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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.

No Sugar Challenge - Final

Terri Reinhart

It’s taken me awhile to write this because our lives have been somewhat eventful for the last few weeks.  My thirty day no sugar challenge ended on February 6th.  I made it through easily.  It was no problem at all to stay away from sugar for that long.  I didn’t really even notice when the time was up and I continued to have peanut butter crackers or tamari roasted almonds for a midday snack instead of a handful of cookies.  Dessert time was no problem, either.  A nice juicy pear or a slice of cantaloupe was enough.  I was determined to stay away from sugar altogether, except for the occasional treat on Sundays, holidays, birthdays, or our favorite Saint’s day. 

Then our life became interesting. 

Whenever I’ve had to go to the hospital, I’ve given my husband enough warning that he can usually drive me there himself.  The one time I went in an ambulance, I was the one to call him and tell him not to worry.  Of course, what I actually told him was something like:  “I was in a car accident I’m fine it was my fault I didn’t see the other car stalled on the highway the police are coming and the highway workers are directing traffic they loaned me their phone I’m fine I’m standing in the middle of the highway my neck hurts I’m worried about the other people I’m fine I have to go the ambulance is coming please come to the hospital to pick me up no I don’t know which hospital just come don’t worry I’m fine.” 

See how considerate I am?

When Chris goes to the hospital, I follow an ambulance and he usually doesn’t know anything about it till he gets to the emergency room.  He doesn’t even give a thought to calling and warning me.  This time, I got the call from our son, Patrick.  Papa was on his way to the hospital after having a seizure.  Patrick actually called twice.  The first call came as I was standing in the tree pose in our yoga class, so I ignored it, embarrassed because I had forgotten to turn off my cell phone.  The second time the phone rang I left the group and answered it.  No one ever calls my cell phone just to chat.

Emergency rooms are funny places.  Despite the attention given to privacy laws, it is impossible not to hear what is going on around you in the ER.  We waited for the doctor to come then waited for a CT scan and then waited some more.  The lady in the exam area next to us was moaning and yelling for medication.  Another patient was singing, and yet another one was handcuffed and led down the hall by a nurse and a police officer.  I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and they wouldn’t allow Chris to eat until his tests came back okay.  We were hungry, tired, and a little grumpy.

Fortunately, everything did come back okay, except for the x-ray of Chris’ shoulder which showed a fracture of his collarbone.  They put a sling on his arm, told him not to drive, and we were sent home in time for a late dinner.  By then we were both ravenous and could have eaten just about anything.  Our wonderful neighbors brought us a chicken dinner complete with salad and cake.  It was the best dinner I’d ever had.  I ate lots of cake. 

Then I went to the store and filled Chris’ prescriptions, getting a candy bar for myself on the way.  I’d had a hard day, I told myself, and I need a reward.  When I got home and finally settled everyone in bed, I had just a tiny bit of ice cream with chocolate sauce. 

Chris is doing well. He won't be throwing out the opening pitch for the Rockies this year nor will he be attempting to climb Mt. Ypsilon or compete in the world championship jump rope competition.  He is doing well enough, however, to put his own socks on, and that’s nice.  I’m doing well, too.  I only ate one Oreo cookie today and had some hot chocolate and, just maybe I’ll have some ice cream, too.  I’m not overindulging.  We watched the movie, “Chocolat” last night.  If Juliette Binoche can eat all that chocolate and look that good, I’ll keep eating it, too.  In fact, everyone in the movie was happier, better looking, and emotionally healthier after eating chocolate. 

I’m definitely not giving up sugar completely.  It obviously wouldn’t be healthy.  Besides, we’re celebrating today.  Chris can now close the car door by himself.  It’s also St. Oswald’s feast day. Tomorrow is the feast of St. Ethelburt and the day after that is St. Walburga’s day…