Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

When is it time to give up cooking?


by Sheryl Jedlinski

A friend of mine had just started cooking ramen noodles for dinner when she had a sudden urge to pee – not an uncommon occurrence among people with Parkinson’s (PWP). She turned up the stove so the noodles would be ready when she returned from the bathroom. As often happens to PWP, however, her return was unexpectedly delayed. The last thing she remembers was sitting on the toilet, leaning forward with her spine curved, and feeling totally relaxed. Best as she can figure, she had a sudden sleep attack, which ended abruptly when she was awakened by the blaring sound of her smoke detector going off.

My friend jumped up from the toilet, and with her pants still around her ankles, “ran,” as only a PWP can run, back to the kitchen. Instinctively, she grabbed the pot handle (which fortunately was only warm and not sizzling) and removed the pot from the heat; too late to salvage dinner or the cookware. All the water had boiled away, leaving the pot stuck to the stove, and the ramen noodles stuck to the blackened inside of the pot. Luckily, the kitchen was only a bit smokey. Still, the thought of what could have happened was scarey enough to prompt her to give up most of her cooking responsibilities. This decision hasn’t been nearly as painful as giving up driving has been.

Let’s all have a laugh about the otherwise not so funny. Share your stories of sudden sleep attacks. Where is the strangest place you’ve fallen asleep? 

3 comments on “When is it time to give up cooking?

  1. Genevieve
    January 6, 2015

    Hello Sheryl,

    I appreciate the humor and positive energy you inject into your journey with PD. My mother was diagnosed 3 years ago and it’s been a learning experience for all of us. I do my best to listen to her and create a good support system of doctors/therapists around her but I struggle with giving any opinoins about when she should stop driving or cooking. I do not want to limit her and I trust her self-assessments at this point.

    I want to thank you for the effort you put into your blog and for sharing your story. My mother and I really enjoy reading it and discussing it together.

    Best to you and happy new year,


    • mydancingintherain
      January 6, 2015

      Thank you for taking the time to write and let me know that you and your mother enjoy the articles I am writing and also benefit from the information I put out there.This is exactly what I hope to achieve
      Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

  2. Deborah Hopkins
    January 10, 2015

    Hi Sheryl,
    I am a retired PE teacher which started one year ago. I have had PD for 12 years. The place I remember having a sleep attack was inside my school’s PE equipment room. I was scheduled for lunch break so I decided I would take a few minutes before I ate lunch to take out equipment for my next class. Well I fell asleep in the room only to wake up to the sound of my students coming into the gym. Thank God they were loud enough to wake me up because I am also hearing impaired. I had to laugh because I did not get equipment out ahead of time like i wanted to but students always like to help so that was their job before class started.

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2015 by in Family Life, Friends, Parkinson's humor, Parkinson's symptoms.

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