The Six-Day Merry-Go-Round
A daughter describes her father’s fight with Parkinson’s disease and their journey together.
Anna, my father, has had a very eventful 6 days. We’ve had to go to hospital on 5 of the last 6 days. He is, of course, tired and to some extent, wondering what the fuss is all about.
24 February : Diapers Can Cause Blisters, Not Just Rash!
Tuesday was just another regular day. Till, I dropped in after my walk, to be told by Anna’s attendant that Anna has blisters in the groin area.
I ask Anna if there is pain (Anna has a low resistance to pain), and he says no.
But the attendant describes big blisters and off we go to the hospital. Blisters are incised, drained and dressed.
25 February: Review & Dressing of Blisters
Just another trip to review how the blisters are healing.
Anna quips “ The doctor is very efficient”, as Anna is met and treated immediately.
When we tell the Doctor, he smiles back a response, “In this state it’s easy to fool him”, referring to Anna’s tendency to forget things at his age.
The doctor and I laugh.
We also get some advice on Anna’s chronic constipation - make him eat more papaya everyday. When I tell Anna, he retorts, “I am eating so much papaya that we should buy half an acre of land and grow papayas.” I laugh and tell Anna that he has a great sense of humour.
27 February: More than Blisters are Being Drained
My early morning coffee date with Anna is suspended. Anna has serious loose motions. Anna can’t understand why. “I am only eating at home”,
“Constipation is a bigger issue”, “I am eating very healthy food”, etc. So, off we go to the doctor.
When I tell Anna that he is eating a lot of roughage, he recalls something and says, “Anyone who sees the amount of green vegetables we buy will think we have a pet goat in the house”.
We share a smile remembering this pearl of wisdom!
28 February: Now I am Getting Drained
In the afternoon, I get a panicked call, telling me that Anna has fallen. When I get to the house there is blood everywhere. Anna had decided to get out of bed to get the phone (till now he does not remember why he wanted the phone). He felt dizzy and fell. Off to the hospital we go again! Anna gets 6 stitches (for the first time in his life).
And he is still cracking one-liners. Like when I tell him that he is being taken into the OT for stitches, and that he will be given local anaesthesia. He responds with “Why? No imported anaesthesia?”
1 March: To the Hospital, we return...
5:30 am panic call tells me that Anna has serious double vision. I rush there to find Anna OK. After having a cup of coffee with him, he says he wants to sit on the sofa. I settle him in, and ask, “Anna, if you are sleepy, I can take you back to your bedroom”. Anna wants to sit on the sofa and nap.
His parting shot? “I will sleep here. I slept before coffee. I am partly sleeping now. All tenses are covered”.
I didn’t have the heart to chat on tenses.
I just know that his spirits are doing better than mine!
(After working in corporate India for over 29 years, Sangeeta has taken time off to look after her father, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008. Sangeeta hopes that these authentic stories will help patients and caregivers understand and appreciate the impact Parkinson’s Disease. You can follow Sangeeta’s blog here.)
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