But you look so good.

That’s the second most frequent comment I hear after my revelation that I have Parkinson’s, the first being “I’m so sorry to hear that.”

And it’s true, I appear to be just fine. My gait looks fairly normal, sprightly even, though I occasionally veer off into a wall. I manage to keep up with my unimpaired friends when we walk together, clocking in at a respectable three miles an hour. I don’t twitch or tremor while upright, and my tremors thus far are largely confined to my left leg, so you’d only be able to observe my involuntary movements if you were under the table, in which case you’d be either a dog or cat, or some sort of twitchaphile, and hey, give me a call.

But goddammit, those twitches hurt. (Some people’s don’t. I’m not some people.) Sometimes I wish the pain would announce itself with, say, 76 trombones for all to hear, sparing me the “How are you doing?” queries. My pain’s behavior is more like the poet Carl Sandburg’s fog, arriving on “little cat feet.”

Though really, don’t stop asking, because we like to know you care and maybe don’t really mind the extra attention, our protestations to the contrary.

And please don’t say (or at least not to me) “I get it. It’s one day at a time.”! I want to scream “No! It’s one hour at a time!” Or sometimes “one minute at a time!” This pain can cycle through my body at the speed of a Japanese bullet train, giving me ten minutes free of pain “punished” by twelve of an ache that courses through me to the point where all I can think about is “Bed. Need. Now.”

I think we’ve had quite enough pain talk for now so here’s a total non sequitur. I’ve come up with a commercial venture I’m calling Mad Libs for Seniors. Sample: When I (verb) too much, I need to (verb) a (noun). And try this one: It took me (number) (plural noun) to (verb) last night after which I (verb) straight to (noun).

Oops, I guess those weren’t true non sequiturs since they could be construed as having to do with pain. Sorreeeee.

Light bulb! Yes, another potential money-maker. Someone needs to invent something I’ll call Pain Pads (placeholder name). They’d look like tiny round bandaids but they’d contain sensors that can identify your degree of pain and display it as a lit up dot for all to see. Pink could signify mild discomfort, yellow means “please don’t talk to me,” and red tells the world “Bring me drugs. Immediately.”

You could put an assortment all over your body for a night on the town. The pain arrives, as you knew it would, and your Pain Pads activate, colorfully flashing and pulsing and voila! You’re a human disco ball! (This idea might need some work.)

Back in TWO weeks -new schedule, we’re going bi-weekly – in case you missed that bit of information).



I have a soft spot for the 1962 movie musical, The Music Man because….I was in it! (See above reference to “76 trombones,” song from the show). I was cast as Winthrop, the little boy with a lisp, at the Camp Mataponi SENIOR Big Show, as a mere Junior. (Played by young Ronnie Howard in the movie.). SENIOR is all in caps to recognize that to be a Junior in the Senior Big Show was a Very Big Deal. What some counselor saw in me I have no idea but I loved performing, which I did for years, mainly at camp.

So go pop yourself some popcorn, chillax and enjoy an American classic! (Apologies in advance if it’s embarrassingly dated. I’ll confess I haven’t seen it in years.

I once made my daughter watch what I characterized as one of my favorite musicals, Carousel, and she walked out in disgust after about half an hour. That one definitely did not age well.)

The Music Man is available on Amazon Prime.


13 thoughts on “But you look so good.

  1. Anonymous

    It was painful reading that, because you’re my friend, you’re special to me, and important, and nobody wants that person (or anybody else, well, maybe a venomous politician) to have to experience that pain. In company you mask it, or ignore it, or meet it on its own terms with a measure of grace and aplomb that’s admirable

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judith Fineman

    Ok, so the Wells Fargo Wagon is coming (hopefully with a cure). Miss you, Andi – and I do think about you all the time. As a matter of fact, I just read The Plot and the Decatur book festival is in it. Read (or listen) to it. I got it out of the library and thought of you. You’d enjoy. A bit creepy and New England based but it will keep you listening.

    Lots of hugs.

    Love, me

    Judy Fineman



  3. Catherine Mannion

    I have enjoyed reading your blog on Parkinsons — if enjoyed is ever the proper word. I have a brother who has been dealing with it since 2013 and still going strong, although he has sometimes let me/us know what he is dealing with. Your words have actually helped me understand what he is going through a little better, even though I know it’s different for everyone. Keep writing –please! And keep traveling and enjoying the life you have.


    1. Andi

      Catherine! It is so nice to hear from you!! Thanks for your kind words.

      And I enjoy seeing all your family gatherings on Facebook. I’m glad to hear that your brother is doing reasonably well.
      Take good care, Catherine.
      All my best,


  4. art corvese

    Andi…i read all of your blog postings….glad you are sharing with everyone….

    loved all the writeups on your trip to Paris…..

    Keep doing all the positive things you are doing….it is inspiring!…..art c


  5. Cynthia M

    Some way of visually indicating pain might shut up those gaslighting docs who think we really are fine and just want drugs….


  6. Amndi

    Thanks for being such a loyal leader



    Thanks for being such a loyal reader, Charlotte. It’s always so nice to hear from you.

    M, Charlotte.?


  7. Another one I hear is “you don’t look like you have Parkinson’s”. It’s almost like a challenge…prove it! I feel like carrying my Pharmacy bills around with me for the doubting Thomases. I love reading your posts, thank you.


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