Wally was declared an emergency last week and moved by ambulance to a long-term care facility — Extendicare Oshawa — where he will receive 24/7 nursing care. His weight has dropped to 101 lbs. The care he was receiving at the assisted living home was not adequate for his needs. His teeth have fallen out so he needs a special diet, and the state of his tailbone ulcer has reached such severity that he requires specialized wound care and constant rotating in bed to keep weight off the wound.
     However, he almost gave a nurse a heart attack yesterday when on his own he got out of bed and hobbled over to the “parking spot on the wall” where his walker and wheelchair were placed. His undaunting spirit carries on.
     Our daughter Trish helped me to tell him on Friday because he has feared moving to a nursing home and she worked out with him what to pack. While I had to go ahead and sign the papers, she waited with him for the ambulance. She said he waved good-bye to all his friends and staff at Kingsway as the paramedics wheeled him out on the stretcher.
     Trish and I are relieved because we are impressed with the specialized care provided at Extendicare Oshawa. He’s also under the care of a doctor assigned to his case so his meds and wound care can be adjusted immediately if required.
     For me, the last two months have been a nightmare of constant worry and advocating for corrective care on his part. Our family doctor, who saw Wally’s backside “wound”, and Durham’s Community Access Care forced the health ministry to move him ahead on the waiting list. We have been very fortunate to have such a caring family doctor, Dr. Stacey Ross, as well as determined neurologist, Dr. John Adams, of the Canada’s highly respected movement disorder clinic in Stouffville, Ontario.
     On Saturday morning, I awoke so stiff I could barely walk and then I found it difficult to stay awake. My next-door neighbor drove me to Oshawa so I could visit with Wally for a few hours in the afternoon, and I promised to have dinner with him today. It will take him about a week to adjust to his new environment and for Extendicare to get his schedules and services working. He will receive special massage therapy together with personalized activities assigned along with his diet and wound care.
     It will be some time before I go back to journaling about Wally’s battle with Parkinson’s on this blog or leading my Facebook group forward. I am exhausted from worry, lack of sleep and advocate intervention. Now that I can let go, my body is letting me know just how tired it really is. It’s unfortunately true: In our health system, if you’re asleep at the wheel, nothing gets done.
     Thank you all for your loving support and prayers,


About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
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  1. Bob Kuhn says:

    Bonnie;Thank you for your model of courage and commitment to Wally and to the others you represent on your web page. I am encouraged by you, and sincerely hope you will allow us to continue this somewhat silent vigil with you. It is filled with prayer and caring despite the anonymity of we who watch and feel your pain.Bob

  2. Bonnie Toews says:

    Thank you, Bob. I'm sorry so much has past before I've acknowledged your caring support. I've just put one foot in front of the other and kept marching. I didn't think to look for comments attached to my blogs. How thoughtless is that! Hugs to you.Bonnie

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