With a shock, I realize it’s been five years since the word “Parkinson’s” entered my life. Nearly everyone else who has Parkinson’s tells a tale of gradually becoming aware that something was wrong — “I didn’t know where my feet were below me.”
Not me. On June 16, 2012, I woke up and, “as if by magic”, my right hand was ntremoring. That’s why I call this blog “The Magic Trick”.
Much has changed in these five years, and much has not. Here’s some of the major changes:
—I’ve retired. Removing the stress of a daily commute and a fast-paced computer job was beneficial in permitting me to better manage my symptoms.
—I’ve moved. My husband and I lived in a two-story house with a circular staircase and extensive gardening chores — lovely house but not the one to age in place. So we moved to a one-story rambler with no lawn.
—I exercise. This was a big reason why I felt I needed to retire – to get enough time to exercise. One thing that hasn’t changed – I continue to kvetch about exercise and feel like it’s not very effective. But I am working with yet another fitness trainer – more about that in a future post.
—My symptoms have expanded . More tremors,slower actions, drooling, uncoordinated vision and the latest: with my stooped over posture, I now walk like The Bride of Frankenstein.
—My knowledge has expanded. I started this blog as a way of finding out more about Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve picked up a little knowledge, but I’m just scratching the surface.
—My social network has expanded. Through this blog and through attending Parkinson’s conferences, including two World Parkinson’s Congresses, I have met Parkies from all over the world. Hearing other people’s stories gives me courage and optimism.
What hasn’t changed?
—Constructive optimism. I try to maintain an optimistic outlook, although I don’t always score 100% on the Pollyanna test – see “kvetching about exercise” above. Constructive because I feel like I’m not being mindlessly optimstic,but tale specific constructive actions. I still feel like Im really lucky. Nearly everyone of my age is going to end up with a chronic disease – PD is not bad compared with cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc. etc
—My husband. I have the good luck to be married to the most wonderful guy in the world, who (bonus!) bears an uncanny resemblance to George Clooney. He is not in the “care partner” role yet, but I know he will be able to handle this job as we celebrate anniversaries in the future. We’ll be celebrating 25 years of marriage next January.