I'm new here too and also not really the type to express my feelings to strangers... but it's time to share my experience with the final stages of Parkinson's.
My mother passed away a few hours ago in a nursing home from advanced Parkinson's. She turned 75 on October 11.
She first started noticing feeling "strange" (dizzy, light headed, etc.) back in the mid 1990's... but the doctors misdiagnosed her condition for several years. She was finally diagnosed with Parkinson's by a neurologist around 2002 after uncontrollable shaking in her right arm became pronounced. She was prescribed medications such as Requip and actually did very well for several years until those drugs eventually became ineffective. Her medication regimen was changed in 2008 and her health became stable again... though not terribly good... until about
a year ago.
Late last year her health turned downhill very quickly. She lost her desire for eating which resulted in a 50 lb weight loss over a 6 month period... going from 130 lbs to 80 lbs. She became very weak and frail. I had to admit her to a nursing home after a 17 day hospital stay in June of this year. A feeding tube into her stomach was also inserted. Last week she developed Pneumonia and was in ICU for several days. For a short time while there it looked like she was making a miraculous recovery... but she quickly deteriorated again after returning to the nursing home. She passed away very peacefully this afternoon.
Of course I am very sad tonight... but I am also very thankful she no longer has to suffer.
Her nursing home insurance coverage expired two days ago which would have resulted in a $5k per month care bill... so it's almost like a higher power said "it's time".
My mother had all of the signs of advanced Parkinson's and was a "textbook" example... so to speak. Surprisingly, she never had dementia. On her good days, she would talk your arm off and remember things about
the past that I wouldn't be able to remember even on my best days. She was like that several times just last week.
My mother has always wanted her body to be donated to Parkinson's research... and I am going to totally honor her wishes.
I pray for all of the Parkinson's patients and caregivers here. I understand exactly what you're going though. God bless.
Post Edited (sphipps) : 10/15/2012 9:52:43 PM (GMT-6)