Friday, September 19, 2008


Yesterday my husband went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. It wasn't a big surprise. I have noticed the symptoms for a long time. At first it was just one hand shaking, then two. He has been unsteady when he walks and drags one foot. Now I am noticing his difficulty in speaking. He finally told me that he has to really concentrate when he is walking.
At first he blamed his shakiness on me. I guess denial is common.
My thoughts and emotions are really spinning. I'm resigned to the situation only because there is nothing that I can do to change it. I must accept it in order to move forward. However, I have had thoughts of, "Why him God?" Why me and my family?" I don't dwell on that idea because it is so negative and self absorbed.
Parkinson's is a neurogenerative movement disorder that progressively gets worse and is incurable. Michael J. Fox and Mohammad Ali have Parkinson's. Do you remember seeing Michael when he first announced he had PD? I do. I was stunned. Now I sit in that same dull feeling wondering if my husband will be shaking his head and body like Michael.
Last night I told the children that we need to help Dad more with things like walking the dog and doing chores around the house. They don't know what PD is but they sensed in my voice and manner that it is serious.
My husband was sitting at the kitchen table and very calmly said, "I went to the doctor today and he gave me some medicine". He was staring at the bottle of pills, reading its' complicated instructions. Literally, he takes one pill every day at 7pm for a week, the following week a pill every day at 12pm , the following week a pill at 5am, 12 pm and 7pm and then I can't remember. I am sure I will need to make a chart because he won't remember. He has always resisted taking vitamins or pills.
I didn't cry when he told me. I feel like crying today. I could cry but what good would that do? I'd only have to recover and find a way to get strong. I have cried so very much in the last few years; tears for lost friendships, tears from a brokenheart, tears from failure, tears for nothing. I have learned that tears are worthless.
I have already taped into the Internet for information about PD and am finding that it's a big story to enter into.
I honestly believe that it is not when we stand up to fight or lay down to let it be, it is the moment when we reach out that changes everything.
I am thankful that I have this blog to share my thoughts.


Sue said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. You are right, the best thing to do right now is learn all you can about PD.
My sister has PD. She did the same thing. She learned all she could so she could have more control over her treatment.

I would be the same as your husband and I would definitely need someone to make a chart to keep track of the times to take the medication because I know I would forget to take them if it has to be that precise.

Hugs to you and your family.

Yarnhog said...

I'm so sorry, Janet. I know it's not a surprise to you, but it's still a shock having it confirmed. Maybe a watch with a multi-setting alarm would help him to keep track of his medicine.

sophanne said...

I don't have any words but just want you to know that I'm out here in blogville thinking supportive thoughts for you.

Deborah said...

Janet I am so sorry to hear about this. I can only begin to imagine what you all are feeling. What you can do is something that you already are doing - research, research, research. Big hugs to you and know I am always here for you to listen.

Tammy said...

I'm so sorry Janet. That's quite a diagnosis to come to terms with. But as for tears... I don't cry myself. I fight it, resist it, and completely rebel against it as a matter of fact. But I'm beginning to realize that tears do provide some cleansing and relief that our system needs. Don't be afraid to let loose and cry. No, the tears won't change anything... but they may begin some release and healing that your own heart needs to help you move on. {{{hugs}}}

Maureen said...

One of my co-workers was diagnosed with PD almost 10 years ago. She's an amazing woman with a strong spirit and she's tried not to let it stop her. I'm sure your family will be on a roller coaster ride for the next little while, but if you stay strong, loving and full of support, you'll get through. My prayers are with you.

Kim said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear of your DH's diagnosis. Your attitude of acceptance and moving forward is awesome. Just take one thing at a time and crying helps me. If I cry quietyly by myslef for a little while it releases a lot of built up pressure.
Making a chart for meds is an excellent idea.
Sending good thoughts/prayers your way.

Stephanie said...

This is sad news. I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts in the coming weeks as you adjust and go on with living stong.

Olga said...

Oh my dear friend! My heart goes out to you both! It's a tired and worn out cliche' but be grateful for today and don't borrow trouble from tomorrow. I'll be praying for strength for you both and your kids.

Haley said...

i will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. may your love and laughter keep you strong.