wings and things

Love story 105 – Falling

on October 10, 2012

My tentative plan for today was to pick Ants up and take him out for lunch or for a drive. It was to be a bit of an experiment to see if I could do it and it filled me with dread because he is often so immobile that am scared that he will fall and I won’t be able to pick him up, as happened numerous times when he was still here at home.

I rang him to confirm and, as usual, I had to let the phone ring out twice before he managed to answer it. “Jules,” he said, “Jules, Jules, Jules, Jules….” Then there was silence even though he was still on the phone. I yelled into my own phone, “Ants! What’s wrong?” but he said nothing. Nothing. This terrified me. Was he upset?

So I hung up and dialled the nurses and told the one who answered the phone that something was wrong with Anthony. She said she would go and check. A few seconds later, I rang him again and this time he spoke a bit more and told me he had had a fall. He was a bit incoherent and confused except he did remember our lunch date. “I don’t think it’s a good idea now, Ants,” I said, and he agreed. He sounded quite shaken. I could hear the nurse in the background which was comforting.

Ants is falling more and more often because when he is mobile, he races and forgets his walker and, bang, down he goes. Last year, pre-nursing lodge, this kept happening and one of his worst falls happened when I went up to the local shop for something and begged him not to move from his chair. I was only gone 10 minutes but when I got back I discovered him lying prone and twisted in our little vegetable patch. He looked dead and I got a terrible fright. It took me nearly half an hour to get him up onto his feet and, though grazed and bleeding from his face and knees, he was otherwise uninjured. It then took another half an hour to get him back into the house because his legs weren’t working.

Mobility for people with Parkinson’s Disease is a strange and unpredictable thing. The typical leaning over posture doesn’t help with gravity. When Anthony is mobile, he almost runs; when he is immobile (which is most of the time now) he can hardly even move one foot after the other without assistance.

I think our days of going out to lunch are well and truly over, and were over long ago, but Anthony keeps hoping and I keep wishing.

And he keeps falling.

51 responses to “Love story 105 – Falling

  1. mimijk says:

    I lost my dad to lewy body disease – a branch of the Parkinson’s tree which includes dementia. It is a cruel and relentless siege and I pray that Anthony’s hoping and your wishing keeps his spirits up and his efforts answered..I truly ache for him and for all those who love him so.

  2. You’ll just have to bring the restaurant to Anthony… you’ve started with the wine.

  3. sbcallahan says:

    leaving slowly is the worst i have decided. seeing us this way robs us of being remembered the way we want. of course family will remember the good times and the love, there is no denying though that we will also be remembered with all our physical betrayals.

    i am so sorry you, anthony and ming are going through this …..
    you are in my thougths

    • jmgoyder says:

      I had another little drinks session with Ants this afternoon and it was great. Little things, tiny moments I guess, as you well know. Thanks my lovely friend.

  4. Colline says:

    There is nothing to prevent you from bringing lunch to him when he can no longer go out. A tablecloth and favourite foods may also make for a change from the norm at the nursing home.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks Colline. I have tried the olives, chocolate etc. (not together!) and it kind of works. Ants loves food usually but lately has lost appetite and has difficulty managing food in terms of getting it from a spoon into his mouth and also swallowing – argh. Nevertheless you have inspired me to think harder about his favourite foods and bring them in and the tablecloth idea is good too – many many many thanks!

  5. Aww so sorry that happened. I feel for you guys. You really do say it all with this line: but Anthony keeps hoping and I keep wishing. And he keeps falling.

  6. this is not a nice disease–but is there such a thing as a nice disease? I am so far away and can do nothing but give you words–but you have a network of people that hug you daily – can you feel it?

    • jmgoyder says:

      I feel it all right – you are wonderful to care when you are going through so much yourself!

      • on thehomefrontandbeyond says:

        I have come to realize that all of us have our burdens–I am really no different than anyone else–and right now your burdens are a little too fresh

      • jmgoyder says:

        Oh thank you so much. I often wonder about this whole suffering thing. I realize it’s all relative and that other people in other countries are suffering in dreadful ways and this bothers me a lot because it seems ridiculous to be sad about my own situation when it really is okayish. I get so confused.

      • on thehomefrontandbeyond says:

        I hate all this “put it in perspective” crap–when you are dealing with a difficult issue, you have to deal with it, and not to be heartless, but comparing your situation to other people’s does not cut it with me–you have to find your own best way to get through. Concentrate on yourself without feeling guilty–you deserve to have happiness too.

      • jmgoyder says:

        Brilliant and thank you. I am very good at guilt which is something I feel guilty about – haha! You are so wise and I am grateful for this pep talk!

      • on thehomefrontandbeyond says:

        hey, I like being called wise–you made my day!

  7. diannegray says:

    What an awful thing to happen, Julie 😦 Looks like more lunches and afternoon wines to be taken to him – it’s safer and there’s always someone around to help you if he falls…

  8. Louise G. says:

    Hugs Julie — your love and courage never cease to awe and inspire me!

    and seriously …. Avro is afternoon? Hmm…. here I was thinking you went to the bar!

  9. terry1954 says:

    Oh Julie, I am so sorry this day did not turn out as you had planned. Al does the same thing. He thinks he can do everything he always did, and he will take off without his walker or cane on purpose, because in his mind he thinks he can, but then we have to deal with the falls. Al woke up all confused this morning. He knows the date and day of month, but there were other things that he says and does that shows me his brain is not properly working

  10. dcwisdom says:

    I know how sad this is and how much you hold out hope for yourself and for Anthony. Your love and commitment to Anthony is beautiful. Many people put their loved ones away and ignore them because it’s hard or inconvenient or “it’s too sad for me,” and it is. You’ll have many stars in your crown for your dedication, your respect, and your care toward your husband who didn’t ask for this disease and who can’t help himself. Blessings to you, dear wife.

  11. I couldn’t help but think about you a couple of nights ago after reading one of your posts. And here you summarize what I was thinking about. Anthony keeps hoping and you keep wishing. The two of you are still so much living in the past, but who wouldn’t when the present is so painful and the future is so bleak. It just must be so hard to be stuck in that situation, I feel for you. But I’m also very happy for you you’ve had such a beautiful love story all these years. Heck, they shouldn’t remake the movie Love Story with your own love story, with all its quirks and ups and downs.

  12. Robyn Lee says:

    So sorry about this Julie… so disappointing and I agree with you, it is the slowness – the ongoingness, the uncertainty from day to day that seems the very worst for everyone involved… big hugs and love … xxoo

  13. What a terrible thing and such a worry for you it must have been so frightening when you found him in the vegetable patch and at least while he is in the nursing lodge you know there are people around to help him when he falls but still it must be a worry and such a shame you were not able to go out for lunch

  14. pixilated2 says:

    I’m sorry, Julie. I feel your pain and frustration in foiled plans. It was a different disease, but the same effect for us when dealing with Bob’s mom. We did our best and I know she appreciated it. I’m certain that Anthony does too even when he can’t express it.

  15. Fergiemoto says:

    So sorry about this, Julie. it is such a struggle for you all. Sending hugs.

  16. Judith Post says:

    I’m behind on…everything. I’m trying to catch up a little today. Just read this post. Sorry about no more lunch dates, but glad you thought of pre-dinner, red wine. I hope that’s a hit.

  17. Sounds like a wise decision. Each fall takes a toll on all of you. Hugs.

  18. bluebee says:

    I so admire the immense effort you have made to do as much as you can while it’s still possible

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