For a couple of weeks worth of nights, I have not been sleeping well at all. I have the baby monitor beside me on my night stand to hear in case Al falls or needs me, so I assume my deep rest doesn’t come easily with silently listening to this. I am not sure what else prevents me from going to nice dream lands, but I do know I sleep deep enough to have dreams, but they are usually bad dreams.
I sometimes wake up out of a dream crying, other dreams, I remember vividly, as someone has died. One dream I saw shootings that almost ended in my own death. I have always heard that if there is a dream with death involved, we should be thankful that we wake up, before the actual death, maybe because if we didn’t, it would be our own death.
For the last two weeks, Al has obtained a new habit. He walks out from his bedroom to the kitchen, now hanging on to anything to keep his weak stability, and still fixes his ready-made, heat to eat breakfasts, but as soon as breakfast is over, he cries.
No one has said anything to upset him, the TV is not on, so I can not blame some tearful scene, he just cries. It is worse when the shower girl comes to bathe him, and after a week of seeing this, I let my instincts take over, and I listened to the conversations during the shower, to make sure nothing out of the normal, was being done or said, all seemed fine.
Today, is no exception, I wake up with a semi-bright attitude, make my way to the kitchen, get his medications poured into his single-size serving cup, pour me a nice, hot cup of coffee, and place my behind in the marked out shape that has been designed into the seat of my computer chair, and he is up.
Today, the shower girl came and upon her departure, she tells me that he cried all the way through his shower. She suggested that he return to his room, to help with his tears, until he can compose himself.
While she was showering him, I made a pot of home-made vegetable soup. I browned some hamburger, then added fresh cut-up chunks of yellow squash, tomatoes, some celery, onion, carrots, small pieces of potatoes, tomato sauce, onion soup mix, spices and water. After I bid her farewell, I finished my project, and then made Al some strawberry jello with pieces of marshmallows added for his dessert today, then I went in to talk to him.
He was sitting in his recliner, with his legs stretched out and I noticed that his toes on each foot are now almost completely bent under. I have seen this coming, and have been told it is the draw of the muscles, the shrinking process. It worries me because in my mind, I can picture looking at Al’s foot and not seeing any toes. This will surely cause a balance problem with walking, as our bodies rely heavily on our toes.
He smells good from his shower, and his hair is combed neatly, but he is full of tears. I ask him why, and he says it is personal. I talk to him a little about the routine he has allowed himself to get into with crying, and I suggest he may want to try to talk about it, so it can get out of his head, then he may be able to smile a little.
It took no more prompting and he yells out that he can’t do anything right, that he is afraid of doing something wrong. After much talking, I finally figure out, that he is so upset about what the Parkinson’s is taking away from him. He has come to face it head on, that he can do nothing any longer without much fight from his symptoms. Climbing in to the shower chair, big burden, holding the wash cloth over his eyes, not easy, tremors moving the cloth and not being able to cover eyes easily anymore. Getting a drink from the refrigerator, requires much bend in the knee from just standing at the refrigerator for a moment, and deciding which drink he wants, I now see his body almost shrink half his height, from standing.
I look back to this past week, and I now remember that his boss had to feed him his ice-cream because he could not do it. Three times I have had to take Al’s shirt off, because he can no longer raise his arms above his head, and then have the strength to tug it over his head. Twice he has put his shoes on the wrong feet. Too many times, I have had to remind him to sit up as straight as he can. Each night-time snack now requires me to have to open his snack, or get his drink ready with thicket, and sometimes help him get food into his mouth. Last night at supper he could not raise his arm high enough to get the liquid from the glass into his mouth, so I helped him.
No wonder he is crying. What I am taking as a common thing, by helping him more and more, because I realize this is all due from the Parkinson’s ripping his life away from him, Al is taking it in a personal way, as being a failure, and not being able to do anything right, and afraid of making a mistake.
It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him he does everything right, or that I am only a few steps away from helping him when he needs help, the issue comes back to he is becoming much more dependent on others.
It is no wonder, that every web page you read about Parkinson’s, you see the same print, that 75% of patients go into heavy depression. The depression causes the body to go into silence, the silence brings you to a level of non-concentration. Lack of concentration brings about more falls, and falls and lying in bed or on the couch too much, removing yourself from activities, causes fluids to fill up in your lungs, which can cause pneumonia, and this is one of the number one things that takes Parkinson’s patients, not the disease, the falls and filled up lungs.
I told Al once again, that I am so sorry that he has to endure this illness. I told him, that if I could, I would wish it out of his body and toss it in the garbage can. He never looked up at me, and so I left the room, with him sitting in it, tears falling, the lights off, and the TV on low volume. I know if I went in there right now, he would be staring out the window, trying to figure out, why him, or he would be picking his skin or scratching his head. I choose to remove myself, and come here to WordPress, and blog my feelings, because here, blogging, I know there is life out there. Someone will read this, someone will comment. It gives me a glimpse in to the world on the other side of this door.