Last Thanksgiving was one of the hardest of my life. I lost my Grandpa, a man I thought would not die until I myself was very old. At least to my mind I would be old. But when we discovered that Grandpa had Parkinson's we all rallied around him and were determined that he would be the first person anyone in my family had ever heard of to live through and beat the disease. He didn"t. Bone Cancer decided to join in on the side of Parkinson's Disease in defeating the undefeatable, my Grandpa. .
At first it wasn"t too bad Grandpa was only shaky and forgetful, that was annoying, but he and we were able to deal with that. Grandpa just had the males in the family that were around at the time doing whatever handiwork needed done around the house or yard. He would supervise of course and make sure it was done to his satisfaction. But as the Parkinson's progressed he became more and more unsteady and incontinent quite the embarrassment to an old farmer. Grandpa never really said much about it to anyone outside my Grandma but all of the grandkids knew what was happening we just decided within ourselves that it did not matter how bad Grandpa thought it was we would continue on and help him live life to the fullest extent possible. .
What we didn"t know because none of our parents told us is that Grandpa had originally diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease instead of the correct diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and had been on medication for that which heightened the effects of the Parkinson's on his mind. These medications helped accelerate the rapid progression of my grandpa's demise. But he was not taken off of them until three months before he died when a doctor at the nursing home, we had finally been forced to put him in on a doctor's orders to spare my grandma's life as she was working to hard trying to keep grandpa home that she was slowly killing herself, discovered that contrary to what the doctors in Dubuque were telling Grandma he did not have Alzheimer's at all.