Emotions run close to the surface for me…
Sometimes she talks to me as though I am an acquaintance and it breaks my heart. That is not my original phrase but someone made that comment to me and I thought, absolutely, that is why it sounds odd to my ear.
I have learned over time, however, that it may just be my perception and may have little to do with what she really feels. It is not possible to know what another person’s thoughts and feelings are except if expressed by the other person. In a mind afflicted with Parkinson’s disease the words may not come. (Aha)
As a care partner the job is two or three times harder because a lifetime of social clues enhanced by 50 years of living to get used to each other’s mood, body language, language intonation and facial expressions has to be ignored. Sometimes those are only partially ignored. It is a mental workout. It is exhausting in many ways.
Her face can freeze. She looks angry. And then not. She can look very ill. Ten minutes later her smile is back and my heart leaps.
Today we are doing two exercise classes oriented toward PD patients. The first is an exercise and stretch series of activities. The second is oriented toward hands and fingers. Exercise helps with many of her symptoms for a bit. Her steps are more lively. Perhaps with her new finger class she will be able to hold onto the cereal spoon and sign her name.
When her smile comes back, my steps are more lively.