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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.

The Sports Car of My Dreams

Terri Reinhart

When I was in elementary school, I loved to look through the Sears Catalogue and plan my dream house.  After days of looking, I would carefully fill out the order forms with all the furniture, appliances, and home decor for my future abode.  By the time I was in high school, I traded in the Sears catalogue for the Auto Trader magazine.  This was even more exciting than furniture.

Having a car meant freedom.  Having freedom meant getting away whenever I wanted, going wherever I wanted to go, and staying away as long as I wanted.  At least, that's what I thought when I was in high school.  We were always a one car family and getting a chance to drive the car was a rare treat.  My dad was very strict about our driving, too.  We were not to drive on the highway or go to certain neighborhoods after dark. This meant I drove on the highway and, well, I just didn't tell him where I was going.  I knew I would soon have my own car and then I wouldn't have to answer to anyone.

Paging through the Auto Trader, I would find my dream car - a 1965 Austin Healey. I would find every Austin Healey for sale in our area and mark the pages.  Then, I would carefully calculate the time I would need to raise the cash from my 75 cent/hour babysitting money.  I concluded I would need to babysit for approximately 8000 hours.

I eventually gave up on the Austin Healey and set my sights on a Triumph.  Though my financial situation hadn't changed much, I had added a family to my babysitting roster who gave tips.  On a good night, I might make $5 or $6.  If I kept up my work, I might just be able to afford the car by the time I was .... 65.

I ended up with an orange 1974 Pinto with an 8 track tape player.  Not that I minded too much. At least I had a car.

Now for my confession.  I've been looking at sporty vehicles again and I have my eye on one.  It's sleek and beautiful.  It handles well and can turn on a dime.  It can hold up to 320 lbs and go as fast as 6 mph!  It's also green.  An electric vehicle, it can go about 10 miles to the charge with a lithium battery.  What is most exciting, it only weighs 36 lbs, including the battery!  It folds up and can be put in a bag and stored in the overhead compartment on an airplane.  

It's a Travel Scoot, invented by Howard Huber, an engineer and amateur airplane builder who had injured his legs in a hang gliding accident years ago.  He wanted a vehicle that was light enough to take on a small airplane. It didn't exist at the time, so he invented one.  It's the Austin Healey of the mobility scooters, a Triumph in engineering!  

http://www.travelscoot.com/

I'm only feeling moderatly guilty for betraying my Pride Revo. Todd, the Pride mechanic, came by yesterday to look over the Revo.  He was impressed.  I've had it for 3 years and haven't replaced the batteries... yet.  It seems the batteries may have a month or so of life left in them.  Worse than that, the drive train and motor needs to be replaced. We were lucky.  Though the warranty expired a month ago, Pride offered to give us the parts at half price.  

I've come up in the world now and I'm not dependent on my 75 cent/hr babysitting jobs. I make gnomes instead.  I have my calculations.  For 60 gnomes, I can get the Revo fixed and the batteries replaced.  For 220 gnomes, I could get the Austin.. I mean the Travel Scoot.  

For now, I'm getting the Revo fixed.  I'll need it next month when I start school.  Oh yeah, I'm starting school in the fall and this time, I won't be teaching.  I'll be taking two classes: Spanish and Introduction to Political Science.  As it's an election year, I'm sure the Political Science class will be very interesting.  

I'll take the bus to school and use the Revo to get around campus. I did a dry run yesterday and it was great, only my battery started to wimp out on the hill coming home from the bus.  That's when I pulled out the scooter catalogue.  Time to dream again!