Person lays chained to their bed as sun peeks through window

A Breathing Corpse Awaketh

Every morning when I wake up, it feels like I am experiencing a quasi-resurrection. That may sound somewhat bamboozling...so please let me elaborate.

During the night the complex cocktail of Parkinson's medication wears off in my body. In the morning, am overcome by a crippling and paralyzing cloak of stiffness, pain, and powerlessness.

I wake up figuratively dead every morning. This may seem quite unrealistic and slightly overdramatic. But it is not. I can assure you.

Mornings are overwhelming

Oh, dopamine, wherefore art thou? Why hast thou forsaken me?

Every morning, when my brain leaves the sleepy and cozy world of REM sleep, and my tightly shut eyelids slowly begin to flicker and eventually open, I am jolted back into reality. I am shackled in a broken body. Basically, I can blink and breathe. That’s it.

My speech is slurred and clumsy. Everything seems overwhelming and beyond my physical and mental capabilities. The most basic task demands herculean levels of strength and motivation to tackle. I feel like a burden for my loved ones.

My loved ones struggle

This is as hard for them as it is for me. They may display strength and stoicism, but I can see that they are struggling because I am struggling. The first 60 minutes of every day are undeniably always particularly challenging.

In these moments, out of sheer frustration, I find myself being more cantankerous than I would like and more vexed at those (unlucky enough) to be around me. The truth is I am projecting these unpleasant emotions outwardly, when in fact I know that is not fair on them.

Hard on myself

In my head, I have a very loud internal dialogue simultaneously raging on. In my mangled mind, I am lambasting my oh-so-rubbish dopamine receptors for the umpteenth time.

Like a passionate soccer coach giving an angry pre-match pep talk... I am loudly chastising them. Whilst in the same breath covertly and pathetically whimpering and begging them to do something... anything.

I beg, implore and urge them to spring into action... to please, pretty please just help, to regain my fluidity of movement again.

On some mornings, if I am lucky (which is exceedingly rare) I will be able to slowly and very clumsily gather my rainbow cocktail of Parkinson's medication. I painfully shove them down my throat while sipping little gulps of water like a little toddler. However, most mornings, this onerous task is the trusted responsibility of my husband.

Bring me back to life

Once I have taken my pills. The tedious waiting game begins. Tick, tock, the mouse ran up the clock. Being resurrected. Daily. Day after day. Gets tiresome, wearisome, and oh-so-frustrating.

You never accept the true reality of your new normal. Yet you are left with no other choice. It comes as no surprise to learn that I am, or was, notoriously impatient in my former life pre-Parkinson’s disease. *Nay, feign shock, horror*

I wanted everything done yesterday. So the sudden, unexpected, and unwanted arrival of Parkinson's disease into my life was a particularly devastating blow.

But this is the bitterness of the Parkinson’s diagnosis for me. This cruel life lesson that was so ironically foisted upon me serves a greater purpose. One that I can intellectually rationalize, but one that I refuse to truly emotionally accept.

To be continued...

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