Ruled By the Clock

One of the main complaints my fellow people with Parkinson's disease (PD) seem to have is being regulated by the clock. I share this complaint. I took off my watch the day I retired and enjoyed the freedom of setting my own schedule. Parkinson’s disease has taken that freedom away.

Having to plan around down times and when the next dosage of medication can be taken often causes me to cancel my plans with friends or family. This is disappointing and not always easily understood.

Medication timing

The time I take certain medication also determines when I have a meal. That can be particularly difficult to plan around doctor's appointments, social activities, exercise classes, and more.

Since I do not take any medications strictly for Parkinson's disease, I have a little more flexibility as to when I take my medications. I do take omeprazole for acid reflux which needs to be taken half an hour before dinner and mirtazapine about a half hour before bedtime for sleep.

I try to space out my other medications as it is difficult for me to take them all at once in the morning. However, I do try to take them at the same time every day to ensure they’re being as effective as possible. My phone alarm is set to remind me with a different sound for each one.

Exercise sessions

At present I am exercising from home and breaking my routine into 2 sessions of 20 minutes per day, which I schedule. Other than laps around the house, that is all I can handle at the moment.

Personal routines

In order to obtain the best quality of sleep I go to bed at the same time every night. After washing up and brushing my teeth, I remove all electronics from the bedroom, and at 9:30 PM I put on a Calm meditation or some classical music and take my mirtazpine. Then, I hope I will be asleep by 10:00 PM.

Although I usually am awake, my morning alarm is set for 7:30 AM. I do a series of bed stretches for 10 minutes to loosen my stiff joints before getting out of the bed. Then I am ready to begin my day.

Everything takes much longer to accomplish now and I have learned to accommodate for that. I have purchased clothing such as dresses, pants, and shirts that can be slipped over my head with no zippers or buttons. My shoes also are slip on which happily are on trend. There are no shoelaces to struggle with.

Although I have always had a short hairstyle, I had my hair cut into a pixie. I no longer need styling tools. I don’t even need a brush or comb, just styling products and my hands!

Routine is a necessity

Although it still takes more time than it once did, these changes have made getting ready to face the day simpler and my new clothing purchases speed up the process of getting dressed

I never imagined living such a structured life, but the routine is a necessity when Parkinson's disease is in the picture.

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