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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.

Living Well

Terri Reinhart

Next month, I will celebrate an anniversary. I'm hoping for a party, of course, but would settle for presents and a bottle of champagne.

Hmmph!

I startled. I'd know that hmmph anywhere. Mo was back, standing on the narrow space above my keyboard and craning her neck to read what I was writing.

Mo: And it's blasted uncomfortable, too. It's like trying to watch a movie while standing on the floor right in front of the screen. Could I have a chair, please?

Me: Who says you can read my writing before I'm finished, anyway?

Mo: I do. It's about time you got back to writing more often. I've had to take an extra job, just to stay in business.

Me: An extra job? What else are you doing?

Mo: I've got my own column now, didn't you know? It's an advice column called, “Ask Mo”.

Me: This I've got to see. Who in their right mind would ask you for advice? Opinions, maybe, but advice?

Mo: Just listen to this, “Dear Mo, I am 88 years old and still like to go shopping. I do just fine, but invariably some young woman will come up to me, put her hand on my arm, ask if I would like some help, and call me dearie. What should I do?” JP

Me: What was your response?

Mo: I told him to turn to the young woman, wink, and say, “Sure Sweetie, you can help me anytime”.

I think Mo will do well.

Me: Okay. How about if I ask you a question. Dear Mo, next month I will celebrate a special anniversary. It will be six years since I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. I would like to have a party with champagne, but my husband would prefer a quiet dinner and some beer. What's your advice?

Mo: As long as you don't drink any champagne or beer, I don't give a .... uh.. I don't care what you do. Why do you want to celebrate anyway?

Me: Why not? Any excuse to celebrate is good.... but I know what you mean. Why even acknowledge the anniversary of being diagnosed with a progressive illness? It's a good question. I try to celebrate every day, in some way, since my diagnosis. There's a lot to celebrate, when I really think about it.

Mo: Like what? Your amazing superpower abilities like being faster than a speeding tortoise? Your ability to scorch your husband with a single hot flash?

Me: Yup. And that's not all! I can do Mountain pose, Tree pose, and Warrior 2. I can do the grapevine, fl-lap step, Cha-cha, and dance to the Pink Panther song. My posture is better than it was before I was diagnosed. I feel better than before I was diagnosed. I'm not really celebrating a diagnosis of an illness, I'm celebrating the anniversary of when I decided to live well. Heck, I can even bend down and touch my toes now.

Mo smiled. She did a little twirl on the top of the table and started humming the Pink Panther song. I couldn't help it. I joined in. Soon we were doing the grapevine across the living room.

Me: You're not bad! Maybe you can come to dance class with me one day?

Mo: I'll think about it. What about your celebration?

Me: What's your advice?

Mo: Don't forget to invite me!

Note from Terri.... Mo is determined to continue her advice column. If you have any questions, please write to her c/oterri@studiofoxhoven.com. She promises to reply.