streets she had worked her way up to being a manager of a fine lady’s specialty store.
Paul touched his lips as he formed the word of this sister. The beautiful eyes with long lashes. He discovered that Pamela only lived in the city next to him. Paul was getting out soon and he was determined to make his dream reality.
When the day came and his release was final he went to his hangout and grabbed all he owned. He took the cash he had saved and moved to the city Pamela lived in. He found his way to where she worked and stood in the shadows swallowing in her beauty.
He found himself a job, a respectable job as a window washer for a huge department store near by. He begged for an advancement on his pay check and for unknown reasons the manager granted him his wish.
He took most of the money and rented a room at a boarding house. He built himself a routine of walking by where Pamela worked on his way to his job. After work he would walk back by her store. Sometimes he was lucky and he would see her.
One time as he was standing outside in the shadows she exited and looked his way. She stopped in her tracks and he came out of hiding. “don’t I know you? Oh yes, you are the guy who was bunking with my brother in jail. I see you are out now? Well I hope you learned your lesson and do not make another visit. My brother still has another six months to learn while he sits there.”
” I wonder if you would go out to dinner with me this Friday?”
Laughing she said, ” you are kidding I think. You spent time in the slammer. I am sorry but I don’t think so.”
” But I have changed. I learned a great deal while I was in there. I had plenty of time to think. It wasn’t like I was in for murder or anything. I just got off on the wrong track.”
” Well I feel like I know you and yet I know nothing about you. Why don’t you give me a few days to think about your offer. I will look for you then and give you my answer.”
Paul smiled his biggest smile in hopes of winning the answer yes. They parted and life went to the same rhythm and dance. She would see him and give no answer. He took it up a notch and started sending her flowers and cards. He took a nice chunk out of his pay and bought her the biggest box of candy he could.
It happened on a Thursday afternoon. She came out and he was standing in his regular spot. She looked his way and he came towards her. She smiled at him. He noticed her smile.
” Well I have given it a lot of thought. I know you have done some bad things before and I am not crazy about it. But you also are the only man who has ever worked so hard and so long at trying to get my attention. I will go out with you and tomorrow night shall be the night. Pick me up about 7. Do you drive? No? Well meet me here and you can walk me to the next block where there is a nice restaurant. Where some nice clothes.”
He stared after her, watching her walk a way. Finally, what he had dreamed and waited for was going to happen. Tomorrow night, less than 24 hours from now. He hurried home and went through his bare closet. If only she would have made the plans for next week. Maybe I could have managed to buy some decent clothes. If only I hadn’t been spending my extra money on flowers and candy.
The next evening came and he was waiting for her. He had bathed and put his best clothes on. She walked up and he took a deep breath as he drank in her beauty. They walked the steps to the restaurant. She seemed in a hurry and he had to pick up his pace to stay with her.
Once inside she told the waiter what area she wanted to sit at. She placed the order for the two of them. He sat there his dream being cracked around the edges as he began to see the light.
The conversation was more one-sided and he didn’t understand what she was talking about most of the time. All he knew was that it was about her work and that she had this plan and this meeting.
Dinner was served. She ate with grace. He ate with comfort. The conversation was as cold as her heart and the life was slipping out of Paul. After a respectable amount of time had been spent she announced she needed to get home. She had to get up early for a meeting.
” I appreciate everything you have done in drawing my attention Paul. You seem very nice. I gave it a shot but I just don’t feel anything for you. I am sorry. Will you kindly not stand outside my work anymore? I am sure there is someone out there for you if you just give her a chance. I will call a taxi. Thank-you for a nice evening.”
She gave him a peck on the cheek and a quick smile. He had lost. His heart was being torn out of him. He didn’t go straight home, but instead took the long way home. It started to rain and then it was pouring.
He laid down on the edge of the street feeling the wires pulling on his heart. He lay there letting the rain drops wash the memories of her smile a way.
On one side of the sea there lived a young man in his twenties. All his life Ray‘s life had been a mess. He was born with a disease that kept him on the heavy side. His Thyroid didn’t work. It caused many trips to the hospital, blood test, discussions, and yet there was never a permanent cure.
Ray was made fun of from the first week of school. Fatty fatty two by four, can’t get through the bathroom door. This was one of the more common statements he heard. Kids pointed and giggled. Strangers stared.
Ray spent much of his time in his room reading. He would read book after book. He charted on what he read and what he took from it. He would do anything that would keep him inside. He didn’t ride bikes, or skip rope or have friends over. No one invited him to birthday parties.
His parents hated seeing what he was suffering through; but they were calmed that he was doing so much in his books. Anytime his mom visited the local library, she would stock up on new reading for her son.
All of those years of studying led him to good grades, excellent study habits and a scholarship to the school of his choice. Ray decided to enter and his goal was to be a doctor. He wanted to help others who were facing challenges from a medical disease such as his.
