I was working on the computer, when Pattie came up to me and ask me if I heard about Aldo. I said no, what happened. It seems that Aldo was having trouble getting out of bed, he could not walk. So Pattie and Michael called the front office where he lived. They checked in on him, and called 911. They took him to Crawford Long Hospital. A hospital affiliated with Emory, a very good place to go if you are sick. Pattie went on to say that Aldo told her that I was his Power of Attorney for medical care, something that was new to me.
I first met Also in the early 70's, when he was in his middle 30's, he is now 71. He has no family, so a few people around here, sort of adopted him into their circle. So he does have an extended family of sorts, who help to take care of some of his needs. I suppose one of the things that have always stood out for me about Aldo, is his work ethic. He always worked if he could, and if he couldn't, he still tried. He as far as I can see, never took advantage of others, and was always very thankful when help was offered to him. Michael, Pattie, Elizabeth and Judy, and Ann, are some of the people, who always showed love, concern and patience toward him, and helped him whenever they could.
Pattie gave me the number of the hospital and I was lucky enough to get hold of Aldo's doctor there. She was happy to get someone on the line that knew Aldo and was open with me about his condition. I told her about my being his possible POA, but was not sure, since Aldo is not always clear about things. I told her that I was going to drive in that afternoon after I finished some errands that needed to be done. She said that when I arrived to let the nurse know, since she may want to talk to me.
I arrived at the hospital at about 2 PM, and was soon in his room. He was not there, so I figured that he was out for some test. The nurse on duty said that he was getting an MRI and did not know how long it would take. So I hunkered down and waited. After about an hour they wheeled him in, and after they got him in bed, we talked. Just as I thought he really did not have any paper work, living will, who was his POA etc. So I communicated to him how important it was for him to have that done. It did not matter who his POA was, he just needed one in case something happened where he could not speak for himself. After calling Pattie and Michael, they stated that either one of them would be his POA if he wanted them to.
Aldo, as stated earlier could not walk, and then after further discussion he notified me that he was having trouble feeding himself. When pressed if he told the Nurse on duty, he said no. He said that he could not quite reach his mouth, so it took a great deal of effort to eat, and that it was getting worse. I asked him to do something for me. Could he touch his mouth with his hand? He tried, but seemed to stop short just before his chin. We then tried to see if he could touch his nose, and then his forehead, he could not. He knew their position but could not get his hands to find them. I notified the Tech on duty and she assured me that they would feed him.
We then talked about what he wanted done if he should have a situation that was life threatening; a stroke or heart attack, if he wanted to be revived if he should find himself in that position. We talked about that, and in the middle of this conversation his eyes welled up, he cried a bit, and said in a whisper "I am so tired". I went over and took his hand, and said that he was not alone, that he had friends, who would do whatever it took so that his wishes would be carried out. As we continued, I wanted to know if he desired to be DNR, and he said yes. Before I left I wanted that to be taken care of, but the doctor never came by, it was late, and I needed to get back home. I called Pattie and Michael and they both stated that they were coming in on Saturday to see Aldo. So they are going too asked for the Chaplain, who could help with the living will and power of attorney formalities.
Aldo has had a very hard life. I won't go into it, but as far as I am concerned he is a quality human being, who deserved a lot better than what life shelled out to him. Because of his goodness, generosity, and also because he himself is capable of true friendship, he has always for as long as I have known him, been surrounded by people who care and look out for him, as much as they can. It did not take away from his loneliness much of the time, but I personally consider it an honor to know him; he is a courageous soul. People like Aldo can be overlooked, but when with him I sense a great deal of goodness, love, and a man of deep and abiding faith, who has walked the road, fought the fight, and perhaps now is ready to go home, if God sees fit to call him.