As a child growing up I would spend a lot of time with him, especially during the school holidays. I always remember being aware of the illness, the shakes were the most obvious thing. He would shuffle about the house in a way that only Grandad could :) His mobility was getting worse and soon enough even a simple thing such as walking up and down the stairs became impossible for him. They had a stair lift installed which was great fun for us kids but must have felt so demoralising after years of being able to walk the stairs, to now suddenly not being able to.
As the years went on his mobility became worse still and his speech was becoming difficult to understand. He would stutter and stammer, his words were slurred, it became frustrating for us not being able to understand what he was trying to say to us, I can't imagine how bad it must have been for him, especially knowing that it was only going to get worse.
In the end he was bed bound, he had lost all use of his muscles, he couldn't even feed himself. It was a dreadful thing to have to witness, it seemed so unfair. He hadn't done anything to deserve this. It wasn't just a strain for him, it was a strain for the whole family, especially my Nan. We were loosing him.
But do you know what in those 25 years I never once heard him complain, boy did he have reason to, but he never did, he just got on with things as best as he could.
I wanted to show you this photo just so you can see exactly what Parkinson's did to my Grandad, this is no life for anyone.
I'm lucky to have lots of memories of time spent with him, even right up to his last Christmas which was less than a month before he passed away. These memories are more than what some people get with their grandparents, so for that I am thankful.
You never really hear much about Parkinson's so I wanted to say my little piece about it during Parkinson's Awareness week. Parkinson's UK is a brilliant charity providing support for those affected. I know they were a great help to my grandparents and I'm sure are the same to many others out there. If you want to find out more about the charity, the disease or how you could help check out their website here. Just understanding more about the disease is a great step.
Love Gem x x x
This is not in any way a sponsored post I just wanted to share my experience and spread awareness.