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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: positive

Life Coach

Terri Reinhart

She was back. Sitting on my computer in a lotus position, arms gently outstretched, palms turned upward on her knees, the Opinion Fairy looked to be meditating. Her eyes were closed. I don't think she knew I was there until I started typing. She opened up one eye briefly, pretending not to notice me. For the next few minutes I left her alone and went on with my work. After that, I'm afraid I succumbed to temptation.

Me: “Hey, Opinion Fairy, you want to get your shoulders down a little. Don't shrug them. And don't over arch your back, either.” I put my fingertips on her shoulders and gave a little push downward. She glared at me.

O. F.: “I'm here to teach you how to meditate, not get pointers on my yoga positions,” she said grumpily. “I read your last article. It sounded like you could use some help.”

Me: “Yeah, well, I'm doing okay now. I even had an appointment with a therapist. One session and I'm cured.”

O.F.: “From what I heard, your therapist was pregnant and went into labor early and had to cancel all her appointments.”

Me: “Uh huh, and I feel oh, so much better because I didn't have to see her.”

O.F.: “So, what's the plan from here? Did you reschedule?”

Me: “No, I didn't reschedule. You know Kaiser. The next available appointment would probably be sometime in 2020. I've got plans, though. I'm planning on doing at least some yoga everyday, taking long walks with my husband, slowing down a little, and finding every way I can to keep my balance, physically and emotionally, without any more medication.”

O.F.: “Wow. That's impressive. Do you think you can do it? After all, your typical way of keeping your balance seems to be to swing from one extreme to another.”

Me: “Yeah, well, part of that was the medications. That's exactly why I want to go a more wholistic route this time.”

O.F.: “I'll tell you what. You could use a coach and I could use a job. I could keep you on task and teach you how to relax, live in the present, that sort of thing.”

Me: “Hmm, I'll think about that. How would I pay you? And what happened to your other gig?”

O.F.: “Some people don't appreciate other opinions, that's all. As for my pay, for an old kindergarten teacher, you don't remember your fairy stories very well, do you. Leave some food out for me. I'm partial to sweets. Don't give me clothes, though, or I'm out of a job.”

Me: “Sweets. I think I can handle that. You're hired. Oh, and, if we're to be working together, I need to know your name. I don't want to have to call you Opinion Fairy or O.F. all the time.”

O.F.: “You can call me Mo.”

Me: “Mo? That's a funny name for a fairy. Is it short for something?”

The fairy mumbled something that I couldn't hear. I looked at her and raised my eyebrows. I haven't mastered the art of raising just one eyebrow yet, but I'm working on it.

O.F. (or Mo as I must now call her): “It's short for Marshmallow, okay? A 4-year-old named me. A little girl who was eating marshmallows with sticky fingers saw me wake up. She picked me up before I knew what was happening. She named me Marshmallow and it stuck.”

Me: “The name or the marshmallow?”

Mo: “Very funny. Uh.. both actually. It took weeks to get it all off. I am glad you're going to hire me because I've found some sweets you've been stashing away and decided to take my first paycheck in advance.”

She reached into a small bag and pulled out a candy.

Me: “Uh, Mo, I think you'd better be a little careful about those candies. They're not just ordinary sweets, you know. That's my medical marijuana candy. They aren't very strong, but then, you're not very big. Take it in tiny, tiny amounts and then wait. Otherwise you can get too much without knowing it.”

Mo: “What do you mean? They taste okay.”

Me: “How much have you had? You know, I hadn't noticed it before, but your wings are starting to droop.”

Mo: “Really?”

She stood up and quickly turned her head over her shoulder to look at her wings. Immediately she turned a particular shade of moss green and put her hands up to hold her head still.

Mo: “Ooh, I feel a little dizzy. I think I'd better lie down before I fly home.”

Me: "You'll stay here tonight, Mo.  Friends don't let friends fly when they're stoned."

I got out a shoebox and folded up one of my soft wool sweaters into a sleeping bag. Carefully, I lifted the little fairy into the box and covered her up snugly. I carried the box into the living room and put it next to our houseplants. I wanted Mo to feel at home. I went back to the kitchen and found a few dried cranberries, a date, and some sunflower seeds. I put them in a dish beside the box. I whispered “goodnight” to her but she was already asleep.

Mo will be fine. She'll sleep well tonight and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and hungry. I'm looking forward to her help. Who knows? She might even learn a few things from me.