Hi it’s Jack…. I have been The Owner’s constant companion for the Christmas Season. He has been in very good humour and has really enjoyed catching up with some friends he had not seen in a long, long time, so all good. He was looking at some pictures taken long before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and boy did that bring a smile to his face. Different time, different place, but fun most definitely, they looked like they all had lots and lots of fun!!
Today however, I saw a shadow cross his face, just for a second, very quick but it scared me. A look of silent despair and anguish, that is usually covered with a grin and a change of the subject, but hidden. His irrational, yet very real fear of being seen as a burden, irrational because he knows that he is loved, real because it is real to him. Every now and then, it comes at him, … hard… but this time he cried, so I did what I do best, and I put my head in his lap looked up at him and loved him.
The trigger? A scene from a movie “Love and Other Drugs”, where Jake Gyllenhaal, speaks to the husband of a late stage Parkinson’s Disease sufferer. A 30 second insight into the life of those people who carry that unceasing load of caring for, of loving and living with a person who has Parkinson’s Disease. This is his greatest fear, that of being a burden to family and friends. 99.99% of the time it’s not an issue, but every once in a while he is reminded. Being strong 99.99% of the time is good going, so I cut him a bit of slack on the 0.01% and told him to man up…he got the message.
One of the many things I have noticed since I have come to live with My Family, is the amount of time he spends on his own, be it resting and recuperating, or simply going to bed early because his energy levels are so low, it can be isolating. I am usually with him all the time, as well as My Family. That’s not enough, so why don’t you call just to chat, to recommend book that you have enjoyed, or music that you like. He can also be very grumpy, but I not so sure that’s a Parkinson’s thing.
PS When you are talking to him you might just let him know that I am sorry about the accident on the carpet, please don’t tell the cat, and he is… My best friend.
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