Many of the health issues we have battled against when we first started taking care of Grandpa have fallen by the wayside. It’s been almost a year and we (including Grandpa) have forgotten at times just how much progress he’s made. I want to write about each of these medical problems at a different time, but for now, his morning dementia issues have cleared up since he was taken off Benzatrophine* which the doctor said he should have only been on for six months (he was on it for seven years). He doesn’t choke anymore when he takes a sip of water (dysphagia), his voice has pretty much returned to normal (Parkinson’s affects the vocal chords), and he doesn’t needs a bib anymore. A “bib” you say? Yes, a bib.

When Grandpa first came home, he had a hard time sitting up in his wheelchair and eating without getting a good portion of his food in his lap. Well, that’s all over now. He is in much better control of his hand-to-mouth coordination. The other night when we were watching TV, I served him his dinner in the living room and handed him a napkin. It was then that I realized we hadn’t used a bib for a long time. In fact, the last time I saw it, the over-sized terrycloth towel had been used to wipe  some green paint off of a paint stick.

It doesn’t take long to forget just how far he/we have come. Yep, bibs, I hope, are a thing of the past. To quote an old ad campaign from the 1980’s, “You’ve come a long way baby!”

*Benzatrophine Cogentin® Neurology An anticholinergic used to manage parkinsonism Adverse effects Usually dose related–nervousness, impaired memory, numbness, listlessness, depression, confusion, excitement, hallucinations with high doses; GI–dry mouth, constipation, N&V, blurred vision, mydriasis, hyperthermia, anidrosis, urinary retention, dysuria, weakness, rash, tachycardia.