Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
Tomorrow morning, we are off to the World Parkinson Congress in Portland, Oregon. While I started packing yesterday, I feel as though I have made little headway. Deciding what clothes to take is my biggest challenge, whether I will be away for two days or two weeks. I start by choosing a color scheme so that everything can be mixed and matched and layered, but predictably I don’t stick to the plan for very long. There is always one outfit (usually bought last minute just for the trip) I feel compelled to pack that is not in keeping with my color scheme. Making that one exception blows the dam wide open and all my clothes are now fair game for consideration. This is when I start taking carefully chosen clothes out of my suitcase and replacing them with others. All the while I worry whether this behavior is the result of Parkinson’s playing havoc with my executive function skills, or is simply my way of controlling some small aspect of my life?
All day long I am online checking the 7-day weather forecast for Portland on an hourly basis, as if it could change enough to require a difference in what I pack. By the time I’m done, reject outfits are strewn all over my bed. The worst part is knowing that cleaning up takes longer than messing up and that no matter how tired I am, the clothes must be put away before I can climb into bed and go to sleep. In the end, I bring way more clothes than I wear, but I am more relaxed knowing I have every eventuality covered. And should I neglect to pack something I really need, I know it can quickly be replaced as I never book a hotel that is far from good shopping.