Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

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

Who moved my clothes?


by Sheryl Jedlinski

As my Parkinson’s disease symptoms become more visible, I grow increasingly self-conscious about how others see me, and how this will affect my chances to remain social and active in community life. How do I get people to look past my awkward gait and impaired balance and see the real me -– confident capable, and put together –- if I must say so myself. This is where my daughter-in-law, Megan Jedlinski, comes in. A leading Chicago wardrobe editor and style strategist, Megan helped me pare down my wardrobe, leaving only those items which are current and appropriate for my lifestyle, body shape, and personal style. This saves me countless hours agonizing over what to wear every morning. Whatever I put on, I can walk out the door feeling confident about how I look.

The first thing we did to get to this point was remove from closets and drawers every item of clothing I own and pile them high on my king size bed. I expected to shed some tears as we purged clothing items I once loved, but I didn’t. Parting with things was not as difficult as I thought it would be. We started by eliminating pieces already relegated to “remote storage” in my younger son’s closet. Many were several sizes too big after having shed 40 pounds following cancer surgery and chemotherapy. Others were well worn, some not worn in years, and some never worn. Then there were the “What was I thinking” pieces that were the wrong color and/or fit for me. I kept only the items that advance my new image.

From start to finish, the project took us six hours. We amassed nine bags of clothing, which Megan hauled to a local charity that benefits women and children who are homeless. This left me no opportunity to change my mind about anything. Getting to this point was emotionally draining, but very satisfying and productive.

The next morning, I woke up and immediately peeked into my closet. My first thought was, “Oh my God, I’ve been robbed.” Then I noticed that the robbers took only the clothing pieces I don’t wear anymore. There was nothing that I was going to miss.And the closet I had taken over in my son’s bedroom… totally empty. Oh what a difference a day makes.

Don’t expect any more details. Megan and I agreed that, “What happens in the closet, stays in the closet.”





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