Eric’s Journey: Over My Head - Part Two

I wrote a piece on my friend, Eric, who went into a nursing home. There is good news to report!

Following a tumultuous period of falls, a shoulder injury, a Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) battery change, eye problems, and the exhaustive search for a safe, healthy, and happy place for him to live, I am overjoyed in reporting that he is happier than I have seen him in a long time!

Positives to being in a nursing home

Eric beams of joy. He is engaged, and he laughs frequently. Once, aloof and indifferent, he now participates with his fellow residents in activities and even tells how much pleasure it gives him. He feeds himself; he enjoys the food that they provide, and he can navigate the halls of the center on his own, on occasion. Eric is making friends and socializing. In just a matter of months, the transformation that Eric has made is truly stellar. I am so proud of him and relieved to see him in a healthy and comfortable place, for the first time in knowing him!

It's been a long road

It has been a long road to get to this point. My wife and I are shocked and amazed to observe the overwhelming explosion of goodness that has erupted so quickly. Miracles do happen, and I would have to say that Eric is an example of one.

I will confess that having watched Eric stagger through the medical gauntlet, the results are more than I could have ever expected. If ever there is an example of being stronger than you think you are, Eric exemplifies just such a case. He was an unpredictable, obstinate, curmudgeon, and someone who is very difficult to please. Eric now has proven to be malleable, flexible, and more durable than the man I thought that I had known. I am so grateful that he proved me wrong and showed me that I had totally underestimated him. There is a lesson here. I had misjudged this man that I had no real relation with, had a limited history with, had no legal obligation to, but with my wife’s vision and commitment remained focused on getting Eric to where he needed to be.

Continuing to support our friend with Parkinson's

We continue to stay in touch and assist Eric on a much less active schedule remaining as his health contact, in case of emergency.  We visit him and check on him every so often, if the center hasn’t called us first. Now that much of the caregiver burden has been lifted, we are able to go back to being friends and not his caregivers.

I don’t know what is next with Eric. Seeing him stable and in a place where he can get the care he needs, is a huge relief for all who know him. What was once a melancholy tale has turned 180 degrees into one of triumph.

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