I Don’t Know


My birthday did not consist of sleeping in today. Instead I threw on some plain clothes and sneaked into the facility where Al is. You ask why would I do that on a day when I could sleep in?

The answer is because I love my brother. I took some advice from a friend and decided yesterday to go see him on a time they never would expect me. It was 8:15pm and Al was in bed asleep.

Wow, I thought to myself. Talk about going to bed early. I woke him up and he didn’t smile. He didn’t talk for a few minutes. But when he did, he proceeded to tell me about the entire day.

He started off with the fact that the nurse was upset because he was eating the cookies I brought him. He then went to the fact he struggled for half an hour to get dressed because no one was there to help him. He told me about how they sat him in the bathroom door way for an hour until he finally had the urge to pee.

I figured out that when Al is upset and he can’t find relief he sleeps. I went out to ask the nurse how he had been doing this evening and she said fine. I questioned her on the walking bit. Al keeps telling me every day this week that they are trying to make him walk down to breakfast.

She stated that she highly doubted it, never having seem him walk. I think I figured out what that was all about. They ask him  if he would like to walk and he says no. They then tell him to push himself down to the dining room. The rules are that if Al is having a good moment he is to push himself down, if he tries and can’t do it, he is to ask for help and they push him.

I believe that Al doesn’t quite get it. He wants to be pushed all the time and I think they try to get him to push himself. He should also in my opinion try his best to go on his own.

While I was there I left him a bag of M&M’s mixed with Snicker miniature bars. He was too sleepy to try one so I sat them on his bed side table and told him I would see him the next day. He fell back asleep before I exited his room.

This morning I got up early and walked into the facility. I went straight to his room and Al was on the potty and the aide was telling him to get dressed. There was Al, one aide, and a nurse in the bathroom with him.

I quietly walked over and sat in Al’s recliner. The aide was telling Al to get dressed and the nurse was handing him a wet wash cloth. They turned to leave his room and jumped back startled when they saw me there.

They turned back around and the nurse washed Al’s back and got him dressed. She asked me why I was there so early and I told her I wanted to get to the bottom of Al’s complaints. I said what better way to find out than to be here.

Al hadn’t seen me yet and he was crying and telling the other two about his candy. I listened with interest as he told them my sister brought me a bag of candy. When I woke up at 1am I was going to have a piece and it was gone. Someone stole it.

I piped in and said that I had indeed brought him candy. I told them where I had left it and that Al was asleep when I left and had never touched the bag. The nurse said she would ask the second shift nurse when she came in.

I couldn’t help myself even at this early stage of the morning. I asked and started laughing, Do you really think anyone is going to risk their paycheck by admitting they took a bag of candy?

Both the aid and nurse just looked at me. Sorry, friends, but when I see the scales tipping in my mind, it is definitely going in the direction of lie and keep the  job. I told them I was irate. The candy doesn’t come cheap and if the staff had to stoop so low as to steal candy, then they better give a raise to these over-worked people.

I also brought up about the other nurse and the missing cookies. Making comments that he is eating sweets. This nurse told me they do encourage Al to not eat too many sweets. That his weight gain is their concern.

I said, I appreciate this fact that you are a caring staff, but the reason I have brought more garbage food in is because of a seven pound weight loss in five days, not weight gain. She said oh. He was dressed and ready to go to the dining room when the aide told him to get going. The nurse said, no, we push him down. The aide said, no we make him push himself down. I thought, oh wow, you two really got different stories here, in the same room, and right in front of me. The nurse than asked Al if he wanted to go on his own or be pushed and Al said to be pushed that his knees were hurting. She then pushed him down.

I searched his room and there was no ziplock bag anywhere. I went to search the other wastebasket and the aide said they already emptied it before I arrived.

So in ending this, Al is not actually walking I believe. He is struggling with pushing himself on his painful hours and gets upset because he has to asks so many people to push him down.

I believe as well as I am sitting here typing that there was no intention to dress him.  I had witnessed them both walking a way from him until they saw me. I also believe that there is an M&M and Snicker bar thief. It  happened somewhere after 8:30pm and before 1am.

This crap is going to stop. I don’t know how I will stop it yet, but when you start taking the candy that I bought and took to my brother, you thieves have crossed the line in my book. I want that candy replaced do you hear me staff???

I know it sounds funny, truly I do. To get upset over a bag of candy. But this isn’t the first time and I am sick of hearing story after story this whole week from Al about things that are happening and the staff says those three little words, I don’t know……

Care Plan Meeting

Well it is over. The care plan meeting. It was a little odd because for the first time, I had the floor. They wanted to hear what I had to say. They asked questions. They didn’t end the meeting until every thing was spread out on the table. I felt like we clicked like peanut butter and jelly.

I voiced all of my thoughts I had written down. Changes were made according to what they have observed so far. I can deal with the changes because it will keep Al safer. There will be no more straws. He struggles to drink out of them but the issue is he can’t seem to release the grip on the straw. We are all concerned that he will suck the straw down his throat.

The second change is he will be moved to the second dining room. He is struggling to cut his food and he is taking too big of bites. With the independence he has of ordering his meals, he is eating too much and has gained eleven pounds. This is unacceptable for a heart patient and with his weakening mobility. In the second dining room he will be assisted in making better food choices. He will be observed more closely on choking and bite size.

