After writing my last post about my dad seeing Keith for the first time in full-force PD mode, it made me wonder what he really thinks about PD. I really wish I knew what my family thinks about when they think of Keith having PD, or if they even think about it at all. I know I tend to write more about what my own family thinks and feels as opposed to Keith's side of the family, but that is only because I am very well aware of their thoughts and feelings. Keith's brother is in far worse shape than Keith is, and hopefully will ever be, so they have all been dealing with this much longer and on a much deeper level than anyone on my side of the family. The Lewis family has had PD smack them right in the face. They have no choice but to sit up and pay attention. My side of the family is new to all of this. They have no clue what they are in for.
I know that there are several members of my clan who just don't get it. They do not see Keith everyday so they can't possibly see the changes that take place when he works too hard or is exhausted. It does not affect them in any way, so they simply don't think about it. To them, Keith having PD is just another one of those little facts - like the year he was born or the type of car he drives. Keith is 52 years old, drives a Chevy, has Parkinson's. Because they choose not to acknowledge it now while they still can, they will likely be the ones to deliberately ignore it and shuffle around uncomfortably, not knowing what to say or do when my disabled husband is wheeled into the room.
Then there are those who do acknowledge that Keith has PD, they just don't know much about it. These are the family members who, though they also don't see Keith and his symptoms on a daily basis, are much more aware of the changes in his body because they are looking for them. While they might not go out of their way to get as much information as possible, they never hesitate to ask us about it. They ask about Keith's health, they check on us after a dr. appointment, they are genuinely concerned about us. These are the family members that will likely not know what to do when my disabled husband is wheeled into the room, but they will try to do something - either make a joke about PD to lift his spirits or face it head-on by talking directly to Keith about the disease. This is the group I will likely as not be much more dependant upon if things get really bad. This is the group that will care enough to help.
So, which group do you fall into?