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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.

Keeping Time - all night long

Terri Reinhart

We have no shortage of clocks in our house. There are digital clocks on the oven, the microwave, the coffee maker. There’s a large wall clock over the table. And, if by chance, we miss seeing any of those, there’s a large wall clock in the dining room that chimes every half hour.

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It’s a very impressive way to feel the time passing as we have two more chiming wall clocks that announce every half hour as well; one is in Chris’ study and one is in the basement. One of the three, we brought from Colorado. The other two were left here by the owner. They all work, but they are pendulum clocks. These delightful, wonderful machines are a little finicky. They must be wound, but not over wound. They must be perfectly level. There’s a tiny mechanism to turn to make sure the clock is going at the right speed.

They all work. One is on time. One tends to run fast. One tends to run slow. This is handy if we don’t happen to hear the first clock. Or the second. Or notice all the clocks in the kitchen. When all else fails, and our cell phone battery is dead, the third clock chimes in, just on time…. or a little behind time. It’s trying hard. In just the right spot in the house, like our bedroom, one can hear all three.

Which is all to say I couldn’t sleep last night, but I knew what time it was. When the clock chimed once, I knew it was… uh… 12:30? 1:00? 1:30? Midnight was glorious with 36 chimes: 12 at 5 minutes till, 12 at the hour, and another 12 at 3 minutes past. I heard the 2 o’clock chimes, the 2:30, the 3:00, the 3:30… At 5 o’clock, I gave up and got up. I try to make myself stay in bed until 6, but it doesn’t always work.

It’s 6 o’clock now and I’ve been up for an hour. Even then, I missed the Parkinson’s Insomnia Club meeting. I think it started at 3:00. I’ve never made it to the meetings, sleep or no sleep, so I don’t know what they talk about. Mostly I’m not really fit for human company at 3 am, so I lie awake coming up with story ideas, which I tend to forget as soon as I get up. It’s a pity, because I suspect they are really good stories, mostly because they keep me entertained for hours.

It’s 6 o’clock again. I’ve been up for an hour and 5 minutes. The furnace just came on with it’s ritual bangs and clatters. It’s raining outside, too, and the birds are singing. Who can sleep with all this noise?

And…. it’s 6 o’clock again. The last of the 18 chimes have chimed. It really is morning.

Time for tea!