life changes after parkinson's a car wheel turns into a walker wheel

Words Have a New Meaning

Multitasking used to be loading a couple of loads of laundry while loading the dishes and cleaning kitchen counters. Now it’s Monday laundry, Tuesday dishes, and maybe by Wednesday, clean the counters. A nap often follows these chores.

It is suggested that we should walk 10,000 steps a day. Now, the goal is often 10,000 steps in a week only with a walker. After about 500 steps there is, of course, the necessary nap.

Life before Parkinson's

Before Parkinson’s, I would say: "I’m going to jump in the shower." Now, first of all, any attempt to "jump" anywhere could result in a call to the paramedics. Tiptoeing doesn’t work when one quickly loses her balance.

Now it’s check if it’s slippery, grab at least one of the security bars and place one’s whole foot firmly onto the shower floor. While still clutching the security bar, reach up to adjust the shower head.

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When I was a teenager and a friend got a new car, we’d often excitedly exclaim, "Great set of wheels." Now that comment could be said when one receives a new walker/wheelchair. Also, "wow," that thing goes one mile in an hour!

Balanced meals

We are often told to eat a well-balanced, healthy meal. I’ve been doing that for years. The only problem now is when the tremors take over as I try to "stab" a piece of food, and the perfect balance of protein-carb-veggie servings fly off the plate.

And how about those "easy open" cans and boxes? By the time I "pop the top" on a soda can, it’s been shaken up too much, and soda comes gushing out. And I must laugh at the "just tear here" directions on packages and boxes. I no longer even try. I just reach for the scissors.

Dressing for success

And for the ladies: You know all the ads we see for those sexy bras, all delicate and lacy? I now mute them or turn the page in a magazine. Instead, I walk to the bathroom to don an all-cotton, no-see-through harness-looking bra with a front closure. Sexy has been replaced by "whatever is easiest to put on without help."

I remember the days of reminding myself that "one should always dress for success." This has been replaced by "hoping to get dressed with any success." Button-down shirts have been replaced by anything that will go over my head and not end up with the tags in the front.

Success also often means not putting two legs in the same pants leg or, even after much consideration and examination, not having underwear on backward. The tremendous success, however, is not losing my balance and falling over in the process. Often a much-needed rest/nap follows.

Household chores

Finally, I remember reading all the articles that said a couple should share the household chores. Well, that went out the window with Parkinson’s. I don’t know if my husband never read those articles, or maybe he’s just a great guy who doesn’t mind doing more than 50 percent of the work and that I often nap while he works.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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