Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A thief named Parkinson's

I don't think I've written too much about my mom here on the blog but the time has come when I'll probably be talking a lot more about her.

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My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when I was about 15 or 16 years old. It started as a small tremor in her left hand and remained relatively minor for several years. Over the course of about 10 years, though, her disease progressed to a more advanced state. A few years ago, when traditional Parkinson's medications started failing her, my mom and her doctors decided she would be a good candidate to undergo a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation. With this procedure a neurostimulator was placed in my mom's chest to transmit signals to a lead implanted in her brain.

When my mom had this procedure done she had trouble walking and controlling her tremor. She would occasionally just completely freeze and be stuck wherever she happened to be, which was sometimes quite frightening for her.

Last week the battery in my mom's neurostimulator died and we all got a cold awakening to how much her disease has advanced in the past few years. She is almost completely immobile. She is unable to adjust the way she is seated in a chair or lying in bed. Walking more than a few steps is nearly impossible and even those few steps takes what seems to be a lifetime. Not to mention difficulties with bathing and using the bathroom.

Today mom has gone down to Miami to have the battery replaced and is recovering nicely at home. But it has become apparent to the rest of our family that mom needs a little more care than she used to. So it has been decided that I will stay with her while my dad is at work and the Spaz kids are at school.

As much as I worry that there will be days when taking care of mom will be difficult for both of us, I am really looking forward to opening this new chapter of our relationship.


2 comments:

DysFUNctional Mom said...[Reply to comment]

Thief is a good word for it.
I hope it goes well for both of you.

Lucy said...[Reply to comment]

Remember to take care of yourself through all of this too.
I am hoping the best for you and your family.