Healthy Living

Keeping A Committed Relationship in the Face of Parkinson's

There is still a person inside that body. They still think, care and live.

A hypothetical letter about a man dealing with his wife’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s says, “Can I see other women? I mean, she’s just not as attractive as she was when I first saw her and told myself, 'I’m gonna marry that girl.' Well, 'that' girl is gone. The girl of 40 years ago now shuffles like a penguin, and I have to walk slower than I’d like to “keep up” with her. You know what I mean? The sparks just aren’t there, even though we got married on the Fourth of July. What do I do? I want a real relationship.” Most caretakers are not like this letter indicates. They understand that commitment and “in sickness and in health” means you are there for all the bad times, even if it is Parkinson’s. There is still a person inside that body that shakes and tremors. There is someone peering out of eyes that cannot blink. That person still thinks, still cares, and still lives.