I posted a suggestion on a support site I frequent and wanted to share the responses so far. Enjoy!
Everything is harder to do with Parkinson’s. I’ll give you an example - you have to kick your foot against the wall to get your shoe all the way on. Now, this can have its advantages. For one thing, you get your shoe on. For another, it offers an opportunity for exercise, I’ll be it small, but anything counts.
Now, this is also true of trying to put your shorts on when you are not completely dry. This is quite impossible with one hand/arm as, we who have PD know the other is often rendered useless as it jumps back and forth while catching glimpses of you as you struggle with your good hand. The advantage? You are definitely burning more calories in the struggle!
Finally, for those of you who have lost a sense of smell, I have found myself being thankful for that just this last week. A friend and I passed a farm with thousands of cows. And where there are thousands of cows, there are thousands of cow patties!!! As the other person in the car was all but throwing up at the horrendous smell, I just smiled and thanked God that while I do miss smelling a rose or the top of a baby’s head or the afterscent of fresh fallen rain, I don’t miss the smell of a thousand cows or the skunk that often frequents our yard and leave its calling card.
I’m enjoying having something to blame for the oddities. It could be my age or the medicine causing these things and, although I don’t often tell people, I like having PD to blame when I’m talking to myself about my odd behavior. For example, I’m a chaplain at a Rescue Mission. I’ve caught myself falling asleep while listening to a client or worse yet, falling asleep while praying aloud for someone and then waking up, wondering what I’ve just said. So far the lapse has only been for a second or two, and no one has seemed to notice, but I do notice and am glad to have something jazzier than age to chalk it up to.
I volunteer one afternoon a week at the drop-in Alzheimer’s unit and often there is music time. The patients love to dance and so we dance in a group and hold hands. It’s so freeing to do things with them as some of them shake and don’t think it’s you but them shaking and, if they do notice, they don’t remember they do and so you really are free to be just you!
We so need to see the humor in life. I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine. I have a couple of light stories:
#1 My grandson (3 yrs old), out of the blue, says, “Grandma, you have an old hand”.
I asked him what he meant.
“Because it shakes, it must be older than you!”
#2 I babysat my 1 month old granddaughter today. She was very fussy and when I held her against my tremor arm, she calmed down. Not really humor, but my daughter said it was an unexpected blessing!! My family is such a joy for me, just wanted to share.
If you didn’t laugh you’d cry, or so the saying goes. And whether it’s hailing,raining,snowing or blowing - it’s being so cheerful that keeps me going. Laughter is a great tonic. Be strong and keep smiling.
Here’s another advantage to PD: You can actually sit in a chair during an ‘off’ time and hold the fly swatter up and, due to the tremors, get flies as they are passing by. Quite an advantage I’d say. Of course, the flies have to be slow and you have to be shaking fast. But hey, anything’s possible.
I got my friends to crack up not too long ago.
We were at a sporting event where they were giving out those obnoxious clappers. I told them to get one for me and just put it in my right hand. They laughed and you could tell they were relieved I have a good attitude about it.
I also have lost some sense of smell. It’s great not to smell the garbage (but not when you have company coming by - get to blame my husband for not noticing, though!).
Last year as we were heading out on a trip to Alaska with our truck and camper, my 5 year old grandson called me “Grandma Snail”. My heart sank as I realized that he had picked up on my slowness of movement. I hadn’t felt the need to discuss my PD with our young Grandkids and I sighed as I asked our little cutie what had prompted him to call me by that name. With a twinkle in his eye, he responded, “Grandma — it’s because you and Grandpa pack your house on your back!” (camper on truck)
Aren’t grandkids a blessing?
*** This is the kind of stuff that makes us different. We can laugh at what we do, especially when kids point it out, and it makes it totally fine. My good friends crack up when I trip up at what I call “exit stage left” or when I find a new way to move more efficiently - like doing a 360 rather than simply walking forward.
Before my DBS surgery, I was able to run during a dyskinesia episode. I couldn’t walk, so I would run everywhere. Freaked out everyone and I loved it.
You may be less “handicapped” than you think and yes we can be funny too, if we let it happen.
And I thought that waxing my eyebrows today was funny…
Now I have no problem with fulfilling the directions to “shake well before using” directions. Just glad I don’t have to handle the explosive nitro-glycerine.