Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Life And Writing by Jane Toombs

    I will be bringing my 86-year old Life Partner home on June first. Or, perhaps, June second. This after he was taken by ambulance to Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital on a Sunday near the end of March because he couldn’t get out of bed.        
    He was difficult to diagnose and finally wound up in the Long Term Care portion of the hospital.  There, PT has been able one day be able to get him to walk back and forth between the parallel bars easily, but another day he might not be able to stand without someone supporting him.
    Finally today, May 14, a neurologist came up with the correct diagnosis--he has Parkinson’s Disease, which there is no cure for.  But there are helpful medications.  So I will be able to bring him home.  I’ve been redoing the house for a disabled adult--handicapped shower, etc, including an EZ lift to be able to move him from one place to another.  Mentally he‘s okay, so it’ll be a relief to both of us to have him home.  Our cat, Kinko, will be especially pleased. 
   Why am I blogging about his?  I think because neither of us ever considered something like this might happen. But it did and we floundered around for a bit before I made the decision that we’d both be happier if he was home.  No, I won’t be able to do all his care.  But Medicare pays for Home Health to come in and assist me.  Plus, once Home Heath is involved, physical therapy also comes in to work with the patient.  One of the most helpful treatments for Parkinson’s is PT.  
   With him home I’ll be able to write again,  I haven’t been able to  do that what with ordering the needed equipment--do you know you need an MD’s prescription if Medicare is going to be involved in helping to pay for it?  Plus the house is a mess because of the changes necessary, and I’ve had to deal with carpenters and plumbers.  Then the back and forth to the hospital takes time as well.     
   So things will soon be looking up for us both.  And I’ll be able to catch up on some of  the writing I planned to do this year.  Which may sound cold, but my life really is him, the cat and writing.  I can’t write now because  the time is not there and it’s like a part of me is missing.  (And, yes, two of the unwritten books are for Champagne.) 
   I guess maybe authors are different.

Jane Toombs


Big Mike said...

Sometimes the golden years are not so golden. The sweet double edge to life long love is to watch the suffering of someone you care about so much. Watched my mother deal with it for Dad, my wife for me during my year of cancer bull, and now me with my wife's RA difficulties. The problem is the alternative, there isn't one. We have to just bite the bullet and push thought, no matter how difficult. Our thoughts are with ya Jane and always will be.

Your big bud big Mike

Ute Carbone said...

Thinking about you Jane and wishing you the care and love necessary to get through the hard times.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Jane, I have long admired you and the way you've handled your own aging process-- I can say that because I'm right behind you. We plan to stay in our home, too. You are a good example. Some days you probably don't think so. When I had a brief look at this with my father-in-law, one of my Social Worker friends told me, "Everything you are feeling is normal."

Normal isn't fun. We all love you and wish you, all three, well.

Karen Wiesner said...

You're an inspiration, Jane. My thoughts are with you and your SO. : )

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January Bain said...

Ah, Jane, I really don't have the wisdom of the others that have spoken before me today but to say that my heart breaks for you and wishes I could take it away and make it right. You are an inspiration in that you can so articulate what you are going through and that must be a balm to others experiencing the same things. Best, J.

Annabel Aidan said...

Best wishes to both of you. And the writing, when you get back to it, will prove refuge and solace from what you're currently facing. It will also be richer with even more love shining through. Our thoughts are with you.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Dear Jane,
We haven't communicated in a personal way yet, but if you haven't already learned a lot about Parkinson's, I do have one little tip that may make things easier. Music. My sister died last fall (cancer) but had dealt with progressively worsening Parkinsonian symptoms for over ten years. Music was her savior to get her moving. When the golden oldies played, she could moved comfortably and sing clearly. It doesn't seem like much, but it sure made her happy to be able to function that much.

Liz Flaherty said...

I'm so glad I happened onto this, though sorry things are hard. My husband and I are just entering the "golden years" (I guess--I'm 61 and he's 63) and it's all good so far, but I can already feel my kicking and screaming getting ready to set in. I hope things go well and happy for you and your partner.