A Life Unravelling! 974 words
A Life Unravelling! 951 words IP Mobility
It started with a shake...nothing much. I felt fine in my general health but still, I took a trip to the doctors. My Mother had suffered from Parkinson’s but she was in her eighties while I was in my sixties. So, it came as something of a surprise to learn that my doctor thought it was Parkinson’s because my symptoms were nothing like my mother’s. She had a pronounced shake in her hands whereas mine was my legs. Still, I thought, this won’t stop me doing what I want to do, as I said, I felt fine. However, a short time after this diagnosis I was diagnosed with bowel cancer which unfortunately accelerated the Parkinson’s because the cancer had to be dealt with first. This was by operation and it was successful.
So then I had to have a brain scan which confirmed the Parkinson’s. However, having come through the cancer thing, this stupid Parkinson’s was not going to stop me doing the one thing I absolutely loved...dog training. My young German Shepherd, Lincoln, had a wonderful temperament but still, he needed training. I was also an Instructor at the local branch of the British Association for the German Shepherd and I belonged to two other dog clubs. You will see from this how important dog training was to me but I was able to carry on for a while, though it wasn’t long before I had to give up competing with my dog in obedience.
Then I noticed a loss of dexterity as I would struggle to do up a button or a zip but still I managed. It just took longer for me to get dressed. Then I started to get quite bad dizzy spells and realised I couldn’t trust myself to go to town on the bus. I had given up driving because I am liable to drop off to sleep without any warning.
So gradually my world was getting smaller but I still managed to put on a show at the local theatre something I had done for the past four years. However, now I cannot carry on with that but I am still involved with the group. On Monday the 5th of March we are having our after show party, even though there will be no show this year, but what the heck, they deserve it. The reason I had to give up was that I have developed a symptom known as freezing and this is where the body can move but the feet refuse to co-operate. The Bastards! I have already fallen twice resulting in a broken shoulder and then a broken wrist. When I freeze my special friend Peter has to take hold of both my hands and walk backwards in front of me and I have to inwardly count one two, one two, and try to take big steps to get some kind of rhythm going.
This is all very well but it can be very embarrassing as the last time we went shopping I virtually brought M & S to a standstill. I walked into M&S perfectly okay but then we went to the restaurant to get something to eat. When it was time to leave I couldn’t stand up. In the end, Peter pulled me up but then I couldn’t move. A lady came and asked if she could help and, fortunately, she was a nurse so she took one side of me and Peter the other but I wanted the toilet. I insisted they let me go and somehow I managed to get there but then as I tried to leave the cubicle, I froze in the doorway. Happily, although there was quite a queue no one started tut-tutting instead two ladies came forward and asked me where I wanted to go and if I had someone with me. I said I wanted to wash my hands and yes my companion was waiting outside. While they helped me to the basin another woman said she would go and get a wheelchair. The wheelchair arrived with a pusher and a very concerned senior member of staff. Peter told her we had another problem.
I could not walk and it was impossible to negotiate the wheelchair down the steps and as we had come by public transport there was no way I could take advantage of the taxi rank close by. After some discussion, the two helpers said if Peter could get me to the back of the store they would telephone a taxi to come as near to the store as possible. Then one of the helpers pushed the wheelchair to where the taxi was waiting and on arrival at our destination, the driver helped Peter to get me to his front door.
This is just one example of how unpredictable Parkinson’s and the medication for the condition is. The longer one is on the drugs the less effective they become. I now cannot type very easily, my spelling is dreadful and my handwriting is illegible as it tapers into a straight line. I had to give up my most enjoyable recreation which was dog training and now I cannot manage my second favourite interest which was writing, producing and directing the Parkinson’s shows. From what I have written, perhaps, one can see how my life is unravelling.
However, I might have been able to put up with my situation without complaint if only M & S had not had a sale on and had I not been whisked past some really great bargains! So, if anyone is wondering what’s all this got to do with mobility? Well, let me tell you. If I was more mobile do you really think I would have been able to pass the M & S 50% off rail? No chance!