After several weeks of stability and no new problems developing, I was surprised by what happened today.
Dennis decided he should go for a walk. It’s been cold and rainy, making it easy to stay inside without really planning to avoid exercise. He realized his walks had been infrequent. He also has had trouble sleeping and staying asleep and thought the exercise might improve that problem.
I noticed right from the beginning that he was walking slowly. He had to be reminded every few steps to pick up his feet and walk instead of shuffle. We got to our turnaround point and he began to lean to his right and couldn’t straighten up. The steps got shorter and he said he had to stop for a minute.
I thought his posture might be making it more difficult to walk because at this point, he was leaning back and to the side, with his belly thrust forward and his knees always bent. It was very strange and he couldn’t correct it, but he insisted on “walking it out”. A few steps later he was locking up and hardly able to move so I ran back to the house for the walker with the sit down option. He tried to walk with it but soon gave up and sat down. He pushed himself backward, seated in the walker, all the way to the house. He even had trouble with that. It was very odd.
He was also puzzled, but decided that he had gone too far and had simply gotten tired. He was glad to be back in the house, resting in a chair that he could easily get up from.
This whole episode was very Parkinsonian in nature. I have thought that perhaps he was getting better, reversing some of his symptoms affecting mood and cognition. That may still be the case but this is a setback toward a movement disorder. It’s unsettling to me. I have been counting on him being able to move himself. If he loses that ability I don’t know if I can care for him without more help. Not good.