Brain/Body Connection and Parkinson's
Last updated: January 2023
I've had a long time to witness the worsening of the "normal" connection between what my brain wants to do and what my body actually does or how quickly it responds to commands from my brain. It's kind of like "slow motion" but much worse than that and more difficult to explain.
The brain and body connection
Everything I do now is mentally tedious in that it takes a lot more "mental" effort just to do everyday chores. I have to take a break from really complex tasks because it "hurts" my brain to think too long and I get my usual stress headaches. The reason for this is how much brain effort it takes to make my body respond now and for lack of a better term, it's as if the air was much "thicker" than it really is or maybe as if I weighed 100 pounds more than I do.
It's difficult to explain, but I need to take a break from doing simple chores like laundry or dishes because I get so exhausted, I have to sit down for a while. Nothing is done as a simple task that starts and gets completed in one session. Fatigue is just so debilitating.
Breaking down tasks
I call it "steps" and every chore or task is seen as a series of steps. The LESS steps the better and if something I wish to do has a lot of steps, it cannot be completed as one task - it must be broken down into a series of smaller steps to complete one more complex task.
Chores that I used to do outside go undone because there are just too many steps to complete and my brain and body get overwhelmed trying to put all of them together.
Let's say I have purchased a new, dawn to dusk light for the side of a storage building and decide it's time to install it. I have to find it first (I buy things and save them for months and months until I finally try to open up the box and put them together or install them where they belong.) Then I have to get the necessary tools, find a ladder (which is so difficult for me to use now,) open the box and read the directions and follow them (which gives me a headache) and finally, use all of the "fine motor skills" needed to put it up (which I NO longer have.) So, I fumble and drop things and take five times as long as I used to for the same job.
Going from a sitting position to standing up and moving is a monumental task much of the time. My brain says "go" and nothing happens. The "initiation" of movement is so much more difficult and then when I start moving, it's like trying to "push" my body through "thick mud" with lots of pain to boot.
As I've said in the past, getting out of bed in the morning is like coming out of a coma - every day! I'm at my best late in the evening and then dread going to bed because I have to start all over the next day!
Having said all of this, I have discovered that once I am moving, it is much easier to "stay" moving so I try to keep my breaks as short as possible. Didn't Einstein say something about "bodies at rest and bodies in motion?" It absolutely applies to my current situation with Parkinson's and I use it to get through my days a little easier.
Do you experience issues with spatial awareness?