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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.

Filtering by Tag: Dance for Parkinson's

On the town - Terri's first and probably only society column

Terri Reinhart

The night I received the invitation to dance at the Dazzle and Delight Gala to benefit the Parkinson's Association of the Rockies, I went to sleep with I Could Have Danced All Night going through my head. What fun! I felt like Cinderella, Eliza Dolittle, and Angelina Ballerina, only older. Not in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined going to this fancy gala in evening dress and actually dancing on stage in front of people. Not ... in... my ... wildest ... dreams...

The next morning, I awoke with Beatle's songs going through my head. It was a medly of Sure to Fall, Help, and Hold me tight. What had I gotten myself into?

For better or worse, I was committed, and couldn't have refused anyway. How could I say no to having Brandon (Private) Freeman as a dance partner? Private dances with Ballet Nouveau and is one of our Parkinson's dance teachers. It really wouldn't matter what I did on stage, everyone would be watching Private. We practiced a few times and by the night of the Gala, we were ready.

It was worth it! It was worth getting dressed in fancy clothes, worth talking my husband into wearing a nice suit, dress pants, and tie instead of his usual evening wear of sweat pants and t-shirt, and worth wrestling for 20 minutes trying to put on nylons with control top panties. This last one almost did me in. I slid off the bed several times and looked like a contortionist before accomplishing the seemingly impossible task. I blame my Parkinson's.

Our daughter took photos of us and fussed with my hair a little. Then, looking us over, she finally gave her approval, and we left for the Ritz Carlton Hotel in downtown Denver.

It was beyond elegant. We walked in the front doors, greeted by no less than 4 doormen and another man who made sure we knew where we were going. When we arrived on our floor, we checked in and perused the silent auction items while being offered hors d'oeuvres and wine. There were many lovely auction donations; the beautiful water color painting by Carolyn Zeiger was my favorite.

I stopped in the restroom before going into the dining room, you know, to powder my nose and stuff? Wow. Wow. The bathroom was bigger than my last hotel room. They had real cloth towels to dry your hands; tiny ones rolled up and stacked in a basket. There was marble everywhere and even a place to sit by a mirror and... powder your nose. I took a photo.

Cheryl Seifert, director of the Parkinson's Association of the Rockies gave a lovely talk about their work and told us of all the wonderful donors who had contributed to the evening.  We are lucky here in the Denver area.  If you're going to have Parkinson's, Denver is a great place to be.  There is so much support and such a great community. Thank you Cheryl!

The highlight of the evening was when Sue Feingold's son spoke about her experience with Parkinson's disease and how much the Parkinson's Association of the Rockies had helped her and their family. I remember Sue so well from our dance classes. She had a lot of trouble with walking and balance, and very little facial expression. This did not stop her from taking part fully in the class with a delightful sense of humor. The twinkle in her eyes more than made up for any other lack of expression. Sue passed away in May and we will miss her sparkle!

Live auctions are always fun, especially with an auctioneer who is really enjoying himself.  Add to that, a cow walking onstage and a delightful game of heads or tails, and it made for an interesting evening.

The dinner was fabulous. The dance went well, too. At least I can say, I didn't fall and I think I sort of looked like I knew what I was doing. It was about two minutes long and we were accompanied by the wonderful Parkinson's choir, The Tremble Clefs. After the dance, I learned that Private was just as nervous as I was. His boss had accompanied him and so, we had Dawn Faye, co-director of Ballet Nouveau, watching us dance. Dawn is a beautiful woman who reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. She complimented me on my dancing, mentioning my posture, in particular. I blame.. I mean, credit Paul and Carolyn Zeiger, my yoga teachers, for that.

I actually had it easy. If I missed a step or two, no one would have even blinked. I can always blame my Parkinson's.