Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
Watching nightly news about heightened airport security takes me back to the weeks right after 9 – 11. I was catching a flight out of O’Hare when a security screening machine started beeping at me. A woman in a TSA uniform pulled me out of line and took me off to the side to “wand” me.
Stretched out wide, my arms started flailing about. “Are you nervous?”the woman asked. I tried to explain that I have Parkinson’s disease, like Michael J. Fox, but she had never heard of it. I was incredulous. She continued wanding me, stopping at my chest when the beeping started. Who or what did she think could be in there trading secrets with our enemies? She pulled my underwire bra away from my body, waiting for the evidence to fall out. “I know what is going to fall out,” I told her, “ and it is not a threat to national security.”
Leaving the area, we passed a young national guardsman who had a first row seat for my wanding. I thanked him for his service. My husband recalls he winked and said, “No, thank you ma’m.”
Looking back on this event 15 years later, with awareness still an issue for the PD community, we must ask ourselves whether we are part of the solution or part of the problem. Every time we hide our symptoms, whether by sitting on shaking hands or staying home altogether, we enable others not to see us.