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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.

Unplug

Terri Reinhart

Online support groups. Podcasts. Brain games. Websites about medications. Websites about exercise. Blogs. Reading blogs. Writing blogs. 

There are so many ways our modern technology can help with chronic health conditions.

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Reading email. Paying bills. Ordering birthday presents. Contacting doctors. Ordering prescriptions. Making appointments. Checking appointment schedule. Checking calendar. Reading more email. Keeping up with local, national and world news.

Obligations. Thankfully, computers make it easy to do this stuff online quickly. We don't even have to talk to real humans. 

Contacting friends. Planning social outings and family gatherings. Watching movies. Watching TV shows. Playing card games. Practicing language lessons. Listening to music. Reading comics and books online.

If the computer could cook meals and clean the house, we could sit in front of it all the time and not do anything.

AAUURRRGGHHH!

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I've been trying hard to limit my time on the computer. My eyes have been helping as they start to burn after about 10 minutes, but 10 minutes here and there add up. I know I won't be able to get away from it completely, and I don't want to, but I've decided I am taking one day each week to be offline completely. Totally and completely. If anyone needs me on Sundays, they can call or stop by. 

It's not like I'm on the computer all the time and don't do anything else. We have our grandchildren over, I watch over my parents and try to keep track of what they need, Chris and I go for walks, I dance, go out with friends, and go to the local thrift shops. I play with the pup. It's just too easy to get drawn into more and more screen time. After all, there's so much to see and read and hear. It's overwhelming. 

I'm not even talking about the negative stuff. We all know about divisive political stuff, the rumors, the supposed news sites that are promoting extremely biased or blatantly false information. Even if we stay completely away from all this (hard to do), there's too much GOOD stuff online. Too much of a good thing is not good anymore. It's mental indigestion.

But wait! Duolingo just emailed to remind me I'm on an 11 day learning streak - "You're killing it! Keep your streak going!" And Nanowrimo (National novel writing month) starts next week! I haven't posted any new blog articles on my other sites for awhile! I haven't connected with my caregiver's support group in weeks! I haven't even watched the latest episode of Brooklyn 99! 

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And we haven't made it over to Riverside cemetery to walk around and see the graves of historic people who are buried there. We haven't gone up to Golden and visited the little shops up there or driven anywhere to see the aspen leaves turning gold. I haven't finished building my patio outside and our free library needs a coat of paint. It's not just the computer holding us back, but the ease in which it pulls us in doesn't help.

Heck, I need at least two days a week totally offline. Will start with Sundays.

I will purposely break my "streak" of learning. Who needs that pressure? (I know, it's supposed to be encouraging.) The blogs will wait, as will Brooklyn 99... and The Orville... and Ghosted.

As for Nanowrimo, I will work on my writing every day (working on a ghost story), but I will use my handy dandy NEO writer, a portable word processor that is very low tech. It is so low tech, it is powered by AA batteries and those batteries last around 700 working hours. It's the perfect word processor for writers because it's hard to edit. I can pound out a first draft without having to overthink every word. It's a typewriter not a computer and I can take it outside with me.

Having a day offline will be a gift to myself. Being outside is pretty healthy, too.

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