February 18, 2008


Cuz Tom’s sleds. Purchased in the 1940’s, now in the Milwaukee snows of 2008.

Duck: Swollen prostrate and UTI. Doesn’t understand a thing…but his sense of humor is returning.

Me: Fuzzy, then again we woke in the 4 range.

G: He works four hours, off at 9, and goes back but to class at 6.
We were there twice yesterday to see Duck. He’s feeling better so wants to do things, and do them his way.

We find him in bed his catheter tube strung taut as a guitar string from his wheel chair to the far side of the bed. We help him back into his chair to which his catheter is tied.

“Turn to your right,” G yells in his ear. He turns to the left.

“Turn to the right,” I yell in his other ear. That ear must hear better as he begins to turn to the right. G pulls on one elbow; I push with his arm. Eventually he falls not ungracefully into his wheelchair.

“He was in bed with his catheter bag still tied to his wheel chair,” I tell the charge nurse. "He doesn't understand he has a catheter in. Actually, he doesn't understand anything now." We nod together.

The really good aide finds an alarm and hooks Duck up chair to shoulder. Before we three roll off to the living room to chat, I ask, “Have they increased his meds for his shaking as we requested?”

“We asked for this last Monday,” G comments as he wheels Duck by. I echo the sentiment adding, “We’d like him to continue feeding himself as long as he can.”

No order had been written, and by now Duck’s hands are flapping as if he is waving hello or goodbye. The nurse, who is working a double shift along with the aide, writes up both the alarm and the meds as the previous umpteen nurses have not.

“Plaid is laughing,” says Duck making a Plaid face, a sitting up Plaid gesture his hands raised.

The G’s are not.

We leave before dinner and aim him at the dining room. Duck turns his chair away from the room saying, “I want to go to bed.” We chicken out, and after we tell the nurses that’s he’s headed back to bed, we run away home.

Later, as the sun falls into the sea, we find him in bed with the sides up and the alarm going off.

“That’s happened four times,” he tells us.

I bet it happened more than that. We can see he is safe, tell him not to get up….which he won’t remember, and we flee. Oh, we of little faith.


  1. Sometimes we cope. Sometimes we don't. Us of little faith often wonder how dome we do so much of the later. Yet, at least we don't give up easily. There are a thousand small stories that prove this about you and G.

  2. Mage and G,

    Don't despair. You are doing the very best you can do for your friend.

    I know that somewhere,deep inside, D knows that you are there for him....

  3. You are wonderful. I think I would have run away permanently, long ago.

  4. Thank you all so very much for your comments.


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


George coming down Peter’s hall that’s lined with wood and artifacts from wonderful ocean liners of the past .             We ...