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We first noticed a tremor in his left hand in 2002 - 15 years ago. Two different neurologists said it was a benign tremor for a few years. I searched for a movement specialist and he was the one who diagnosed it as PD. |
When I read about the stages and look back, I can see the progression like it was recorded.
I'll not copy the full description of each. You can go to the link to get details.
Stage I: Unilateral involvement only, usually with minimal or no functional impairment
Stage II: Bilateral or midline involvement, without impairment of balance.
Stage III: First signs of impaired righting reflexes. This is evident as the patient turns or is demonstrated when he or she is pushed from standing equilibrium with the feet together and eyes closed.
Stage IV: Fully developed, severely disabling disease; the patient is still able to walk and stand unassisted but is markedly incapacitated
Stage V: Confinement to bed or wheelchair unless aided
I'd describe my DH as in Stage 4. It's only at this time that I realize just how bad this is and that it will probably get worse.
I don't want to think about long term care in a nursing home. But I'm not sure how much longer I can manage. Fortunately, I will be only 64 this year. DH will be 76. I can still manage a lot and physically can still help him up, help him with showering and dressing, etc. and generally wait on him (yes, hand and foot )
He still wants to get out almost every day. We go to town for errands and he uses his wheelchair or a store motorized cart. We frequent the same restaurants so they are familiar with our needs. He has a "man cave" (not sports related tho) where he tinkers with little projects, often destroying things and I fuss and clean up after him. His fine motor skills are almost non-existent; he has neuropathy in his hands. His vision is really bad but he won't wear his glasses. He likes going to his friends house - my uncle who is younger than him and who is also our next door neighbor. He has a John Deere Gator that he likes to ride around in. He has two motorized power chairs - one for inside and one for outside. And yes, he has run into doors and frames and furniture.
But at least he is still getting around.
I'm scared of what is coming.
Just sharing our "stage".