Parkinson’s strikes again.

Well, why I was off having a great weekend, it appears that Momma had a couple of good days, and then there was yesterday.  Apparently Momma had a bad day yesterday.

I arrived at the Farmer’s this morning (I was a little bit late, but I’ll explain that later).  I came in and got ready to give Momma her 8am meds, and the Farmer came out to talk to me.  “Hey, I gotta tell you a couple of things that happened yesterday.”  me “Uhm  ok…”  Long story short, Momma collapsed yesterday.  Apparently she didn’t have a “great” day to begin with and then when she got up (assisted by the Farmer and Sharon (CNA) to walk into her bedroom she got about half way there and said she was dizzy and down she went.  The Farmer had a hold of her, so it was a graceful drop.  They got her back up and she walked into her room.

Apparently, Momma has been having some “dizzy” spells.  Folks, I understand this.  Momma has such a LOW blood pressure, that things are just not circulating.  This was one of the issues we brought up to the Doctor when we saw him. All’s he could tell us, was that this is a part of Parkinson’s.  Well, why they make medication for HIGH blood pressure, there is nothing you can do for low blood pressure.

I came home, after taking care of Momma today.  For me, she did really well today.  Although I was concerned because she has a bed sore. ( I called the Nursing Student and asked her to come over to look at it and advise.  We made plans to go back over later in the afternoon.)  But I digress.  I came home and researched the best I could.

“Although Parkinson’s is not fatal, certain symptoms may eventually lead to incidents which are fatal. Difficulty swallowing caused by Parkinson’s can lead to aspiration of food in the lungs. This may cause pneumonia or other fatal pulmonary conditions. A loss of balance can also cause a fatal fall.” from  ehow health.

“The leading cause of death for Parkinson’s sufferers is Pneumonia and similar respiratory ailments. The argument is that if the patients did not have PD, in all likelihood they would not have developed this particular pneumonia because it is caused by the disease symptoms. The Parkinson’s patient inhales small bits of food, saliva or mucous; swallowing difficulties and choking are symptomatic of PD and they get worse as the disease progresses. The result develops into Aspiration Pneumonia and the patient often dies.

So people die as a direct result of having Parkinson’s Disease but the direct cause on the death certificate is Pneumonia. You won’t find stats on PD deaths.

Because PD is predominantly a disease which appears when the patient is 65 years or older, the life expectancy is almost what it would have been without the disease. The problem is twofold: quality of life and the fact that the end stages are neither pleasant nor pretty to describe.

Many elderly people die as a result of the complications of a fall. Falling is the 2nd leading cause of PD patient death. Because of the balance and physical stability problems, the freezing and stiffness characteristic of Parkinson’s, the risk of falling is considerably higher than an average cross-section of older persons. Remember that not all PD sufferers are elderly, although they are in the majority.

Just as there is dementia in Alzheimer’s, so there can be in Parkinson’s. This is not a pretty dementia, it is frightening to comprehend. Another problem is that in PD it is coupled with a myriad of other neuromotor problems including possible loss of intellectual capabilities. While this is not death in can be a form of living death for the patient and for the family.” By Stephen Moon

Now that I have suffentially scared myself silly, I’ll go back to my day.   For me, while at first when I went in to give Momma her meds, she gave me the “deer in the headlight” look, like she did not recognize me.  She let me give her meds, and change her bed stuff, and get her into some dry pants.  I left her alone for a while, and then went in to get her up.  She co-operated with me and did everything I asked her to.  The Farmer came in and helped with the final stages of getting her up.  I will admit though, I was a little hesitant about when she got up to walk into the living room.

Momma did it, I made her go slow, and she was pushing to go faster.  We did some therapy and then I found out that Momma had told the Farmer that she “took Sunday’s off”.  To which the Farmer got a “talking to”.  Therapy is very important.  We HAVE to keep those muscles moving.  When Momma has therapy she is so much better.

I left the Farmer’s and went home for a bit, there was a crisis in my home I had to deal with (THAT will be another post).    The Electrician and I went to the Nursing Student’s 1. So he could do some electrical work in their garage, and 2. so the Nursing Student, Cam-Man and I could go back and check on Momma.

We got to the Farmer’s and the Nursing Student and Momma had a re-union, Momma was a little confused because the last time she saw the Nursing student was in the Nursing Home.  The Nursing Student could not believe how well Momma looked, and remarked upon that fact several times. 

I had the Nursing Student take a look at the bed sore, and she told the Farmer and I what to do. It’s already healing (which means it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was).  I understand the Nursing Student’s feelings.  She is a busy girl, and I know she wants to help out more but with working, school, taking care of Cam-Man right now she doesn’t have the time.  I told her to settle down, and that when she gets out of school for the summer, her Grandma will still be there and we would love the help.

Momma is doing better than she was, but it is one day at a time, but to the Farmer, don’t listen to Momma, THERAPY, THERAPY, THERAPY.  I know she doesn’t like it but she HAS to do it.

Parkinson’s is a disease, that is different with every patient, no two are the same and that’s what makes it so hard.  What might work for Momma might not work for someone else, and vice versa. 

The only thing I know, in my world, we are doing what we can.  Because I still believe there is a lot of  life left in her, and I want to share it.






One response

  1. Brilliant and informative post. Thank you!

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