A fellow Parkinson's sufferer who has become a dear friend said something that struck a note and only someone with Parkinson's could truly understand and appreciate. She said: "I even have to work hard at having a good time, it doesn't come easy." Everything changes and adjustments to life have to be made. I'm not saying for one moment to give in, but staying flexible and making alterations to suit ones abilities is just common sense.
Once I was as fast as grease lightning and a master of multi tasking, capably handling the role of wife and mother, working a full time job 9-5. How times have changed from once waltzing through each day at a fast pace such as the fox trot or rumba, and never missing a beat. Now it's more of a slow dance, as I cling to my husband, in an embrace, hoping not to stumble and fall.
Exercise is one of the most important proactive factors when fighting Parkinson's disease, which helps maintain mobility and range of movement. The stiffness and rigidity are a constant problem, and therefore a daily regime of exercise, including various different methods that fit your circumstances are advisable. Gentle forms of Yoga, hydrotherapy, walking with Nordic Poles, exercises recommended by a Parkinson's specialist or physiotherapist are all ways in which one can stay in the best possible shape keeping Parkinson's at bay. To be frank, I have never been keen on doing sport, and the mere thought of highly coloured Spandex exercise clothes, conspicuously clinging to every bulge, makes me shudder. The word 'gym' summons up pictures of old school days, kit bags with trainers and smelly socks. I must admit that I'm having difficulty sticking to a regular exercise programme. I fully understand the benefits and importance, yet seem to lack the time to make these highly necessary workouts part of my daily schedule. When I don't feel well, suffering extreme fatigue, am weak and in pain, the last thing I feel like doing is exercise.
For several months, our next door neighbour has been building a house and the noise is sometimes unbearable. I'm at home most of the time, so unfortunately subjected from early morning till late afternoon to terrible sounds of heavy machinery, drilling, banging and workmen shouting at each other. It appears workmen don't know how to talk in normal tones, but converse with one another by shouting at the tops of their voices, just in case those living at the end of the street might miss out on something they are saying. The other day, my husband arrived home at lunch time which was a lovely surprise. He was horrified by the level of noise emanating from next door, which unfortunately we can do little about. To drown out the noise, we put some music on and turned the volume up high, almost sending vibrations through the walls.
As ridiculous as this sounds, we started dancing around the lounge and kitchen, to the loud music and our uninhibited cavorting instantly lightened our mood. Moving to music is not only fun but highly beneficial, freeing up those stiff rigid joints and an excellent cardiovascular workout. It has become popular in some countries to have dance classes especially for Parkinson's patients as it's been proven that music has the additional plus of lifting the spirits, an appealing activity both emotionally and physically.
Most days I fight tooth and nail to keep Parkinson's in its place, for I'm stubborn and wont give in. I'm not about to let it ruin my life and that of my family. I'll continue to stay hopeful, and count my blessings. It's doubtful that I will see a cure for Gaucher disease in my lifetime, but I hope and pray a cure is found for Parkinson's very soon. It would be a dream come true, to bid Parkinson's so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight. That would be the ultimate sound of music to all our ears!