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Ch. 136: Ron’s Covid Fatigue Helps Him Better Understand How Lewy Body Affects Pat

Ch. 136: Ron’s Covid Fatigue Helps Him Better Understand How Lewy Body Affects Pat

          My bout with Covid has given me insight about Pat’s Lewy Body fatigue. Right now, I simply don’t have enough energy to think well, to care much about anything, or to do things. I lack enthusiasm even to call Pat (which entails asking one of the staff at The Refuge to help set up FaceTime on Pat’s phone). I am too tired to seek connection. For me, this situation is unusual. For Pat, it has become the norm.

          Pat has trouble waking up in the morning and staying alert during the day. Sometimes she can barely finish lunch or supper before her eyes begin closing. And, after supper, when I ask Pat if she would like to watch a movie or listen to music or look at the birds in the windowpane bird feeder, she frequently can only shrug. “Just let me lie down and hold my hand,” she seems to say, “I don’t have the energy for anything else.”

          Pat’s Lewy Body symptoms were mostly cognitive at first: hallucinations, confusion, sentence completion difficulty, delusions. Over time, though, more physical symptoms have become increasingly common: physical weakness, excessive sleepiness, and, above all, tremendous fatigue. Apparently, Lewy Body has reached her motor areas, the regions commonly associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Both Lewy Body and Parkinson’s occur when a particular brain substance, alpha synuclein, fails to be cleared from affected brain cells. In essence Pat now has both Lewy Body and Parkinsons, really two manifestations of the same disease.

          From now on, I will try to be more grateful for any energy Pat sends my way, knowing how little she has to spare.

Pat’s comments: Ron’s Covid Fatigue Helps Him Better Understand How Lewy Body Affects Pat: 

          Ron to Pat: “Do you feel like you have energy today?”

         Pat: [no answer]. [My question is too abstract].

         Ron: “Are you sleepy?”         

         Pat: "Yes."