I have learned a few things about this thing called Parkinson’s. While I do not have it, My Momma does. When it first hit our house, it was mis-diagnosed for a few years. When it was finally decided that, Yes, Momma had it, we had no idea what to expect.
I remember researching on the Internet for any and all information I could find. I read about the 5 stages, but didn’t know how the progression would go. Well…. I can now say I know how the progression goes.
We have been in stage 5 for a while. I’ve seen things, and I’ve taken care of some things, I never in my life thought I could do. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
There are good days, and then there are bad days, and there are just days. I’ve seen my own emotions go from one end of the roller coaster to the other, all in the space of 10 minutes.
I do have to say, we do still have humor in our house. The Farmer and I discussed this aspect about 2 years ago, and we both sort of made a pact, that we would rather laugh than cry. The time for tears will be upon us, but until that day, we will find something to giggle about.
I think in this aspect, we are kind of following Momma’s lead, simply because even though her body is tortured by Parkinson’s, her mind is a little mushy, and Parkinson’s dementia is at us at every turn, we still can have a giggle.
This morning, I went over and snuck into the house early, so the Farmer could sleep in. When I went into Momma’s room her eyes were open, and she just kind of looked at me. I wasn’t sure she knew who I was. I listened to her tummy bubble on the stethoscope, I took her temperature, and then gave her meds, and a feeding. When I was done, she grabbed my hand and looked me straight into my eyes and said “Am I dead?” “Uhm, no Momma you are not, why do you think so?”. To which she replied “Well, I was just wondering because I had some visitors, and I KNOW they are dead”.
I got her to relax and she went back to sleep. She must have had more visitors later though, because I heard her shout and then start laughing, I ran into her room, and she was asleep.
When it was time to get her up, she was all smiles, and giggles, and telling both the Farmer and I how much she loved us, and wanted hugs. When she got out to her chair in the front room, she looked at me and asked me, “So, we need to go out for lunch or dinner I think, I really want a pizza”. Rather than go through the long explanation of how she can no longer eat, I just agreed with her and told her maybe later on this week.
Sometimes, it’s hard to find that giggle, sometimes, it would be easier to cry. But I refuse. Sometimes, the mourning phase hits before it is even time. You mourn the person they used to be, and see instead what Parkinson’s has done to the person.
It hits everyone different, and everyone handles it differently. Sadly though, all of our stories are the same.