Parkinson

Testimony of Hélène Tousignant

3 November 2020

Taking care of myself while taking care of the other.

An ability to bounce back in spite of hardship

An old friend recently revealed to me that he has always been astonished by my ability to bounce back when faced with difficult situations. Oh come on !… He tells this when I have just gone through a pretty difficult time, thank you very much!

Marc, my sweet love, is losing his strength; we’ve been going from one specialist to the next: physiotherapist, nutritionist, speech therapist, neurologist, trainer, etc. He is suffering more and more, has lost his beautiful smile which made me melt, he is functioning in slow motion and we have to constantly adjust…

Bounce back yes, but agree to receive help

As for me, I was burning myself out. In short, yes, it is undoubtedly true that I have an aptitude for bounding back, but I also had to start accepting help. Indeed, I had become very anxious: always worried about how he is, having a hard time sleeping and disconnecting. I felt the need to talk about it with my doctor. He made me understand that this “trip” with Marc and with Parkinson’s disease will last a long time and, to stay on track, I needed to recharge my batteries and especially get a good night’s sleep!

I said “ok” and, a month later, I was back on feet. I took the time to gift myself “small pleasures” every day, to read, to clear my thoughts by doing puzzles, knitting, playing music around the house, writing, painting, tending to my plants, and I started to write down these small daily pleasures, to remind myself how much progress I’d made in my quest for “self-care”.

Moving forward and demonstrating resilience

Marc and I, we have the privilege of meeting with a psychosocial worker who really listens to us and who makes us realize the how big our love is, the importance of staying in the present and of savouring it fully.

I realize that out love is a good springboard for rebuilding our life, not as it was before, but with the strength we have today. I knew how to find resources to help Marc, but, over time, I lost myself and I felt revolt in the face of what our life was becoming.

I thus decided to continue to move forward by surrounding myself with respectful and positive people, by trusting in the course of life and by adding humour to love. There are some who would call this resilience.

 

Hélène, caretaker for her partner with Parkinson’s disease

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