The trip to our daughter's graduation has been canceled and I am working on that detachment I knew I was going to need. Easier said than done.
Last week after the arrangements were made to make the trip to Montreal by train early on June 3, I sat down and told Michael the plans. Perhaps I was wrong to tell him. In the past I have taken one of two approaches : informing him ahead of time and not informing him. Certainly for small daytime outings the best approach is to leave any announcements until the last minute when I know he is going to be able to handle the event physically and mentally and give him what details he needs then. That usually works. But for more important events that are not so easily canceled and for which there can be no flexibility at the last minute, like a doctor's appointment, I find it best to warn him early in the day rather than spring it on him at the last minute. This trip to Montreal I felt fell into that category.
On hearing the news he immediately had a panic attack. I assured him we could cancel right up to the last moment if necessary and he need not worry about anything. I would take care of everything. It was obvious, though, that as the week wore on, it was preying on his mind. He had several nights where he was convinced at bedtime or during a wake-up in the night that the trip would happen the next morning. On a couple of occasions the anxiety at bedtime was severe enough that I had to medicate him.
One evening, after a daytime visit to his mother's where there was some discussion about the Queen's visit to Canada in July, he came home, had a calm evening but then brought out his pens and sketch book and started doodling. The page was full of scribbles and marks that made no sense at all. I asked him to tell me about his picture. He, with all seriousness, explained that the Queen was in a box on his page and he was devising a plan to protect her from the inevitable explosive attack she was going to suffer. He had been entrusted, it seemed, to work on this problem. He continued to work on this plan a few minutes longer and suddenly ripped up the page and threw it away. I felt mild alarm because this was the first time in months that his paranoid delusions had surfaced and it was a bad sign.
To add another complication, he is suffering from severe constipation, the worst since his break-down in the late fall. Whether this is a side effect of the increased anxiety he is suffering or whether it is the actual cause of the anxiety, is unknown. Today is day 8 without any action so the nurse arrived this morning armed with an enema. I have administered enemas in the past but I have handed over the task to the professionals now. One less thing for me to do. Incredibly still no action. This was another factor in my decision to cancel. As the days wore on with no bowel activity I was dreading the journey to Montreal where I might miss the entire event because I would be spending the day scouting out washrooms and assisting him myself or flagging down men to do so for me if male only washrooms were available. You see, when he is uncomfortable with constipation he understandably spends most of the day on or near the facilities. Then there would be the challenges of this problem on the moving train. To make it to this event but then have to miss it for all of that was going to be far more frustrating than not going at all.
So all in all, the Parkinson's gods were conspiring against me. As soon as I announced last night that the trip was cancelled he did have a calmer night. Maybe he will get some relief in that other department soon. If not we may be facing hospitalization again and all the nastiness that entails.
In the meantime I am still working on my detachment.