No. 906



No 906
At our home, I have just witnessed an amazing transformation. We have moved from a point where my wife Viola wanted to die, to a point where she now cherishes and looks forward to each new day of life. Before I proceed, a little background please, and for those of you who read my column on a regular basis, this will be an update for you. For the past 19 years my wife Viola has had Parkinson’s Disease. As you may know, there is no cure for this terrible disease and in the final stages all anyone can do for a patient, is manage the pain. However, I am told that some patients have pain while others don’t. Viola does and at times it has been horrific.
In the fall of 2011 we went to a local nursing home for some therapy, hoping this would extend the time when she could still perform basic functions. After a few weeks it was determined that she had reached the point where she was no longer making progress and we were sent home. This was the next day after Thanksgiving, and most people, including myself, did not think she would last much longer than a few weeks. When we got home it was determined by the Hospice people that she was over medicated, so we cut back on her medication and began to feed her nutritious meals, and I gave her lots of love.
It took a little while before we reached the point where we knew how to give her the right amount of medication where she slept most of the time but was alert enough to carry on short conversations and not be in pain. Too much medication (morphine) she was a zombie, not enough and she was constantly hurting. Here is the transformation that began to take place and what I hope you will seriously ponder as I share this deeply personal story. Naturally she was scared, so I continued to tell her how much I loved her and also reassure her of her great value and worth and that I would always be there for her. I did this many times each day. Often when I would leave the room and tell her, I will be right back, she would say, “You promise.”
After a few weeks we developed a routine where I would physically take her out of bed, place her in a Geri Chair and leave her for most of the day, before putting her back in bed at an early hour. Thankfully I have a wonderful lady here by the name of Cynthia Tillman who takes care of her Monday thru Friday for eight hours each day. I have her by myself for the rest of the time. When a patient stays in a Geri Chair for several hours, even with a lot of extra padding, they frequently develop “bed sores” because it’s impossible to turn them in a chair of this type.
One sore on her hip became so large that we had to keep her in bed, so we could turn her every hour, and change her large bandage on a regular basis. She had now reached a point where she is a total invalid, being able to only move her mouth for us to feed her. Of course she can still see, smell, hear and has her sense of humor, and the use of her marvelous mind. In a column several weeks ago titled “The Best Days of My Life” I shared a good deal of this information.
However, right here the focus changes. What you have just read is a column I had prepared to run here in our local newspaper on Friday, May 17, 2013 but the Lord had other plans for her. He called her home about 7:15 a.m. on the morning of May 13th and she is now safely in the arms of Jesus. This sad event will hit me hard in the days, weeks and months to come but I am extremely grateful for the 35 years we had together. She was a marvelous lady and blessed the lives of countless people across the nation. It can be truthfully said, she fought the good fight and she finished well. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong when you help a needy child.)