Traveling with Parkinson’s

I just got back from a month-long trip with my husband and always our tag-along, Parkinson’s. As you might remember when I wrote about this before, traveling with Parkinson’s is no joke. And as the disease progresses, it becomes more tiring to put up with. When we stopped at truck stops or rest stops, he would haul out the walker to get me to the restroom and then there was the laborious process of walking with that darn thing into the restroom.

Many times, there would be someone coming out or going in at the same time and they would always hold the door for me. I reiterate once again how kind most people in the world are. One lady from Minnesota at the New Mexico information center actually gave me a towel she carried to wipe her hands on when there were no towels (which was the case there.)  We talked for quite a while afterward and that a good thing for me. I used the towel several times after that and thought of her. And in AZ a young girl took the time to make sure I got in and out all right.

At grocery stores, restaurants and other places, someone was always willing to help.

There were many times when people in stores would hold doors for me or let me go out first. That was a little disconcerting because one of the things that happens is if you get nervous or upset in any way, you tend to freeze. So, there I would be, nervous because I was in everyone’s way and I’d freeze in the doorway like a rabbit in the headlights with everyone waiting for me to go. That got a little better as time went on because it happened so much.

We went to MO to see my sisters and brother who all live around Kansas City.  As you are probably aware, the Midwest has been flooding everywhere and full of tornados. While we were at my sister’s there were tornado warnings on the TV every night. We never actually had a siren go off for immediately going to the basement, but that happened to her before and after we were there. On the way to MO we drove through Oklahoma City in a frog strangler like I had never seen before. It rained so hard that even with the windshield wipers going full blast you could barely see through the window and you couldn’t make out the signs on Interstate 40 until you were right on top of them. I’m always the navigator and with the help of the map and the GPS on my phone we got where we were going. I don’t know how we did it but we made it through all in one piece(yea for us). It was stressful and sometimes I would freeze momentarily, but I knew I couldn’t do that and navigate too, so most of the time my good sense took over.

Having Parkinson’s is not what I would have chosen, but it lives with me every day so I have to accept it and live with it. That doesn’t mean I can’t live and do what I choose to do and most of the other people with Parkinson’s feel the same way. “Live, love, laugh and be happy” as the song goes.

Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 10 a.m. on the first and third Fridays every month at St. John’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Oak and Hill Sts. in Globe. If you have Parkinson’s or know someone who does, remind them and come join us. You’ll be happy you did and we look forward to seeing you.