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Living with PD: Putting On Our Pants

Posted Dec 18 2013 3:27pm

I had a shower this morning and proceeded to get dressed. My husband had already left for work and so I pulled on my blue pants that I wear when I volunteer at the hospital once a week over at the Adult Day Care Program. The participants consist of those who have dementia, Alzheimer's, are recovering from a stroke, MS, and more. It's a nice place to volunteer when you have Parkinson's Disease because you tend to fit in rather nicely.

You can dance the slow two-step because the older folks think your shuffle is actually your dance step and if your tremor has a mind of its own that day and they notice, they forget quickly. They don't ask silly questions like, “Do I make you that nervous?” when you do shake. It's a bit refreshing.

Anyhow, my husband had left and I'm pulling on my pants. I got them up. It was the button that gave me trouble.

I used to lay down on the bed years ago to get my zipper up if I had eaten one too many cookies the night before. Now, don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about. You've more than likely done it yourself a time or two. I'm happy to report however, that I don't need to do that now. I found myself some bigger pants. Ha.

This particular situation was different. My brain kept telling my fingers to put the button in the buttonhole, but my fingers had a mind of their own and decided to do their own thing. Isn't that just like Parkinson's Disease? You decide to go one way and your feet go another. You decide to pen a note and your fingers say, “Not now, dear.” You thought you were in charge and when Little Monster came to visit, he not only stayed but also decided to take over.

My fingers decided to do what they felt like doing and today, they felt like taking the day off. I ended up laying down just to get the fabric to lay flat so I could try to maneuver the button into the hole. It only took six tries, but I did get it in. It was a major accomplishment and I stood on the top of the mountain with my flag of victory.

I had a choice. I could get frustrated and end up in tears with my pants falling off and feeling sorry for myself. Or, I could be determined to not allow this unwanted visitor get the best of me and be thankful I could still try to put on my own pants.

I chose to be thankful. But I've got to tell you—I did think about those polyester pants with the elastic waistband thta used to be the in thing forty years ago. They're actually becoming somewhat appealing. Almost.

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