I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on the progression of Parkinson’s. I’m concerned with what I’ve found. While I know that every person is different and while some information is available, in my experience with Momma, well she is not text-book.
At one time the Farmer and I looked up the different stages, because according to everything I’ve read there are 5. The one’s I’m concerned about are 4 & 5.
Stage four is accompanied by symptoms that affect walking and motility. The patient might be able to walk, but very poorly, and bradykinesia is often present. Bradykinesia is difficulty in movement, characterized by slow, deliberate actions. For instance, a Parkinson’s patient might have difficulty getting up from a sitting position or turning over in bed. After getting up, this stage of Parkinson’s affects the patient’s posture and gait. When walking, the patient can only achieve small steps similar to shuffling feet back and forth. Interestingly, the tremors that are present in earlier stages can become nonexistent at this stage of Parkinson’s.
Stage five of Parkinson’s is the final stage, and it usually takes over all movement of the patient. Patients are no longer able to take care of themselves, and assisted living or an in-home nurse is needed. Walking is usually impossible at this stage, and supportive care is needed for basic living. At this stage, incontinence, trouble sleeping, and mood disorders are present. The patient becomes entirely reliant on others for care, and immediate medical situations may occur.
I guess I have to acknowledge that Momma is in Stage 5. But some days she is a Stage 4. Thus, my confusion.
Momma asked me the other day “Parkinson’s affects the nervous system doesn’t it?”, I replied with “Yes, Momma, it kinda affects all of you, with a little Dementia thrown in”.
Momma gets agitated at things that the Farmer and I don’t know about. I will have an experience with her and then have to ask the Farmer questions about her childhood, because right now her mind is playing a lot of tricks on her.
I know she is frustrated and very, very scared. I spent one evening with her just locked in a hug for 10 minutes, because she was afraid. She doesn’t understand why she see’s things, or sometimes what is real and what is not.
I have no medical training other than some things the Nursing Student has taught me, like how to body lift her, and how to roll her butt over in bed. and give her a bath. Oh yea, and this one is embarrassing, but the first time I had to change Momma’s diaper that had poo in it, well I treated her like Camden….uhm…I kinda learned that’s NOT how you do it, although when explaining the story to the Nursing Student she got a bad case of the giggles, and then explained to me the PROPER way to do it.
I watched a movie the other night, not knowing what it was truly about, but I like the actress Anne Hathaway. The movie was called “Love and other Drugs“, It was made in 2011, and it is a very good movie. The reason I make reference to it is because it is about a Young Parkinson’s patient. There is a line in the movie, and forgive me if I quote it wrong, I’m sorry, but it went kinda like this:
“If you are willing to take care of them, when they cannot speak, cannot walk, and you have to take care of them 24/7, wipe their butts, dress them, bathe them, and take care of them, then do it, I would do it all over again”
Without giving away the movie and stuff, this part in the movie resonated with me. Mind you, I cried like a baby through this movie, The Electrician asked me if I didn’t want to watch it any more, to which he got told…don’t stop it NOW…duh….(sometimes you need to cry).
I guess, that a lot of people go through this, although a lot of people give up sooner and put their loved one’s in a Nursing home. But ya know what? I don’t want Momma being scared and lonely, if I can make her feel a little bit better and let her know that she is loved and taken care of then it makes both me and The Farmer feel better.
If I get drained and feel the need to renew, regenerate and refresh myself, the Electrician is my Caregiver and he does a REALLY, REALLY good job of it.
I guess, on the whole subject, Parkinson’s sucks BIG Twinkies, but we do the best with what we have and we know and what we can.
But between me, the Farmer, the Electrician, & the Nursing Student, we are doing well…and Momma, she knows she is loved.