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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.


Terri Reinhart

My wholistic doctor once asked me an unusual question.  What would I do, he asked, if I had an entire day to spend any way I’d like; no restrictions, no guilt?  I would be able to take a day out of time, just for me and do anything I wanted to do.  I remember being somewhat vague in my answer.  I mean, really.  I have known this doctor’s family since he was in grade school.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about sharing something like this with him.

The question has come up for me again; however this time, I am the one asking it.  What would I do if I had an entire day for myself?  Between taking care my family and my parents, the idea of having half an hour, much less an entire day, is pure fantasy at the moment.  I definitely could use some time for me right now.  I gave it some serious thought as I drove back and forth over the last few days and came up with two options.

Option one:

On my fantasy day off, I would not drive.  I’d have a chauffeur named James or William.   I would sit in the back seat and not even have to give him directions.  He would know where I wanted to go.

As for what to do with my time, I would like:

  • A long soak in a whirlpool bath or hot tub
  • A massage with hot stones
  • A manicure and pedicure
  • To have my hair cut and styled by someone who will take one look at me and know exactly what to do to make me always look stunningly beautiful, even when I first wake up
  • To buy an evening dress that does not come from the thrift shop and elegant, beautiful, comfortable shoes, without heels

After accomplishing all the above, I would have a long leisurely lunch at a nice restaurant.  Friends would stop by to chat for awhile and none of them would ask me to do anything for them.  I would eat whatever I wanted to eat without gaining weight or feeling too full.  I would drink as much tea as I’d like without having to get up to pee every half hour.  I’d have a glass of wine or two, without any effects other than feeling good and just a little relaxed.  I’d buy wine for my friends, too.

Later, I would change into my evening dress for dinner; a romantic dinner for two in a quiet restaurant.  I would be there waiting, looking stunningly beautiful, when Chris arrived, dressed in a tuxedo and looking exceptionally handsome.  We’d order dinner, something besides hamburgers or enchiladas.  We’d have champagne.  We’d take our time.

After dinner, we would go out to the patio where the band playing would not be so loud that we couldn’t hear each other speak.  We would dance.  In fact, we would dance so well that people would stop to watch us, but we wouldn’t even notice.  Then to our hotel room, which would, of course, have a balcony where we could sit outside and watch the stars come out.  We would sit close.  It wouldn’t matter if we talked or not; all we’d need is to be together.  We would enjoy each other and fall asleep in each other’s arms.


Option two:

I would not drive.

I would get up in the morning and fix porridge for breakfast; the kind with chopped bananas, walnuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  I’d put on my old jeans and t-shirt and help Chris build the chicken coop.   We’d get sweaty and dirty and we may even get blisters from pounding in nails and using the screwdriver.  I’d get to use power tools.

It wouldn’t go together perfectly but there wouldn’t be any challenges that we couldn’t handle without a little swearing, a lot of laughing, and a few extra trips to the hardware store.  We wouldn’t, and here’s the fantasy part, run out of money.  I’d get to use power tools.

We’d grab sandwiches for lunch and call out to the nice Chinese restaurant for dinner. 

We’d have dinner with our whole family.  After dinner, we’d sit close and talk quietly with our kids, sharing stories of all our past animal adventures. 

Before retiring for the night, Chris and I would go outside and walk for a bit, looking up at the street lights to see if we could catch a glimpse of a bat or an owl.  Then we would go to bed and enjoy each other and fall asleep in each other’s arms.


I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to make a fantasy day become reality.  If the chance comes, I’ll be ready.  The only problem is I’d have to choose between my two options.  I don’t know.  Option one has potential but option two might be even more tempting.

I’d get to use power tools.