Across the sea was a young lady in her twenties. She was born beautiful. Golden, curly locks softened her face. Big, deep dimples appeared when ever she smiled. The biggest, blue eyes with long lashes adorned her face.
Everyone that met her cooed and wanted to pinch her little cheeks. When she started school she magnetized the other students. Everyone wanted to sit by the princess. All wanted to be her friend.
She spent her time going to birthday parties. She was invited to many sleep overs. The older she got, the more her personal phone rang. Boys promised her anything to spend some time alone with her in high school. She was the life of the party.
She made good grades without much studying. It just seemed that Molly had it all. But something was missing. She felt a void inside. She had lots of friends, but no close confidants.
Although her grades could be a bit improved, her counselor told her she had what it took to be a success. The two talked about her goals and she said she wanted to make people realize that there was something beautiful on the inside. That surface beauty faded and what you had left was your soul. They decided that she would be a therapist for those lacking in self-esteem.
After graduation Molly and Ray found themselves in the same classes. Ray sat in the back. Molly sat near the front. Ray was alone and Molly was surrounded by classmates. There came a day when an activity was called upon pairing up with another student.
Molly and Ray were placed together for this project. They were expected to work together. Both were shy but slowly warmed up to each other as they each learned about each other. Their project forced them to spend extra time at the library. They would call each other and ask questions.
In six weeks the projects were turned in. Molly and Ray got an A for their excellent presentation. Going back to their regular seats when the grades were handed out Molly and Ray caught themselves thinking about each other.
A week went by and there had been no connection between the two. It happened on a Thursday evening around seven p.m. The phone rang.
Ray answered with a “hello.”
“Ray this is Molly. I know we are done with our projects. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed having you as a partner. You had a lot of good ideas. You are really smart. I sort of miss you, you know, our talks.”
“I was thinking about you too tonight Molly. I enjoyed working with you too. You know you had a lot of good ideas too. I sort of miss our talks too.”
“Say Ray, are you doing anything tomorrow night? I was going to study, but spending some time chatting with you over a burger sounds more fun. What do you say?”
“I like the idea Molly. Do you want to meet at the campus cafe around seven?”
“Sure, it sounds good. It’s a date. See you then Ray.”
“A date, yes a date. See you then Molly.”
This morning Al woke up in an odd mood. He had refused last night’s supper and the night before supper too. This morning he struggled to eat breakfast. He really didn’t want to go to day program. He told me a couple of things. He said he didn’t have his chest pain but he felt odd all over. He also said that he felt like he was fading, that he was dying real soon.
Now you have to know that this bothers me so much when I hear him speak like this. I laughed and said, “You are not dying, you have a long time to go.”
I talked him into going to the day program as I felt it would be best for him. I also called the company and talked to them again about getting Al out of that wheelchair. They leave him sit in that hard old thing all day long. They finally listened and found a nice rocker for him.
The nurse called me about half an hour before Al got home. She said they were going to get him a new chair. I think I know what they are like. It is like a wheelchair but there is a padded chair inside that tilts back almost allowing him to lay down. Hospice said that they hope he will have it by Thursday.
Have you ever been in a position where you knew the news but it isn’t sinking in your brain? Or maybe worse, you are refusing to believe? As the nurse and I chatted I told her about the constant chest pains, the lack of suppers and him not really wanting to go to Day Program. I told her about Al’s remark about him thinking he was in the process of dying today.
She came back with words I didn’t want to hear. She said, “Terry, you and I know that Al is dying. Two doctors have documented it and obviously this is why he is on Hospice. It is very common to lose the appetite at this point and to also want sweets other than healthy foods. The next time he speaks of dying tell him it is alright to go. Tell him that if he wants to see Mom that it is alright; that you will follow along in your own time.”
I choked, I didn’t cry, but I choked. These are words I can not accept, at least not yet, maybe not until it is too late. Do I want to really tell him that it is alright for him to go? To not be afraid of dying? To go see Mom? How can I do this when I love him and want him here with me?
When he came home he was real chatty. This was nice. He had met a staff that put model cars together. From what he said they hit it off right a way and the staff promised to bring in one of the finished models the next time he worked. This made a complete difference in Al’s attitude. I am so thankful I urged him to go.
Al wants to go half-days. He says he just gets too tired. This may happen but not yet. We want to try the new chair first. We decided to have a pizza party, so I popped one in the oven since he felt better and we had pizza and pop for supper. He ate real well. I was watching him as he ate to make sure he didn’t choke and I suddenly noticed every fingernail was a medium gray.
The color never faded during supper. I have seen his nails go to dark gray and then leave before but never stand strong and stay and although he was eating well I was reminded that he is very sick and thought back to the conversation with the Hospice nurse. What if he mentions he wants to go see Mom? I guess I will swallow my pain and tell him it is alright to go.
