My status is shaky in both senses of the word. I am literally shaky — I’ve had the tremor in the right hand from day one (that’s the “magic trick” this blog is named after), but lately it seems to be a lot more shaky.
In turn, this greater physical shakiness is making me more mentally shaky. I have those devil-on-the-left-shoulder thoughts like, “Yikes! This is progressing faster than I thought!” Makes it harder for angel-on-the-right-shoulder to say, “Relax, Laura, you’re fine.”
But I’ve had a couple incidents lately that tell me I can’t kid myself that people don’t notice the tremors. I was walking with a new walking group, and in chatting with my walking companion, found out she was a recently retired neurologist. I then told her I’d been learning a lot about neurology lately because I had Parkinson’s. She immediately said, “Oh, yes, I figured that.” She told me it wasn’t the tremors and the gait so much but the low blink rate (that’s a new one!) and the “Parkinsonian mask”. (Your face tends to be expressionless, like a bad round of Botox.) She also told me that neurologists have a saying that, if you can’t diagnose Parkinson’s by the time you’ve walked the patient from the waiting room to the examining room — it’s probably something else.
Another incident was running into someone I had worked with over 20 years ago. The good news is that he recognized me immediately. The bad news was he asked after my health, saying he couldn’t help but notice my tremors. Busted again!
However (bringing back that angel-on-the-right-shoulder), I’m really in good shape. I’m getting my exercise (need to get more!) and I don’t hurt. I am enjoying retirement, and my husband is about to join me. Yahoo! And I’m very jazzed about signing up for the World Parkinson’s Congress in Montreal in October — more about this in a future blog.