On a Sunday Afternoon


English: Culver's frozen custard deserts at th...

English: Culver’s frozen custard deserts at the West Milwaukee, Wisconsin location.

I was just thrilled today, let me tell you. You would think by now the facility knows how picky I am on Al’s looks with cleanliness, even more so when I take him in public. Today I went and picked him up. We ate lunch at Culver’s so he could have ice-cream.

His tremors seemed fairly under control. He did pretty good eating without spilling too much. I was watching him eat and I  noticed his fingernails. On one hand all four fingers were lined in shall I say yellow-brown?

I thought back to when the staff member was helping him to get in his wheelchair. She said, I caught Al in the bathroom digging.

Alright, I thought, thanks for letting me know that. But watching him when he ate made me lose my own appetite as I realized what the colored nails were from. He had not been cleaned up.

Grrrr, I just wanted to scream. If I have told them once I have told them too many times to make sure his nails are always clean. I don’t know of there is really any truth to it but Mom used to tell me that if there was dirt under my nails when I was a kid that I could get pinworms.

As I sat there I noticed his fingernails not only had the crusties they were also turning dark gray, and then they would fade back to light gray. Maybe I shouldn’t be concerned, because the nurses aren’t, but I am. What is causing this to happen? It has been going on for a couple of months now.

Al’s speech was really hard to understand today. I think part of it is PD. Another part could be the increase of pain medications. His lips barely moved and even after I asked him a couple of times what he said, I gave up. I mostly didn’t know what he was saying. I just agreed with what he was saying but felt awful for not understanding and just playing the game.

He did have one point in our outing where he told me about a dream he had last night. He said he woke up and saw someone sitting in his recliner. He said he didn’t know who it was and then they got up and left.

After lunch we drove to the lake. I think he enjoyed it but it didn’t take long before he was falling asleep on me. He apologized when he woke up and I told him not to worry about it. He said he was tired, so I took him back. When I got him in his room I went to the nurse and spoke to her about the gray nails. She made no motion and said nothing. She just looked at me. I also told her about his dirty nails and how I wanted those cleaned up.

I think  Al had fun, or as much as he could. We did have some choking issues three times on eating french fries. Maybe he won’t be able to eat those anymore, I don’t know. I  would hate it because he loves them.

I left him sitting in his recliner where he wanted to watch some sports, but before five minutes went by he was asleep. I patted him on the arm and told him I was going to go so he could rest and he looked at me and said, I’m sorry, I just get too wore out.

Although I love to take him out, I can see it is a real hardship on him. I told him I loved him and would see him in a day or two, unless he wanted me there for him earlier. I asked him what is he supposed to do if he needs me, and he looked at me with a weak smile and said, have the nurse call you. I said “Great answer” and then left him as he closed his eyes again.

Here are some photos I took while we were out to the lake.

boatbeachcampgroundcemetaryfishingpink tree

Ramp For Al!


This is the beginning to the end of the structuring of the new ramp for Al. A program called Day of Caring is who put this all together. From what I learned this is done by the United Way. You fill out an application, and if you fit the bill, so to speak, they get different companies to get together and they go around the county and do these projects for people who are in need of extra help. A church group led by one of our local banks is who did the physical work. Al is not quite sure how to use it, and doesn’t seem to get the idea of how much this will help him, but I think once I show him he can go from the car straight into the house with no more stairs, he is going to love it.

I am so grateful for this ramp, as it will make Al’s moving a lot easier.