Parkinson's Disease

May 10, 2020
Parkinson's is a condition which affects the brain causing problems such as: stiffness, shaking and stiffness which get worse as time goes on. The treatment for Parkinson's include therapies to help movement and medicines. Parkinson's is cause by the loss of nerve cells in part of the brain. However it still isn't clear what exactly happens

Dear Parkinson's,

You stole my gran from me. It was slow decline for around ten or so years. Each year she got worse. At first, it was a little shake that was hardly noticeable and then it got more noticeable. Granny slowed down with tasks and with walking. Movements became harder and you could see her having to think more and more about how to do something. 

The medication Granny was put on, made her hallucinate which was so difficult to watch. She would tell you that helicopters were in the garden or that tanks were outside in the street or, that her back garden was made into an airport. The hardest one, was hearing her saying about all the babies around the house. 

What could we do? What could we say? We went along with the stories because that made her less distressed. But, sometimes you would forget and say "there isn't anything there granny". She would tell you there was. It was hard being so young and having to negotiate conversations that you knew weren't 'real'. It was hard for everyone. Luckily, they found/ tweaked Grannies medication so she no longer hallucinated. It was such a relief to everyone involved. 

Granny had to get an adapted shower room put in because she could no longer use the bath. Granny loved a bath, so it was hard seeing her having to loose it. But, it was to dangerous for her in case she fell or someone was having to lift her out the bath. Granny was from an era that they only had baths, so that is probably why she loved them so much. As time went on, she liked the shower more. 

As time went on, Granny became a bit confused and was diagnosed with dementia. Though, I wonder if it was the tablets she was on and still do wonder. But, she still with prompts remembered who people were. She still had her witty sense of humour and was on the ball with conversations you didnt realise she was paying attention to. She caught you off guard at times. 

As time was closing to the end of Grannies life, I had started to struggle more with my mental health. Granny was one of my biggest supports throughout my anorexia treatment and her and grandpa came up every week to see me in hospital in 2015. But, at this point we were in late 2018. Granny couldn't go out much. 

She became wheelchair and hoist bound. Which meant she was almost house bound. It was heart breaking. She still loved her cuppa teas and apparently I was one of the best at making them when she no longer could (though think she was being biased as she was the one who taught me how to make her perfect cuppa). 

Christmas 2018 came around and I had a feeling it might be the last we would have with Granny. Each Christmas Granny and Grandpa would come down to ours for Christmas dinner but that year we had to go to theirs. Granny was struggling to keep her eyes open. Her eyes were clenched tight most of the time due to the Parkinson's affecting her muscles in her eyes. All I could think was "I want to see Grannies brown eyes". 

2019 started off badly for us. In the January Granny got asperation pneumonia, which is caused my food going down the windpipe and into the lungs. She was hospital bound for a week or so. She made a recovery, but not fully. She came out weaker than she went in. This was the point I knew 2019 wouldnt end without her. 

The next couple months she declined. It wasn't until the April where she contracted asperation pneumonia again, we knew she wouldn't survive. She was quickly put on palliative care as she now couldnt do anything for herself. On at midnight on the 12th of April, she took her last breaths with pain killers and my Grandpa by her bedside. 

It was the hardest news ever to get given. She was my world. She was my biggest inspirations in life. she was a trooper. Everyday since she passed I still think about her. All the good times we had and all the inspirational chats she gave me about getting myself better from my mental illness. I can now open heartedly say, that I hope I've proven to Granny I can get better and I am now four weeks out of inpatient... the longest I've gone since October 2018. I'm now getting my life back slowly but surely. Which is all she ever dreamed of for me. 

Becca x


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