wings and things

From panic to pause….

on February 10, 2015

For the last few months I have spent a lot of days with Ants in his room at the nursing home, just watching dvd series like Downton Abbey; The Bridge etc. Ants loves anything that has an historical slant so this has been a great way of spending time together.

However, some of these movie afternoons are interrupted by staff performing ablutionary tasks, or simply moving Ants from a wheelchair into the easy chair. These interruptions are sometimes difficult and complicated, but Ants is treated with respect and, often, affection. Phew!

If I am there, one of the things I do immediately is to mute the television because I have never forgotten how one of Anthony’s many doctors explained to me that people with PD cannot focus on two things at once. So, if carers are trying to get him to stand up, but the TV is blaring news about the latest ghastly situation, he freezes mid-stride, because all of these sensory experiences are crashing into each other and he cannot focus on walking.

Whenever I get a late-night phone call from the nursing home (not very often thank goodness!) the carer will help Ants to talk to me on his own phone (which he very rarely answers now because he has forgotten how), this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Are you okay, Ants?
Ants: When are you coming to get me?
Me: I’ll be there soon, Ants. I love you and you have to stop panicking. It’s all okay and you are in a nursing home with lots of people looking after you!
Ants: But I just want you. When will you be here, Jules?
Me: I’m on my way, Ants- I love you so much!

A couple of years ago I used to race into town to make sure Ants was okay but, after several times of finding him asleep, I stopped panicking, started pausing, and the whole pause thing has somehow killed all of the panic.

So now, when I feel the panic creeping into my scalp, ankles and elbows, I stop everything that is bothering/torturing me and I just PAUSE!

So, despite the new-agey sound of this, there is a pragmatic outcome I think when you put PANIC on hold in order to Pause, you can get a better perspective. I think!

46 responses to “From panic to pause….

  1. So true Julie! I love how you stop panic with the pause button! Brilliant.

  2. Rhonda says:

    You have come so far…xoxo

  3. KDKH says:

    Excellent strategy!

  4. bulldog says:

    I think you are right… luv that pause button….

  5. I have had lots of practice at the ‘pause’ button over the past three and a half years.
    Sometimes i forget to use it though.

  6. A little ‘pause’ that saves a lot of panic… and kind of like when growing up and my mother taught me to ‘think before you speak’…. If only I had followed that advice all the times I should have ha!… Diane

  7. You are a wise woman Julie! ❤
    Diana xo

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great post, Julie I love “P” words. I was actually just exploring them a few weeks ago to help myself deal with things. I was leaning towards “patience” and “perserverence,” which is related to releasing my music. I could list many more “P” words I want to add to my life list, but for both of us – let’s add more “P”eace into our lives!
    ps. Nighttime calls always have given me panic, too. It’s hard not to get an adrenaline rush when the phone rings, especially with PSTD.

  9. I think so also. That fight/flight response responds to quieting down and that is helpful. Even so much as a deep breath stimulates a nerve in the body that is anti this stress reaction. New or old age, the fundamental simple things that help have probably never changed. And, glad it’s helped you. Love, Paulette ❤

  10. My Heartsong says:

    I have heard of people praying for the “pause” when it comes to hearing something someone has said- helps them to be calm and not react, but allows them to respond. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. susanpoozan says:

    That is very philosophical of you.

  12. janeslog says:

    He’ll love Downton Abbey – its very popular here. All you have to do is stop the DVD and start it again after the nurses have finished.

  13. I think this is an excellent idea. I am very glad that you talked about PD patients getting confused if there are 2 many stimuli. I didn’t know that and it may be very useful. Thank you for sharing. Even though it may just be a tiny little thing, it makes a difference to know it.

  14. Vicki says:

    Excellent idea, Julie.
    (and a great idea for everyday anxiety too).

  15. I love the pause. I’m telling you Julie, we are on some kind of wave length….just today I was telling someone shhhhh, just relax. 😉

  16. Terry says:

    This hits a soft spot with me. When Al got real bad he was a constant complainer. On my side there was nothing else I could do but cry, pray and stress. Many times I told fibs to him because I had already taken care of his request only seconds ago. If I could go back in time, maybe I would have been even more compassionate. Maybe I would have repeatedly done the same thing over and over at his request instead of looking at it from the reality side. My heart breaks still to this day. I miss him so much. When will the heart ever quit hurting

    • jmgoyder says:

      You were the most extraordinary carer to Al. I could not have done what you did and one of the reasons I can be less anxious about things now is that I don’t have be the carer but can now be the wife. You were carer, sister, everythinger! My hat is off to you Terryxxxxxxxx

      • Terry says:

        I am working hard on being that strong person once again. I think Al’s illness drained me for awhile and now I’m beginning to climb back up. You give me strength dear friend with your words

  17. Pause is a great button and I love how you came up with it to deal with the panic. Hats off to you Jules 🙂

    • jmgoyder says:

      It even works with traffic lights! Once I would have zoomed through the orange light but now I pause and stop.

      • I wish more people would hit the pause button when it comes to traffic lights, it would make the roads much safer. There are times that I drive like a “little old lady” and I’m definitely hitting the pause button lol

  18. cecilia says:

    Tht is the most inspiring thing I have read in AGES! Bloody brilliant darling.. c

  19. Yes if you remind yourself that by the time you arrive he will most likely be asleep you will not stress so much

  20. tersiaburger says:

    You are a wise lady! Lots of love

  21. Gina's Professions for PEACE says:

    Good for you, and an excellent example for us all. I like this reminder for myself, if going into panic or worry about anything, hit the ‘pause’ button! Hugs to you Julie. xo Gina

  22. Tiny says:

    That’s absolutely correct, in my experience too, pausing let’s us to take in the situation and gain perspective.

  23. when i still did therapy i always recommended people stop and breathe. that one act can change so many things for us. you are such a clever woman and have had to find your way without a guidebook. one needs to be written, maybe by you but only you know that.

    much love and light my friend

    • jmgoyder says:

      With all that is happening in your life and what you are facing, alone, and as a couple, I find it absolutely astonishing that you give so much to others, like me. Thank you Sandra xx

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