Keepin’ it real, folks

I’d just been telling all and sundry how well I was doing, Parkinson’s-wise. It seemed that, after two years of trial and error, we’d finally hit on the right combo of meds, with the attendant diminution of symptoms. Episodes of Parkinsonian depression descended occasionally, along with the muscle stiffening and and leg tremors, but they were few and far between. I was mostly in good spirits and feeling well, and looking forward to the always convivial Seder at my sister’s with her husband, who, with great care crafts a new Haggadah every year and leads us in thoughtful discussion. The “us”includes my niece and nephews and this year, new baby Charlie, my two-month-old great nephew, along with dear long-time friends of my sister’s. My contribution was going to be a delicious cauliflower dish.

But a few days before the holiday, I fell into a deep funk. I knew there were things we “Parkies” were supposed to do in order to lift those dark spirits. Engage in a hobby. But I wasn’t loving my latest knitting project and anyway, I didn’t have the energy, so that was out. Take a walk. To the bathroom, yes. Outside? I didn’t think so. Phone friends. In my deep blue state of mind, I felt I’d already complained to and possibly annoyed them enough. I decided to listen to a podcast, in which a noted author faces his life with both a brother and a son convicted of murder. Actually, the podcast was excellent and, while it didn’t exactly make me feel any better, it didn’t worsen my mood either. (See recommendation below.)

I told my sister that I wouldn’t be coming to the Seder. I made the cauliflower anyway and felt a bit better after that; I just couldn’t envision myself as a participant in this lively event with a gang of people, however charming. Staying home seemed the more attractive choice, and actually, consistent with that “self-care” stuff we’re always hearing about.

My Seder plate

I spent the evening watching a show featuring a character who has Parkinson’s…and I was sort of okay with that. Instead of matzoh ball soup, brisket and the requisite four cups of wine, my Passover dinner consisted of a chocolate bar and a bit of Kahlua. While I usually find social engagement at least a partial remedy for what ails me, Parkinson-wise, this time it was the opposite. By the time I went to sleep, I was feeling a little better.

Meanwhile, I received a most wonderful invitation; a friend who owns a weekend place in New Hampshire invited me and a mutual friend up for the weekend. These are two of my favorite people on the planet and when we’re together, we laugh. A lot. I wasn’t as thrilled as I would have been ordinarily about a weekend away! With two favorite friends! But I figured I’d go. I could always nap a lot. Remember, when I received the invitation I was still fairly depressed.

I’m in the middle flanked by two delightful friends

I’m bubbling over with contradictions. One Andi is the eternal optimist, not necessarily cheerful but with the expectation that eventually things will work out. I am also known among my those who know me well as The Great Catastrophizer.

Both versions were present in the New Hampshire woods, where I had a wonderful time with my friends. We didn’t leave the house all day Saturday. We ate and drank. We played games, talked, ate and drank some more, bemoaned and tried to solve the world’s problems, i.e. talked and drank some more. I couldn’t have asked for a better tonic.

Speaking of fun, my friend Bill was invited to play Moses at a community Seder at the 92nd street Y.

Meanwhile, I received an, um, interesting text from my sister the day after the Seder which read “ The cauliflower was a Q-tip.” I’ll let you try to translate from text autocorrect.


Violation (podcast)

Two families, two murders. Gripping and heartbreaking.

Brothers and Keepers (book)

Award-winning author John Edgar Wideman’s memoir about his life as a Rhodes Scholar and author ( see Violation above) and that of his brother, wanted for robbery and murder.

Shrinking (TV series on Apple TV+)

A grief-stricken psychologist tries an unusual method – total honesty – on his patients, and on himself. Harrison Ford co-stars as a therapist with Parkinson’s.

Set (game)

I played this yesterday for the first time. It’s challenging but once you get the hang of it, totally addictive.

P.S. My sister dictated the words “a huge hit,” in her text to me, which the text-masters of the universe translated into “a Q-tip.”

4 thoughts on “Keepin’ it real, folks

  1. Linda Okun

    Love this! Have never tried dictating text messages, have bad enough time with autocorrect when using Word. Happy almost-over Passover.

    Cheers, Linda

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Anonymous

    Sounds like a really wonderful time – food, drink, friends, games. Glad you had a nice weekend.

    p.s. Any solutions to the Free-Staters problem in NH? (just kidding).


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