He was able to keep his walker, but it is to be used to go into his bathroom or to the edge of his room door and then he is to ride in his wheel chair. We made notations that he needs his toenails cut. I made it quite clear that he has to have baby oil lightly rubbed into his hair and face daily. It was just awful to see the crusty formation of cradle crap. This can be controlled by the baby oil, but before, no one was listening.

Al was worried so bad about this meeting. Some one must have told him about it. I told him it was no big deal. It was just a get together to make his life as pain-free as possible. He seemed to lighten up a little.

I am sure he will miss his dining buddy, but I told him the two of them can visit after eating and also visit each others rooms. I explained that you could never have enough friends and now he was going to be able to make even more.

All in all, I walked a way satisfied and happy. Al was very chatty during his lunch. He said hi to everyone that walked by. I am sure everyone on the side that he lives, all know his name. The pain medication was working today. He said his legs did not hurt as bad.

The nurse said it may take a few days for the increase to kick in, and I can see that she was right. I thank-you for the prayers and God for letting me have a good visit with Al and the meeting. I know God was right there in the middle watching it all unfold.al


Stress And Fat


I was so excited this morning, when I discovered for the second day in a row, I did not have




to do a complete bed change on Al’s bed. Yipeee!!! I was able to sit down and drink my hot coffee and linger over my emails right away, while Al ate his breakfast of Toaster Streudals. He loves those things, and his favorite is Strawberry and Cream Cheese. I so wish I could have one, but they are loaded with carbs, sugars, and fats, but for him, it is alright, since I don’t want him to keep going with his weight loss.


I didn’t get any smiles this morning, but I did not receive tears neither, so I was content. After breakfast, he watched his divorce court show and part of The Price is Right, and then he decided to get properly dressed, as I had a doctor’s check-up for labs that I had drawn last week.


When the time came to leave the house, we headed for the doctors. He was doing well enough, that I left him in the waiting room and went back to the small doctor patient room by myself.


I had gained two pounds, and this is so disappointing to me. When I moved here from Florida, I had lost so much weight, but I was involved with the YMCA and Al went to a daycare, and the sun was shining, and I swam most of the year. Now that I am back, my physical activity is pretty narrowed down to cleaning the house, and once a month, rearranging furniture, to get that heart beat moving, and of course, my fingers get their work out on the computer and also lifting the fork to my lips.


The doctor said all of my tests were good except the usual culprit, the cholesterol, which I refuse to take the medications to lower it because of my mother’s warning, and the doctor knows exactly how I feel and how important it is to me what my mother told me. He said my sugars were better than last test time, my triglycerides were wonderful, kidneys were good, in fact, all was great. So, I looked at him and asked him why am I gaining weight? Is it because I get hardly any activities in?


He said he didn’t think it was what foods I was or was not eating as my sugar levels were acceptable. He said there was one area that was causing me weight gain more than anything else, and I asked, what was that. His answer was something I did not care for, because I can’t seem to beat the odds in that area.


Do you think you know what his answer was? The dirty culprit helping me to gain weight is STRESS! Yes, stress, he explained how stress causes a hormone change and causes weight gain. He also went on to explain that at this point, he did not want me to get overly concerned, because he knew what I was dealing with at home, then he smiled. He said everything will be back to normal one day, just be patient with life.


Stress? I never knew that could cause weight gain. Do you think I was stressed when I came through the birth canal? Because I have seen my baby picture where I had a couple of rolls of baby fat. Do you think I was stressed when I was in elementary school, maybe kids picking on me, or teachers that didn’t like my constant chatter. Maybe I was stressed as a teenager. Experts state that teenagers have to find themselves and where they fit in with life, and I would think this would cause much stress. Maybe, I was stressed when I got married, divorced, and did stupidly repeat that process one more time. That surely causes stress.


I think from now on, I will not blame that ice-cream cone, or that hamburger on a white bun from McDonald’s, and I won’t even blame my weight gain on that one little pumpkin doughnut, that I popped into my mouth for breakfast. I will blame everything on being a woman with hormones, who stresses out easily.


Now that I know who I am and why I am who I am, I decided that Al and I needed to celebrate my good report and finding the answers to being fat. So we went to the KFC for lunch and we had that new little sandwich, the Chicken Little sandwich? Yes, they are fairly good. They come with too large of a miniature sub-bun, with mayonnaise and two pickles with one long chicken strip. They are alright, but not that great for cheating on my carbs. I should have went to Ruby Tuesdays and had a fish snack pack. Now those carbs are worth eating!


Then after we finished lunch, we went to our favorite little thrift store, and Al immediately scanned the aisles for coca cola, and found two tin type signs, and I bought two car air fresheners and a tiny pair of baby satin shoes to match the baby dress I had purchased there last month. They are Victorian, and you already know how crazy silly I am about Victorian era. I also found another lamp that is small with crystals hanging from it, with one single bulb socket. It is more like a night stand light. It was the right size, right price and so I claimed it.


We had a good time and  now we are  both home, and Al hit the bed for his nap, as his nurse is coming at 4pm.