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Things Change Incrementally
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NPS is getting more and more frail. I worry about him, because his passivity feeds into the fraility. "I am frail; therefore, I try not."

Little by little, I see him puff and pant after a short walk. He leans heavily on his walker. A quick visit to the hardware store exhausts him.

I found our wedding picture taken nearly 20 years ago in an album of photos. We've both gotten gray, but he has become old, so quickly. Our chronological ages are only 23 months apart, but the difference is much greater in actual age.

We differ so much when facing pain and disability. I fight and look for causes, cures, amelioration; he lies back and suffers and expects outside rescue, blaming his physical weakness on everything imaginable as a substitute for exercise of will.

Expecting doctors and specialists to cure him. The VA sets up therapy, to teach him how to make the most of his remaining mobility and how to enhance it. He goes faithfully to the therapy classes, but when they're done, so is he, and he takes to his bed again.

I really don't understand his passivity and it frustrates me. It makes him angry that I won't help him more, but if I did, he'd be totally bedridden in six months, according to his VA doctors. They have advised me to help only when it's crucial and to encourage him to move and walk and excercise as much as possible. He refuses, except when biology demands.

He feels abandoned and neglected because I won't wait on him hand and foot. I'm frustrated because he won't try to help himself and scared that he'll just degenerate into a helpless bedridden invalid. That's his image of a Parkinson's patient, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

No solution; just keep putting one foot in front of the other, being as supportive as I can, in the best ways I know how.

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