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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.

...nor torrents, nor floods, nor lost cab drivers, nor fences...

Terri Reinhart

Day 2 of the Tale of Two Intrepid Travelers by Terri and Emma Reinhart

April 18, 2013

Terri:  Emma's first appointment is for a CT scan at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Being the amazing travelers we are and not wanting to shell out any more for cabs than absolutely necessary, we decided to take the bus and train to the appointment. Easy. The bus to the train station stops just a block from Ronnie's house and there's a stop for Illinois Medical District on the Blue Line.

It's raining outside...really raining. It's the kind of hard downpour that soaks you to the skin, even when you're wearing a raincoat and holding an umbrella. If it was raining like this in Colorado, we'd stay inside, but this is Chicago. It rains all the time in Chicago. This must be normal. We're not going to be wimps.

Emma:  Right, right. Goodness, it is really raining, isn’t it? Time to play, “dodge the worms on the sidewalk” or maybe a better name for it would be “worm hopscotch.” Eugh.


Terri:  We're still waiting for the bus. In the rain.

Emma:  And waiting… and waiting.

Terri:  I don't think the 308 is coming. Another person who is waiting suggested we walk to Roosevelt Ave and catch the 301 if we really needed to get somewhere, so we do that.

Still no bus. Finally, a car stops and a man rolls down the window to let us know the bus is not coming. Part of the road is closed and the bus can't get through. I must have looked panicked. He offered to drive us to the transit station. It's amazing to be on the receiving end of this kind of gift.


It was really nice of that man to give us a lift. We’d probably have waited for that nonexistent bus for another hour before we realized that it really wasn’t coming. Thank goodness for nice people with cars.

We arrived at UIC an hour late. They were very understanding. Afterwards, while waiting for the cab, I found an article in a magazine about Audrey Hepburn, very cool. I didn’t have time to read all of it though, as the cab arrived quickly.

Terri:  Another rule for traveling:

7. Never pass up a chance to say thank you – to people, organizations, and life in general.

We didn't take any chances. We took a cab from UIC to Shriners. The cab driver was from “Al-bah-ni-a” as opposed to “Al-bā-ni-a”. Of this, he was most particular. I'm not sure how well he understood English. When the receptionist at Shriners asked what it was like outside, he answered, “Twenty-five dollars, please.”

Emma:  The Albanian cabbie was neat. He liked to talk, good thing for living in Chicago. His name was Berti.

12:00 noon

Terri:  Exciting things to do in Chicago: Stand and wait for buses. Sit and wait for doctors. Try to use the bathroom and that's when the cab comes.

Emma:  The checkup went well. Few things to think about. Nothing major, thank the stars.

1:30 pm

Terri:  Back at Ronnie's house. I wasn't sure if we'd make it back.  This cab driver also got lost.  Thankfully, he admitted he was lost and assured me he would discount the fare.  We are HUNGRY!  Fortunately Ronnie's house is well supplied with good food. Pig out. Sleep.

Emma:  Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

6:00 pm

Terri:  Small dinner. We watched the news and learned we weren't the only ones with transportation challenges today. It seems this is not a usual Chicago rain. It is a torrential, build an ark kind of rain, and there is a lot of flooding. Roads are closed because they are two feet under water. Schools are closed. The Brookfield Zoo is closed for only the third time in its history. It's a wonder we made it anywhere today.

Emma:  It’s a bit strange, being this close to major flooding areas. Never happened to me before. It reminds me of that Doctor Who episode, “Waters of Mars” and now I have successfully been disconcerted by that thought I am off to bed.

Ok, not quite bedtime yet. Hungry.

9:00 pm

Terri:  Late night dessert

Emma:  I got mom to listen to the first “Cabin Pressure” finally!  

A quote of said radio comedy:  “I don't have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an air dot.”

10:00 pm

Terri:  Listening to “Cabin Pressure” with Emma. She often suggests programs for me. This one's good! Her suggestions are always good.

Now to sleep – perchance to dream.