I never heard of Huntington’s Disease until I met a tiny, elderly lady who had this horrible disease. It is a degenerative brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to walk, talk and think. Victims shake uncontrollably. I remember standing in her living room talking to her because I did not want to sit down. It was one of many ‘awful’ houses that got that way because our clients were not able to take care of themselves or their homes.
A grant from the city would make all the repairs that she needed for her house, but the contractors refused to do the work unless we would provide an interpreter. Her disease had slowly taken away her ability to speak clearly. The disease had progressed to the point that it seemed impossible to understand anything she said. Fortunately, I had one employee who understood her so we were able to work with contractors to get the work done on her house. We helped her get new ‘slightly used’ furniture to replace the ‘awful’ stuff. I was especially pleased when we were able to replace her dining room suite. It was just a board resting on saw horses. She was so unsteady on her feet that she constantly fell against it and, of course, it would fall and so would she. We found a used dinette set that didn’t fall down when she leaned against it.
One day we told her we would pick her up to take her to buy new shoes. It had been a very long time since she had new shoes and she was very excited. When we got there, she had dozens of tiny cuts on her legs from trying to shave with very unsteady hands.
She loved to go places. When we took her to the doctor, she would ask to ride by the lake. In fact, wherever we took her we had to allow extra time to ride by the lake. She was a bright woman who loved her independence and with our help she was able to stay independent for a very long time – in spite of her illness. Please contact Inez for more info at 254-772-8100 x 106.