Unexplainable things happen in the world of Parkinson’s. You can be having a great day and then the Parkinson’s monster hits your body without any warnings. And, if you’re with a person that doesn’t have a chronic illness, the comments don’t help. “You were just okay!” Or, “I don’t understand how one minute you feel fine, and then you are so sick. That doesn’t make sense to me.” Well, sista, I wish I could give you an answer, but I can’t. I don’t know myself! It just happens. I guess it’s triggered by something in my body. Then it goes to my gibberish non-stop thinking mind and won’t leave. The trigger triggers something else and here comes the anxiety monster, a non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s. The anxiety exacerbates my primary motor symptoms of PD and then the anxiety gets worse and so on and so on…
This scenario happened last Friday. I got up around 8 AM and followed my normal routine. I took my pills, rested for awhile, had coffee with my Lara bar, did a meditation and some yoga and was ready for my day to start. My sister in law was coming over to organize my coat closet and washer/dryer area. I love when she does this. I’m a gatherer and not a thrower away type of person. This is her forte and part time business.
I have to say, I wasn’t feeling my best, but not my worst! Something was going on with my body, but I just couldn’t pinpoint it. I was so busy with her that for awhile I didn’t think about it. I was so happy to have her there that my crazy gibberish mind took a break. However, in the back of my mind was a lot of anxiety about a trip I was supposed to take the next morning. I’ll tell you about that later. I don’t about anyone else with PD, but just the thought of packing and flying causes me anxiety. Remember, anxiety is a major non- motor symptom for many of us that have Parkinson’s.
Getting back to that day. The plan was that she and I were going to watch my grandson at her daughter’s place while her daughter and my daughter went to a yoga class. Then we all were going to eat dinner at my daughter’s house. The next morning, I was supposed to go with my daughter and grandson to upstate NY to celebrate her mother in law’s birthday. I was meeting her there, so I finished up my packing my carry on(anxiety) and got everything together(anxiety) and walked out of my apartment. I was carrying a lot of bags so as I left and locked the door, my pills that were in my backpack in the front pouch(that I forgot to zipper) dropped and went all over the hallway of the eighth floor(anxiety)! Seven days of pills; all different shapes and sizes. Not happy! I put everything down, went back into my apartment, got a plastic baggie, got all the pills up(too embarrassed to say how many), locked the door and proceeded to go to my car. I finally got everything in the car, took a lot of deep breaths and I was on my way. I won’t go into the logistics, but it took a 15 minute drive and turned it into an hour drive(more anxiety)! I could feel my legs getting weak and rigidity creeping up my back. A headache turned up too! By the time I got to my niece’s place, the PD monster had invaded my body! She came down to get me and help me. I could barely walk, my back was killing me, and I felt terrible. Shay, my grandson, always made me feel better so I thought when I got into her apartment, the monster would leave. Shay was so excited to see me. He came right to me with his precious smile! This time the monster was selfish and invaded even more. I need someone to kill my PD monster! I felt so bad that I couldn’t even pick him up. I tried to work through the symptoms but “not happening”. Remember, I was going away the next morning. My sister in law was in disbelief! ” You were okay before!” You never know when Barbie’sParkinson’s monster is going to visit! I don’t blame her for saying that to me. I think she just didn’t understand. And guess what? Sometimes either do I.
Anxiety and stress are definitely the demons that contribute to my symptoms of Parkinson’s. I think not being able to do the things I used to do brings me a lot of anxiety. For example, when I can’t do the yoga poses now that came so easily before PD, I get very frustrated and emotional. Everything just seems to get harder and harder. I yearn to be the “old Barbie” who the last person to leave the dance floor! The Barbie with the high heels! Barbie who taught Yoga and taught the poses that I can’t do now. My balance is affected as well as my confidence!!!!
This was before PD. Now I fall over!!!
I get so stressed and embarrassed in Yoga Class, but, as I’ve said many times, I’m not giving in to this dis-ease! And I am still me! I’m trying to accept and embrace these changes!!
I AM STILL ME! I just have some extra challenges to deal with!! Accept and love who I am and embrace the challenges that have become a part of my life!