Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013 Sheryl Jedlinski
Parkinson’s disease means always having to say, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry I spilled my drink. I’m sorry I dropped my napkin. I’m sorry I don’t remember, I fell, I had a fender bender, I am late… again. You fill in the blanks with your own experiences.
Our symptoms come, and go, and come back again… usually more intensely each time. Some days they are less noticeable than others, but they are never far away, just temporarily eclipsed by a new symptom we have yet to conquer. We each live in our very own hellish adaptation of the movie Ground Hog Day, only unlike Bill Murray, we never get things totally right. We adjust as best we can and move on, spending our lives on the run (figuratively, of course), constantly looking over our shoulder, much like David Janssen, a doctor wrongly convicted of murder, in the original tv series, The Fugitive.
This explains why, like a bad penny, I keep showing up again and again and again on my favorite physical therapist’s roster. “As much as I like you, we’ve got to stop meeting this way,” I tell her. “Can’t we just have lunch and go shopping instead?”
Beata is not amused. “You stopped doing the exercises I gave you last time, didn’t you? I told you never to stop doing them. Why did you stop?”
She doesn’t really want a truthful answer like: I was bored; they got too easy; I had other things to do; I thought I was cured. We’ve been through this enough times that I know anything I say can and will be held against me. My best bet is to look sheepishly at the ground and throw myself on the mercy of her physical therapy court. This, of course, is an oxymoron. “Mercy” is not even in Beata’s vocabulary. Her mantra is “harder, higher, harder… Did I tell you to stop? Remember, I’m watching you.”
“I’m sorry I stopped doing my exercises,” I tell her, not wanting to disappoint her. “I promise I won’t disappoint you again.”