Wednesday, May 30, 2018

My Dad ended his fight with Parkinson's.

My dad, Frank, had been fighting Parkinson's for 13 years. He did a great job holding it off. He was committed to his participation in a study at the Mayo Clinic for PD sufferers. He tried so hard. Mom was a fierce fighter with him. She worked incredibly hard keeping dad on schedule with his meds, exercise, appts., etc.... Summer, 2017, his delusions started taking over his brain. He thought people were fighting with him, trying to steal his money, saw fires, etc.... It was just so sad to watch. Mom tried to keep him at home but he was just way too hard to deal with. He would get up at night and do very odd things. One time mom found dad in the van in the garage with a duffle bag packed, at 0300 hrs. He said he was waiting for me to pick him up. Other times he would get outside and wander. Sometimes he fell down outside and couldn't get up. And mom couldn't get him up when he would fall. We moved them into Lilydale Senior Living memory care unit. It was the best care we could possible give him. But he still was very active and delusional at night. The stress was just too much for mom. She moved back home and we kept dad at Lilydale. This tore him up. He thought mom had left him for another man, and taken all his money. Very sad times. Christmas was going to be at Jim & Anne's new Afton house. Knowing this would likely be dad's last Christmas with us we wanted to make it as special as possible. We hired a great music duo, husband and wife Andy and Catherine. They let me play drums with them too! She plays piano, and he plays guitar. They often perform at Cafe Latte. They were the greatest. And dad loved it! Paula got him up dancing. No easy feat for dad, he struggled just to walk by this time. He even managed to keep his hallucinations in check. I think he was really having a great time. Unfortunately, this was the last time he seemed to be somewhat in touch with reality. January was the worst. He almost never was with us in the moment. It was constant delusions and hallucinations. His food intake almost completely stopped. He was checking out, so to speak. By mid January he was pretty much catatonic. We all kept vigil with him. Taking turns sleeping next to him. And spending our days with him, trying to keep upbeat, yet knowing the end was near. On January 24th Jim, Anne, Paula, and I were with him in the evening. Mom and Linda had been with him all day and went home around dinner time. We had music playing and we kept talking to dad. Anne had a stethoscope so she could give us a report on his heartbeat and breathing. She said his heartbeat had started changing dramatically and she knew he would die soon. I'll let you watch Paula's eulogy for the rest. Partly because I'm crying too much to type right now. And partly because she did such a fabulous job with it.  Frank Winsor Eulogies

Linda, Evan, and Steph did great jobs with their eulogies too. Please click on them and watch.

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