Please Stop

Written by Claude Bachand

This is a memoir about two people growing up during and after the Great Depression, their deep and enduring love, and how they coped with Parkinson’s disease.
The way that Dotty and Claude Bachand went about day-to-day living, as Dotty’s Parkinson’s symptoms steadily worsened, is the subject of about half of the memoir. In depth, you’ll learn how they dealt with problems like mobility, balance, eating, dressing, tremors, disorientation, and difficulty with talking and swallowing. They adapted. For instance, they’d sit in the back row of the movies so in the event Dotty suffered from shaking, they wouldn’t disturb the other patrons; they’d ask a waitress to bring Dotty’s iced tea with a lid and a straw in case she knocked it over; and Claude always carried four men’s handkerchiefs because of Dotty’s drooling.
You’ll be there during an hour-long session with a noted Parkinson’s specialist; be in emergency rooms, where Dotty is treated after two serious falls; and see how the couple dealt with her violent shaking (dyskinesia), which was especially troublesome at bedtime.
The memoir first takes you back to the time when the two grew up in Southbridge, a small mill town in central Massachusetts, in families where money was scarce because of the bad economic times and because their fathers spent every night in a barroom, downing highballs with a beer chaser.
In contrast with Dotty, who was quiet and well-disciplined, Claude had a relatively free rein, was a bit of a scamp, and had behavioral problems at home and in school. He frequently felt the sting of his mother’s switch and his teachers’ yardsticks. Yet, with the help of the G.I. Bill, he did surprisingly well in college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, summa cum laude, from Louisiana Tech University, where he was editor of the school newspaper for three years. Then with an assistantship, he earned a master’s degree at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Journalism and Communications. He worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper, then for United Press International, and spent most of his career in public relations and marketing.
After college, he met Dotty and the two were married and raised three children. They had a loving and happy, 45-year marriage, despite the Parkinson’s.
In 1998, Claude retired and the couple move to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. A year later, Dotty was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

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