Where is this place? I don’t know where I am. This, a conversation from two days ago, sticks in the front of my thoughts as I write this. Where is her Parkinson’s taking her?
A few weeks ago, Cheryl slept late. After I had been up for an hour I went in to check on her. She was sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for someone to come get her. She thought other people were here. I had been watching TV news.
I dismissed it as early morning muddled mind.
On this morning I was able to get her up to take her meds shortly after the alarm went off. I did this yesterday and she slept for another couple of hours as she had not slept well during the night. She did well after that. I patted myself on the back for getting through a new behavior of sleeping late.
This morning afterward she wanted to sit down on the edge of the bed and I assumed she was going to decide sleep some more or get dressed. My assumption was a bad one. She needed me to stay with her and help her. Later she came out of the bedroom angry with me for not getting her up for church. After a deep breath to swallow an equally angry response I assured her that today is not Sunday and the church service is on Sunday at 10.
On this third day I changed tactics a bit. I brought her meds, helped her to the bathroom and back to bed. I laid with her for a bit until she started snoring gently. I got up.
Checking on her later I found her sleeping on what is usually my side of the bed. I do wish I could see inside her mind to take part in her experience. Her sister and she slept in the same double bed as children. Often in her dreams when her vocalizations are understandable she is talking to her sister. Sometimes she has told me in the dark as her surrogate sister to stay on my side of the bed and quit hogging the covers. (I’m smiling here.)
Her sister is in her thoughts. Jan has spent the last several days in two different hospitals in Florida with blood clots inhibiting breathing. There is no Covid-19 according to the testing but deep vein thrombosis is suspected. She is home now with doctor appointments and physical therapists coming and going. The whole family is worried for her health but especially her childhood bed mate.
Writing this over a period of several days I have come to understand the agonizingly slow progression and the painfully irritating non-linearity of that progress.
In the late afternoon and evening her questions and conversation indicates that she senses others in the room or nearby. These ethereal presences are often young children. Tonight she looked to see who else was joining us for dinner. Later in her office she was talking someone about markers and where they could be found if they needed them to color with.
Her doctor says, if these become troublesome, drugs can be prescribed to combat the symptom. Troublesome how? Miragic little people are rarely trip hazards. I suppose if she trips over things that she cannot see because of the hallucinogenic little people, that would qualify as troublesome.
Sundowners syndrome. It is a thing. https://www.parkinsonsresource.org/news/articles/what-is-sundowning-what-causes-it-and-how-does-it-impact-the-caregiver/