A New Season, Possibly

For the last two and a half years since diagnosis, changes have been gradual. Most of them have been physical and of a parkinsonian nature. The shuffling, tremor that started in the right hand and now affects both, sometimes a tremor in the legs, incredible slowness of movement, a blank facial expression – all those symptoms have been the most noticed. Even with these things, Dennis has been mostly independent. He moves himself from one place to the other, gets to the bathroom without help, puts himself to bed, gets a snack when he wants one, and makes decisions to go to church or the chiropractor or to visit Mom or my brother.

Cognitively, he is able to think and remember fairly well. He brightens up when talking with friends on the phone and carries on a meaningful conversation, although slowly. Sometimes he snaps into his scientific mind and amazes people. He has become focused on a few subjects, which he follows by listening to YouTube podcasts on his phone. He has a list of prophets that provide daily updates and he often listens to the same one several times.

He doesn’t spend as much time researching his own disease, although he runs across something every now and then. He is more centered on the supernatural, hoping for a better chance with God than he has noticed with medicine. The most recent therapy which he is still receiving is applied kinesiology which includes chiropractic, muscle testing, light therapy, nerve stimulation, cranial-sacral therapy, and tapping, all from the same practitioner who also prays with him.

He was alone at home for one week in April while I took Mom to Florida for a memorial and family visit. He had my brother and Lurae, a neighbor, looking in on him and providing meals. He seemed to be fine with that. My brother remarked that he perhaps did things better than he does when he’s being waited on all the time.

But I think I notice, following that week, a tendency to sleep more during the day, and not as well at night. It looks a lot like depression, and why would it not? There is so little he feels he can do except listen to his phone. That gets tiring so he goes and takes a nap.

Last night he could not tell what the food on his plate was. He was trying to cut it up as if it was chicken, but to his surprise it was salmon. He had a lot of trouble getting food on his fork and reverted to using his fingers to eat the fish and green beans, which is okay with me, but messy. He took a spoonful of cranberry relish and thought he was putting it on his plate but no, he was purposely putting it on a napkin that he thought was his plate. I think the whole mealtime experience devastated him. When I asked if he was having more trouble with his eyes he said yes, and that he thought it was probably his brain rather than his macular degeneration getting worse. He was very resigned and quiet about it.

My question is, are we heading into a period of more noticeable changes that are taking away vital functions? I hope he will still be able to travel to our daughter’s wedding in July. He was so looking forward to that.


A Day in January

Today we went to a chiropractor who has been doing applied kinesiology for Dennis. His functional medicine doctor sent him for this kind of therapy hoping to get some information that might have been missed before. He hasn’t been able to get rid of his tremor (both hands now) or regain strength with all of the treatments he’s been on, so she’s looking for something else.

Dennis likes the chiropractor. In one session he tested weak in an area and the practitioner asked if he had unresolved issues of shame in his childhood. It progressed into a surprising memory that surfaced and an emotional discussion that we all thought was beneficial. Today the doctor told me he felt there was still something more but it would have to wait until he could schedule a longer session with Dennis.

This search for reversal of his dementia is really calling on every bit of patience I can muster. There are so many things I have to do for Dennis to get him ready to go anywhere. He needs help with almost all his hygiene tasks, starting with being reminded that he needs to do them. His fingernails would be two inches long if I didn’t tell him they needed to be clipped – except for the right hand. He chews them off on that side.

Everything he is able to do himself is done at turtle sloth speed. His body resists his mind telling it what to do. For instance, the chiropractor has a very narrow adjusting table and it’s not the kind that starts with the patient standing up. Dennis has to lie down on it, and he is clueless how to do it. Lying on his back, with help, is do-able, but turning over onto his stomach without falling off the table is almost impossible. It took more than five minutes just to figure out a strategy let alone execute it.

All of these several times a day, plus all the pill supplements and his prescription meds for hypertension. It’s a lot to keep track of.

Light therapy, sound frequency therapy, essential oil therapy, as well as all the regular chiropractic adjusting gets done every time we go there. We also have potions from a company called CellCore for mitochondrial support and ATP function, Hydroxygen for energy and detox support, a mineral supplement and a parasitical. Evidently there are parasites present somewhere. But I really haven’t seen any positive changes over the last month. I know these things take time, but even the chiropractor thought there would be some improvement by now.

Dennis thought there would be improvement by now. I know he is getting impatient and wants to do something more, but he is not as good at researching any more. He has trouble reading anything, his hearing is problematic (as are the hearing aides), and he falls asleep easily. I don’t know if I should be taking up the search. I have my doubts that he is capable of carrying out the kind of program that would bring reversal, if it is even possible. I’m just having trouble taking care of both of us.