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Post #7

February 12, 2013 - Author: Alva - Comments are closed

7:30 p.m. Monday, February 11, 2013

My sister, a highly skilled supervisory nurse, once told me, “Alva, when you try to self-diagnose your latest malady, you have a fool for a patient.” So be it.

One month has passed since I became a Hospice patient. It is time for another self-diagnosis of my health in regards to Parkinson’s. Compounding my own appraisal is the additional fact that I have cervical, thoracic, and spinal stenosis.  o doctor has decided which ailment is contributing the greatest effect. So I face a dilemma in self-diagnosis. Regardless of the reason of my perceived condition, it is immaterial.

My systems are slowly shutting down. The muscular system both involuntary and voluntary is the most evident. I can still walk a short distance in the house with a walker; I can get in and out of bed or a chair, with great difficulty. I have lost dexterity and strength in my hands and depend on help when eating. The only writing I can perform is signing my name.  The muscles on my face and scalp are slowly forming an expressionless mask. My scalp muscles have tightened and I feel like I’m wearing a hat two sizes too small. My tongue muscles have weakened making it difficult to speak and control eating and swallowing. My jaw muscles are not allowing chewing so everything I eat must be of a consistency that I can swallow without chewing. My vocal chords have shrunk and I talk in a whisper.

The involuntary muscles that control the movements of the digestive tract are losing tone making it difficult to eliminate waste. In fact, I cannot clean myself after a movement. My kidneys are still doing great. The muscles controlling respiration are weakening and exhaust me after a coughing spell.

Amazingly I still appreciate the touch of a woman with a libido only slightly diminished. My thoughts and reasoning abilities appear to be as sharp as ever. I have trouble expressing my thoughts and get angry at myself and others when trying to communicate. The Hospice folks are wonderful and always pick me up when doing their thing.  For this, I am very grateful.

Everything appears to be on schedule. I expect no surprises, and I will keep you informed until I can no longer communicate.

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