Things that disappeared with Parkinson

Teasing and associated humor — We have been married more than a half century. That qualifies us as an old married couple. At one point we could finish each other’s sentences. I could understand what she wanted by a look. We would banter and tease each other. With Parkinson that is all gone. Mostly. For maybe an hour or two after breakfast mild banter can occur but later in the day she will start thinking that I am picking on her. The switch is sudden. Sometimes I miss it.

Implication, inference, analogy — the parkie brain seems to struggle with inference. But she will still do it to me. The garbage can is near full. Instead of, please take the garbage out. We all do it.

With dementia and memory loss issues it doesn’t work.

Linear logical thought

Ability to follow directions (recipes)

Stick-to-it-tiveness, persistence — the opposite of apathy– is completely gone. I have not had to deal with a child that has ADHD, so, I have no comparison but many of her behaviors seem to mimic this disorder.

Intimacy is very different and difficult… I make no reference to sexual intimacy. That left us a few years ago. These days it is necessary for me to intrude into toileting. Never when I said I do did I think I might have to keep track of bowel movements. It is typically a very private event. PD however brings with it the side benefit of constipation. Memory issues do not help. Self reporting does not accomplish what it might if she could remember the last time she pooped. Hanging on to feces for long periods can send one to the hospital. PD patients should do all in their power to stay out of the hospital.

Carpe Diem — stay connected.

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