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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Comin' down the Mountain

Terri Reinhart

I suspected that we were back from our vacation last week when no one came to change the bedding and put clean towels in our bathroom. I suggested that we try putting the “Maid Service Requested” card on our front doorknob but my husband just gave me a funny look. When we didn’t go out to dinner that evening, it hit hard. Our vacation was definitely over.

I’m having a hard time adjusting to life at home again.  I have to cook my own meals, wash my own towels and make my own bed. There are people calling me and asking me questions other than “what type of dressing do you want on your salad”. Our bank called to replace a lost debit card and they misunderstood me and cancelled the wrong card. I wonder.... Maybe it confused them when they asked for my account number and I answered, “I’ll have the cottage cheese with fresh fruit, please? I’m trying to stay healthy.”

I found out just how easy it is to get used to being on holiday. Our week in Glenwood Springs was refreshing and fun. We walked, or at least Chris walked and I rode, all over the town, everyday. We shopped and didn’t fret about how much money we were spending. We ordered an entire bottle of wine with our dinner.

The scooter behaved well, too. I rode it in and out of shops, down the streets and sidewalks, and I was even able to ride right to the side of the Hot Springs Pool. Glenwood Springs isn’t totally wheelchair accessible but it looks as though they are trying. A couple of times we found beautiful smooth ramps which led directly to a flight of stairs; nothing more, not a door or anything, just the stairs. At the end of the block, the sidewalks were gently sloped as to allow a mere two inch bump instead of a six inch curb to go over. Shock absorbers would be a great idea. The pedestrians were very gracious. They kindly stepped out of my way and let me pass. In fact, they seemed rather eager to get out of my way quickly.

When we arrived back in Denver and I rode down the ramp, out of the train car, the attendants stood in a semicircle around the ramp and sang, “She’ll be coming down the Mountain when she comes...”  It was a touching moment and a nice welcome home.

The scooter is still getting a good work out. I take Chris out for walks every day. I generally walk him for twenty or thirty minutes, then take him to the park and let him off the leash. After a good romp, it’s time to head back home.

Now that we’re back, our attention is being demanded all around the house and garden. The garden has been the most demanding. On our first day back, we picked four and a half pounds of green beans and nearly that amount of snow peas. The lettuce appears to be bolting but hasn’t gone to seed yet so we’re still providing the neighborhood with salad. It was a bit disappointing to see that the zucchini hadn’t produced much. I had to buy a few more just to make a batch of pickles.

I am back at home and back at my routine. It’s good. I have been writing up my to-do lists and getting through most of the tasks each day. I’m looking forward to having friends working with me in the studio next week. I no longer look for the little bars of soap when I go in the bathroom and I haven’t left a tip on the dinner table for several days. Life is back to normal and tomorrow I’ll get up and work in the garden and clean my house.

I’d better have an early morning wake-up call...

...and some White Zinfandel for dinner, please.