Recently, I have received some very nice, and very encouraging emails from some of you who take your busy time to read my blog. I truly appreciate getting feedback from those of you who are having the same experiences that I am. Some of you are farther down the path than I, and I appreciate the insight. I pray that I give someone that insight also.
Now that we are retired, life is slower, less complicated, and allows time for reflection on my situation and its' consequences. I am enjoying the slower pace. I enjoy my naps! Naps are a good thing! However, the time to reflect has brought issues that I had not expected. For instance, today was the first time my wife has said, she was worried about my Parkinson's and dementia. Up to now, she has been stoic, tough, almost in denial. This openness may have come from me punching her the other night. (Read my last post. I am not a wife beater.) Or, it could come from a more recent event. A couple of days ago, I don't remember how far back, but recently, were at the Credit Union and I was paying a bill. I had to sign the electronic pad to authorize the transaction, and I forgot how to write my signature. I may have forgotten exactly who I was, I really don't know. All I know is, I was blank! My loving wife coached me into signing something that looked like my name, and we went on our way. But it was disturbing.
As I said, I have had time to reflect on what I have, and where things are going. For the first time, I can really say I am frightened. The unknown is always unnerving, but this is different. The first time I went out of a helicopter on a half inch wire, 250 feet above a pitching Navy ship, I was frightened. But, I knew others had done it and survived. I also knew someone who did not survive. But I realized that once I did it, the fear would be gone. However, with PD and Dementia, I will never reach the point of familiarity. I will only reach the point of no return. And that is what has me frightened. I told myself yesterday; "This is NOT how I want to die!" In my Navy career, I did crazy, dangerous, even foolish things, in combat and on liberty. If I would have been killed in any one of those situations, I would have had no regrets. I have always been a man of action. As a Gunner's Mate, I always took charge, especially in emergencies. It is how GOD made me. But now, all I can do is wait. I can't charge out and confront the situation. I can't solve the impossible equipment failure, I can't keep the unhappy sailor from committing suicide. All I can do is wait for this disease to progress. Yes, I can be proactive and exercise, take my meds, keep my medical appointments, be open with my wife and doctors about my symptoms, and I am doing all of that. But to no avail. I still get worse, I still am depressed, and I am still a worry to those who love me. Again, I realize GOD has a plan for me, and I have no intentions of taking matters into my own hands. I am sure that others who have been in my place have had much the same emotions. I am only expressing them for my own well being. You see, one thing I have learned, getting things in the open is better than keeping them bottled up inside. Sometime you, I, can't tell everyone exactly what is on our mind or in our heart, but this blog let's me express my emotions when they are fresh and poignant. Thanks for your concerns and encouragement.