Anthony had visitors today when I arrived – his oldest friend, F, who often drops in with his wife, J. But today it was F with his eldest daughter, T.
He/we have had a lot of visitors lately and most people say, when I go outside to see them off and thank them, that Ants looks better.
The weird and wonderful thing about this is that he actually has started to look ‘better’, feel better, respond better, smile more readily, quip sarcastically, banter with me and with visitors.
I find this both fantastic but also bewilderingly fascinating because Parkinson’s disease doesn’t go backwards; that’s impossible? And yet, like the couple of nephews who visited on the weekend said, “He seems to be improving!”
Of course, in physiological terms, Anthony is not improving (i.e. although occasionally still able to walk with the use of a walker and the help of two carers, he is mostly immobile). But his cognitive wit, his innate positivity, and his unique grin, all seem to be returning.
My determination to spend most of every day with Ants, usually sitting on the arm of his armchair so I can put my arm around his shoulders, has certainly improved his mood. Not that he is ever in a bad mood anyway; he is one of the most even-tempered people I have ever known, but I now wonder if the regularity of my visits and the habitual things I do/say on arrival are making him happier. Another factor is that my own mother visits Anthony when and if I can’t get there and that, too, is a regular occurrence.
Currently, this is the pattern of our exchanges:
Me (entering his room at 11amish): DARLING!
Anthony (slow smile): It’s you.
Me: Move over so I can sit next to you – hurry up!
Anthony: You need to brush your hair (he always says this!)
Me: You always say that – shut up! Maybe I should get the haircut you’ve just had?
Anthony: The hairdresser kidnapped me.
Me: Well it looks good, Ants – very distinguished! Okay so let’s put our show on before lunch arrives.
Anthony: Don’t you have to go to work?
Me: Not today.
Anthony: So how much money is in the bank? (He always says this too).
Me: Stop worrying about money – there’s plenty – tens of thousands, and that’s all thanks to you!
Anthony: I love you so much, Jules.
I am beginning to think that this daily banter, the habit of watching a show, eating lunch together, regular visits from my ma and other relatives and friends, might be the reason this amazing husband of mine seems to be improving!
Anyway, I suppose I should stop wondering about all of the whys of this weird and wonderful experience and just be grateful.