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
As my Parkinson’s disease has progressed, I have experienced “freezing” or the wearing off of my meds in a variety of places and at a variety of events. I thought I’d seen it all and would be prepared for most any situation, but apparently, this is not so. Things can always be worse; like the day my carbidopa/levodopa stopped working just as I arrived at the hospital breast center for my yearly mammogram. Talk about making an unpleasant experience worse. If their goal was to make me think twice about continuing to undergo regularly scheduled mammograms, they could not have done a better job.
It took what seemed an eternity to change into a gown, stash my clothes in a locker, and stumble out to the waiting area “powered” by my walking sticks and my failing body. When the nurse called my name, I told her I needed extra time to get myself up and moving. She took one look at me and insisted I sit back down and wait for her to return with a wheelchair.
I told her I needed 20 minutes or so for my meds to kick in, allowing me to walk on my own, but my plea fell on deaf ears. She told me (and everyone else in the waiting room) that she wasn’t going to allow me to fall on her watch. Neither would she have my frozen boobs flop out of the hospital gown and provide a free show for the unsuspecting crowd awaiting their own mammograms. Instead, they watched her untie and retie my gown as smoke came out of my ears. I was tempted to break out into a chorus of “Do your boobs hang low,” as the nurse wheeled me out of the waiting area, but I didn’t want to make a scene. Okay, perhaps it was too late for that.
By the time we got to the exam room, it was occupied. We waited in the hallway for our turn. Then the nurse convinced me to have the new 2D/3D mammogram, the new standard of care. What’s different about the 3D test? It compresses breast tissue flatter for a longer period of time (just what I was hoping for), ultimately yielding more information. Perhaps it was just as well that my boobs were “frozen.”
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?