This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas letter

John wrote a draft of our Christmas letter. It starts off with several paragraphs about how well our kids are doing and our travels this past year, and then it suddenly changes tone. John wrote:

John’s big news is that he has retired early, and this has resulted from a serious health issue. Indeed it has been quite a tough year for him. The life changing health situation is Parkinson’s. One never anticipates such a development, and it was Pam who first perceived what the changes John was experiencing might mean. Pam began to suspect what the problem might be in January, and after John having first visited his regular physician, he was formally diagnosed by a neurologist in early March.
That is followed by more about his prostate problems last spring.

In my part of the letter I wrote:
Pam spent a lot of time going with John to doctors appointments and so realized quickly that his diagnosis meant a change in life path for both of us (particularly as the doctors think he has a form of Parkinsonism that has cognitive as well as motor effects). She thinks a lot about how to put feminism and caregiving together and how to find meaning in our new challenges.
And then a sentence each about my work, doing triathlons, and serving as a spiritual director. Often we don't get our Christmas cards out before Christmas but I'm actually done my other big tasks and wondering what to try to get done about Christmas.

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