Quarantine-Style Shopping with Parkinson's
Like many of you, my wife and I do a lot of online shopping. This was and is especially true during this period of social distancing. Gone are the days of trips to the mall or the big cities. I can get anything I want and never knew I wanted on the internet. I can do this with no traffic angst or time lost. What's more, for people with immunity risk, this is now especially important.
Just like Oprah, I'm going to show you a few of my favorite recent online purchases, and I'll tell you why.
Purchase #1: Double-sided backstratcher
First up is my backscratcher. I like it so much that I got my wife one on a second shopping excursion. Nothing is better to deep scratch or just rub an itch than a double-sided backscratcher, my friends. What's more, since Parkinson's rigidity might limit your range of movement, this little contraption is essential.
Purchase #2: Antiperspirant/Deodorant
Yes, there is a difference between antiperspirant and deodorant, but whether you need protection against sweat and odor or just odor, going online is a bargain since you can buy in quantity.
As I am prone to hyperhidrosis, like many people with Parkinson's, I tend to sweat a lot. From personal experience, it's not fun to have the wife direct me to it when hyposmia (a fancy word for lack of smell) keeps me from smelling my own "stank," but such is a fact of Parkinson's. Hence, I will slap some on when I think about it (like now).
Purchase #3: Mouthwash & toothpaste
In an ideal world, we'd all have breath like flowers and our kisses would be sought after all of the worldwide. However, Parkinson's means we often wake up with dragon's breath on a good day or a mouth that resembles a toxic waste site on a bad day. This is because of xerostomia (a fancy word for dry mouth).
If, like me, you believe that dentistry is a valuable profession, but not one that you want to contribute a sizable chunk of your yearly pay to a specific one, start working on this now (says the guy getting periodontal care / the guy who got multiple root canals in a day). When I go shopping, I like to buy cinnamon toothpaste. Thus, to get what I want, I try to be proactive. That said, I like my mouthwash to feel like it's burning all of the bad stuff away.
I know; I'm weird.
Purchase #4: Water filters
Since we've already discussed hyperhidrosis and xerostomia, it should be obvious that we want to stay hydrated.
Yes, caffeinated beverages like raspberry iced tea, can energize us, but they're not always recommended. Additionally, sugar from both drinks can stay in our bodies and add weight. In a Parkinson's fatigue world, weight can add up fast. That's why it's important to drink a lot of water when you think about it, like I'm doing right now. Nevertheless, water bottles add up in cost and are wasteful. A good filtration system keeps the cold stuff on hold!
Purchase #5: Heavy-duty oven gloves
The difference between an oven mitt and a glove shows up when you're trying to lift a pan with hot grease water or sauce in and it splashes you. My wife got these awesome new gloves that make me feel safe to reach into the oven in spite of my tremors. Besides, if you've ever been seriously burned (check) by an incident, you'll want something to protect you and your culinary independence. She doesn't get why I'm so into them, but they're quite snazzy and solid, so yeah.
Like I said, I'm weird.
Do you prefer online shopping to shopping in person?
Purchase #6: Music
There's a lot of great music out there, and it's important to let it carry you through the good times and the bad times (current listening Nick Drake's Bryter Later & Five Leaves Left and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks). I don't want to live in a world without music. Hence, I'll find myself shopping for songs quite often.
Purchase #7: Movies
Like many of you, I haven't been to a movie theater in 2020, nor do I expect to, but my wife and I have become streamers. We've also replaced out a lot of old VHS tapes to enjoy in those days where we'd rather be socially distant and laughing on the couch. I think many of you can relate.
You'd be surprised how many great memories or just enjoyable feelings a great old movie can bring back. Sure, I'd rather be staring into some beautiful expanse of the natural world, but I've accepted the current situation, so I'm just going to roll with it until it ends.
Purchase #8: Pool memberships
Our pool opened this year for socially distant swimming. They limited memberships, so we pretty much get the adult pool to ourselves. I think the most number of people we shared it with was 10. Many people use it for quick dips, suntan, and reading. We use it to stay loose and cool. I think that's a good thing because Parkinson's rigidity is not my favorite. Hence, I am the worst synchronized swimmer in the world, but at least I don't feel like a jacked-up action figure.
Purchase #9: Back massages
I'm up to 3 back massages since Pennsylvania went into the green. It's odd to have a person in a mask and face shield 'working the muscles' but it's worth it compared to being jacked up and feeling like a statue. Then again, I know my masseuse and feel safe.
To me, the art of massage, and it really is an art, is essential to eliminate sciatica issues. If you've had this, you understand why my wife calls it the psychotic nerve! Due to personal concerns, you may feel like waiting to get one. Until then, you can still google it and decide if it could be for you.
Purchase #10: Memory foam cushions
I already have a heavy blanket and love it. It does help me feel calmer, but as Giles Corey would say, "More weight!"
The memory foam is an extension of the back massage and blanket. As I can easily sleep 10 hours a night on a weekend, this is a necessity to have below the pillow kingdom. Sleep as a Parkie can be a battle, but we can make a difference for ourselves. This is one way to move ahead. I won't say it eliminates bad dreams, but it's definitely comfortable.
Purchase #11: Urinary no-splash assistance contraption
Sadly, with muscle weakness, the same stuff that affects other movements in the form of bradykinesia, sometimes a guy's trip to the restroom is more like a "showerhead" than a "hose," if you catch my drift.
Parkinson's isn't always fun or pretty, but life isn't always a bowl of chocolate chip cookies from my Aunt Toot. This device eliminates cleanup with a large cone that a guy steps to and does his business. There is a hose connected to it and a moving arm that holds it to the toilet. I guess I look at it as a part of this life. I don't like the urinary issues, so yeah, I really don't like Parkinson's, but it's a part of the game, so if the contraptions keep a happy home...
Purchase #12: Books
I've read a lot of books to dream about vacations, entertainment, literature, and the whole Harry Potter series. Oh, yes, it was that good, so I read 3,400+ pages in a month. Keeping the mind active is a good thing (even when it's less serious aliens). Like being physically active, hang onto the mental activities, too. Mental stimulation is a good thing!
Have you made some out-of-the-box purchases recently? Share your own story with us today!
Do you think there is enough awareness of Parkinson's disease?