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E.G.

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Parents [Dec. 3rd, 2017|08:17 am]
E.G.
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Yesterday was a little grey and damp, so i had proposed we take afternoon tea at the local "English village". (I want to roll my eyes and mutter, "Soooo precious," but i must admire how the land has been well stewarded while still making an apparent mint for the developers.)

My mother has been experiencing what she calls "quivering" but seems to be best described as "internal tremors." I have been diagnosed with "essential tremor" which means, best as i can tell, "Right, your hands are shaking when you wake in the morning? Yup. Well, if that becomes a problem we have meds to help stop the shaking."

(Oh, good grief, Edward's now trying to tunnel out the door.)

Internal tremors may be a symptom of Parkinson's (which Mom's uncle had), MS, and, woo, Essential Tremor.

Let me say that having allergies, psoriasis, eczema, seborrhea, asthma, essential tremors, apparently the onset of arthritis, TMJ and something occasionally unpleasant with my trimengial nerves, an irregular lower digestive system, hemorrhoids that can't have the usual treatments due to all the other skin issues, and depression -- no doctor has come straight out and said, "it sucks to be you," but i've gotten a good share of helpless shrugs. And steroids. My general response now to a new symptom is to tolerate it as long as i can. (I also think i am uncommonly clumsy, which i can state as having a somewhat impaired sense of proprioception. It's not just the loose ankles i keep spraining.) At least plantar fascitis and achilles tendonitis are conditions where one can hope to heal.

All this to say, my lived experience is that there are a g'zillion symptoms that are unpleasant and mean only that i have the unpleasant sensation and need to try to care for it -- but are only symptoms of that very common degenerative state known as being alive.

I'm not particularly worried that Mom has Parkinsons or MS, but i do worry about Mom. Her failures of explicit memory, both episodic and semantic, are the most worrisome. She's blamed stress and then blamed my father for the stress for her unhappiness for about as long as i can remember. Stress and dysfunctional self medicating with alcohol and lack of sleep all are part of a viscous cycle. Honestly, i think Parkinson or MS would be *easier* as diagnoses for her. Dealing with stress when the cause is completely internal is going to take an emotional maturity she's never evinced. I've been advocating for a therapist as a coach who will help her do what she "knows" she needs to do. Past history shows that she gets to a point in addressing her stress via whatever means where there's some barrier that leads her to start over with a new self help technique or stop visiting a therapist because of some failing of the therapist. (Generally it's been couples therapy, and she decides the therapist doesn't understand how Dad is "snowing" the therapist with his charm or she's learned all she needs.)

I don't have great hopes.

My sister says that Mom has agreed to peruse getting a neurologist referral for the internal tremors and a therapist to help her deal with the stress of this condition. I am dubious about the latter. She's more likely to find yet another fad.

Mom plans to "enjoy the holidays" (while worrying about the tremors), and is postponing medical visits until after the new year. She doesn't feel up to going out for tea, though, so Laura and I brought tea to her for lunch yesterday. We made little sandwiches, i bought scones and sweet rolls, and my sister bought a fruit tart. I toted china and silver over to my mother's (not like she doesn't have a g'zillion fine sets of this and that), and my sister, her daughter, my mother, and i all sat down to tea.

It was lovely and sweet and the strategy of bringing my own china meant i could not leave it for my mom to wash up. There was something sad, too, in the sweetness, something i can't quite put my finger on except for all of the above.

--== ∞ ==--

My dad didn't join us because he was off to the sheriff's after receiving a death threat in email. (He had also contacted the FBI.) It's a scam, but it has him rattled. I spent time yesterday evening parsing through the headers. I should call him and point out a few things that should assure him that it's a bulk mail attempt not directed at him.

Christine had other things to do, and i returned home to find her chainsaw in hand, cutting down a 60 foot, nine inch diameter sweet gum. I sat and watched, worrying and letting go of my worry, feeling i should still be where i could hear if anything went wrong. It went well, and our propane tank was refilled by our handyman. Who fussed over Christine's tree cutting style.

I took Carrie for a walk and jog in downtown Pittsboro after dark. I may have been a bit harder on my ankle than i should have been -- but i think Carrie appreciates being able to move at a more natural pace for her.

Today there's a stack of yams -- things i have procrastinated on -- and Meeting for Worship and sunlight outside.

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