It wasn’t a cheery day and I needed a good laugh to break the silence in my heart. I went through some magazines until I found a photo and I immediately started cracking up. I was laughing. Laughing over the picture and crying from the knowledge Al is so sick.
I thought to myself, am I going to be a swinging granny in my eighties dressed like this? Lordy, I hope not. I know men go through the change, will I also???? Oh my gosh what is the next chapter of my life going to be like? Here is the pic I cracked up at.
- Still more types of chest pain? (myheartnet.wordpress.com)
- Supper (therhrevolution.wordpress.com)
- A natural death: What exactly does that mean? (kevinmd.com)
- Mother died from DVT three weeks after collapsing in front of doctors shortly after giving birth (dailymail.co.uk)
- He died peacefully in his sleep (respiratorytherapycave.blogspot.com)
- How I Run Today Determines How I Finish the Race (tomvanderwell.wordpress.com)
- Chest Pains (wizedome15.wordpress.com)
- What kind of chest pain is it? (myheartnet.wordpress.com)
- SC Treasurer Loftis in hospital for chest pains (thestate.com)
- Angina or some other chest pain (myheartnet.wordpress.com)
A Busy Week
It has been a busy week. The Ombudsman and I finally made a connection by phone. She was to go to…
It has been a busy week. The Ombudsman and I finally made a connection by phone. She was to go to the facility last Friday. She told me to sit tight until she got a hold of me. I have heard nothing as of yet.
I am meeting with the State people this Thursday. Al‘s budget has been set. Now he is going to ask me what I need help with for Al’s care and then he will go to the Day Program Director and meet with her on the same day. The Dept. will tell them what it cost for transportation, Day Program Services, and they will take the budget and make it fit for both of us.
There are also going to be between 30-50 hours that are budgeted too for his care here at home. I have had to choose businesses that will help me to get what Al needs. So it is looking real good at this point.
The State said they want Al home by June 1st. It may not be exactly on that day, but it will be real close.
Al fell the day before yesterday again. The next day he was not feeling well. He refused his meals but today when I went to see him, he felt better, but he was complaining of a lot of pain in his leg.
The facility wants him to go to exercise class they offer, but every time Al goes he complains for a day or two of great pain. I don’t know if this class hurts him or helps him in the end. I just hate having his doses upped every time we turn around.
He gained one pound last week from the seven pound weight loss he had. I am anxious to see what he does this week. He has big red rashes on his skin where the pain patch is so powerful that it leaves like a burn mark on his skin. Then he scratches it as it tries to heal. It looks nasty but I am not going to worry as of right now it is scabbed over. Every three days they switch his pain patch to a different spot and also the new antidepressant patch he is wearing.
I am also getting ready for a yard sale this Friday. The money is nice but doing the prep work is not fun at all. My living room is a mess right now. I will be glad when the sale is over. Back to tidy tidy for me. I always hated messes. Guess I will never change.
I finally got Al’s scooter moved from his room out to the shed. He says he doesn’t want to ride it anymore. I have to wonder if he is strong enough to even run it, although it is battery operated, it still has some umph to it. He leans so bad I am afraid he will wreck and hurt himself. I am not going to get rid of it for at least now.
You never know, he may come home and perk up from being here. Maybe some things will change and I will see more smiles, or maybe I am just hoping. But either way, they are too expensive to just sell so easily.
Tomorrow I am going to work more on the yard sale prep work, and call the doctor to start getting the list of things started that Medicare and Medicaid will pay. I know that I need a hospital bed. I am so hoping that one of these two programs will pay for an XL commode. I think I can get bed pads, and briefs through RX. If you think of something I haven’t let me know. I want the better part of it here when Al gets here.
My son is going to install a shower grab bar in Al’s bathroom. I have changed the ceiling light in his bathroom also so it is much brighter. I have all his summer clothes put in his drawers and the winter clothes out. I have some hospital gowns too. He may not want them now, but they may come in handy later on.
I am excited and nervous about him coming home, but in the end, it will be me that spends quality time with him instead of the nursing home. I think with all the hours of help that are being provided, and the fact he will go to Day Program M-F I will be alright.
Like I said, it has been a busy week. Well, I better get back to work because it is almost time for supper. I cooked two chicken breast and shredded it. I boiled some eggs just now. They are cooling, and then I am having steamed broccoli and a chicken salad sandwich for supper tonight. The weather is 80 degrees today. The windows are open. Fresh air is finding its way of clearing stale winter air out. The sun is shining. Al is coming home, and life is good for today.
- Lifestyle | Organize + Energize: 10 Ways To Have The Best Yard Sale Ever (golocalprov.com)
- Help for Al (brianwilliamsen.wordpress.com)
- Yard Sale Madness! (studyabroadadventure.wordpress.com)
- Yard Sale Results (ignitestumin.org)
- My semi-permanent make-up experience! (foxyburlesque.wordpress.com)
- Trade-Offs (caregiving.com)