Stop PD Symptoms from Getting in the Way of Your Life

I am sure that all of us who live with this illness have experienced times of extreme hardship. These experiences in turn have made us wonder how and if it was still possible to enjoy life, especially when even the simplest of tasks seem daunting.

Find an anchor

I must say that as a person used to being always in control of living with an illness, which appears to be as whimsical as the breeze, can be maddening at times. If we’re not careful, it can lead us to abandon all hope and let ourselves be dragged to and from without will or purpose. Trust me when I say, there have been times I questioned everything. On the flip side, after devoting my life to the care of others with same illness, I also know that there is a better life for each of us if we learn to anchor ourselves in our friends, family, and our believes… so we are not blown away by the breeze.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Sometimes we just don’t have enough strength to even brush our teeth much less deal with the barrage of never-ending troubles like spilling shampoo all over the shower because our hands are too shaky or dystonic; so you find yourself slipping and sliding in the suds. If it were milk, all the churning would surely produce some sweet creamy butter! Alas, all we get is a split second of joy when we think we mastered our balance right before we fall.

Get medications adjusted and employ gadgets

I, too, hate those days when I wake up staggering like a tin man in desperate need of oil to be able to take one step forward much less do any movement with any semblance of grace like opening the medicine bottles to feel well again. Only to watch said pills go flying in all directions as you give thanks that no toddlers are around. Although, there was this one time while visiting the Grand Canyon that my pills went flying out of my hands and rolled down the hill. As I tried to pick them up, I was outrun by a mousse which happened to be strolling by… I watched in disbelief as he swallowed a few, hoping he would not plunge himself down the cliff thinking he could fly from wild hallucinations caused by my dopamine.

Now when traveling I keep all my medications in a large zip bag so if they fall they will stay contained in one place. If need, I use gadgets to help put on clothes, wipe my backside, crack eggs, and cook. Of course there is always a chance to have food prepared and delivered or get a loving hand from significant other.

As for my early am stiffness, I take larger dose at night before bed to avoid making a mess in the am with pills and shampoo.

Prioritize yourself

According to second law of thermodynamics everything tends towards entropy (natural disorder), a word which has come to exemplify my life more often than I care to I am afraid since living with PD, I don’t particularly enjoy picking up broken dishes, mopping egg whites from the floor, or fishing for eggshells when making scrambled eggs. Neither do you, I’m sure. So in order to maintain order and balance in our lives, we must assess our daily capabilities to minimize the internal energy needed to accomplish our tasks.

If tired, allow yourself time to rest and sleep. Listen to your body. Rest this one thing that maximizes my energy and minimizes my daily distress of battling to put on my underwear or remove my pjs to get the morning started. Plus, I make sure I don’t skip any doses and take my medicines on a regular schedule. I make sure I get at least eight hours of sleep a day by taking sleeping pills if needed and avoiding mind activation activities, like being on social media, in the middle of the night.

So go ahead cry if you must, till there are no more tears left inside. Then call on a friend, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start loving yourself. The future belongs to those who persevere.

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