Wally’s condition is at the point where the neurologist can’t perform any more magic. His combination of diseases have taken over—Dystonia and Peripheral Neuropathy together with the Parkinson’s. His poor body is so twisted. The picture on the left was taken in 2006, on our 25th Anniversary when we returned to the Old Mill Inn in Toronto where we were married in the Chapel and held the reception in the wonderful restaurant after. In the past three years, his body has doubled over so that he is much shorter than I am, and he has lost even more weight. Only his legs have not shrunk in length.
One night in the past month, when the drugs did not kick in, I found him with his feet facing each other, and he was quaking from his waist down. He couldn’t stand. Eventually the meds did kick in, but it was scary to see and scary for him to experience. We have now fitted him for a wheelchair, and we’ve signed papers to admit him to a long-term care facility near me as soon as a room becomes available because the assisted-living home can no longer handle his needs. If he catches the swine flu, he won’t make it. He’s already having problems breathing because of the way the Dystonia has twisted his body to bend over his stomach. This deformation compresses his chest so his heart and lungs have to work harder. Eventually his heart will give out. He already experiences many “cold” sweats, which is indicative of heart trouble, and I’ve observed his breathing is more labored, though he never complains. The Peripheral Neuropathy actually numbs the terrible pain the Dystonia normally causes. Not to panic. This is not the typical path of Parkinson’s Disease. Wally has inherited his peculiar “cocktail” mix of conditions. I just haven’t had the heart to keep up the Parkinson’s blog. Frankly, for me, it is not cathartic, just plain painful to go over what we live with every day.