I chose the movie"Julie and Julia" for a reason. When making a selection I usually do so with consideration for Michael's tastes which run to thriller and adventure films. I'm quite a fan of such films myself so it is never a sacrifice to do so. I often save the more sensitive films for my own viewing, knowing that Michael would usually be bored silly.
But that was in the past. Michael is now into year 16 of this disease. Diagnosed in November 1994 I have calculated that we are roughly 3285 days into this wasting disease. That is a very rough estimate since doctors usually add a couple of years onto the date of diagnosis because most patients have been displaying mild symptoms for up to two years before seeking help. That was certainly Michael's situation. So 3285 days is a very conservative estimate of the days we have been living with this disease. More about that to come but first back to the movies.
As I said "Julie and Julia" wasn't our standard viewing fare but of late, Michael's Parkinson's symptoms have escalated rapidly, and not just the very debilitating physical symptoms. His mental health has suddenly deteriorated to the point that he is very susceptible to visual and auditory influences; films that are filled with action, violence and angst now cause him great consternation. In fact they can make him crazy with fear just like a young child watching a frightening film, unable to dissociate fact from fiction. So films like "Public Enemies" with my favourite Johnny Depp had to be scrapped halfway through when I saw Michael rocking back and forth in his seat, his face buried in his hands. As usual he said nothing of his anxiety but his body language spoke volumes. The movie went off immediately, as soon as I woke up long enough to take notice. The film was obviously not that thrilling for me.
So we are now at the point in this disease where my poor dear husband must be monitored like a small child whose mental and physical well-being are dependent on good care. It hasn't been a sudden arrival at this stage but a long arduous journey marked by dramatic crises along the way. The story of our lives together with this disease I hope to bring to your home. Be assured that it won't be a tragic tale but I hope one of grace, humour and love. We are all struggling with life's trials in one form or another. Ours just happens to be well mapped out with a vast store of literature available on the subject. I hope to bring it off the pages of the medical journals and into the realm of the ordinary.