I think Anthony has entered a new phase of Parkinson’s Disease just in the last week or so. Taking him for drives, or home for the morning or afternoon, or out to lunch, or to visit friends/family has all-of-a-sudden, it seems, become something we don’t do any more.
This new phase is partly due to a deterioration in Anthony’s physical mobility, and his current sleepiness. The transition from Anthony and Julie gallivanting off for the day to Anthony and Julie sitting in his room at the nursing home, watching re-runs of Master Chef, has been strangely enjoyable for me.
Today I had to take Ming to town to get the bus to Perth at 8.45am so I thought I may as well go straight to the nursing home and spend the day there. After seeing Ming off, I found myself in an I-can’t-wait-to-see-Anthony-mood (a mood that is capturing me more and more).
So, for the first time ever, I spent the entire day at the nursing home (from 9am – 4pm). Partly, I did this as an experiment to see if I could cope. But my other reason was to see if Anthony would like me being with him in the nursing home rather than going out; he did! I will now plan all of my writing etc. to be done in the nursing home.
I’m not blogging as consistently as before – hope to catch up soon with blog friends.
Today I went into town just after lunch to spend the afternoon with Anthony at the nursing home. This has become the ‘norm’ now because a few weeks ago it just became too difficult to take him out and about or to the farm on a regular basis because of mobility problems. Over the last several days Ants has been quite content to just have me in a chair next to him with my arm around him, watching Judge Judy, Dr Phil and, if we are lucky, a good afternoon movie.
I usually stay from around 1.30 – 4.30pm (my new routine) and it beats the hell out of my old routine of taking Anthony on outings, or home, then being unable to manage. Even at the nursing home, I have been told not to lift, move, or even shift him in his chair, because he is now strictly classified as a 2-person lift.
This afternoon I entered Anthony’s room with wine and olives and my usual ‘goodies’ and he was asleep in his armchair. Usually I wake him up, but he looked too peaceful so I just sat next to him and quietly ate all of the olives. Suddenly a nurse entered the room to take his blood pressure because he had been asleep all day. He woke up but only slightly and the nurse and I struggled to get one of his arms free from his jumper because he was so limp and ‘out-of-it’. Well his BP was 190/110 – very high. This, and the fact that I couldn’t really wake him up enough to say goodbye when I left to go home, alarmed me a bit.
On the way back home to the farm, I allowed myself to think that Anthony might be dying. But my thinking of this possibility could not translate into a coherent thought because I cannot imagine him not being here. Despite the difficulties of home nursing, the transition to a nursing home, and all of the mini-traumas in between, I have not yet been able to imagine life without Anthony in it.
My father, Brin, died of a heart attack on this day, 36 years ago. He was only in his 50s.