What Fresh Hell is This?

Forget the merry-go-round’s brass ring; that’s not important here. I’m talking about the ponies.

Let’s say that the horses represent Parkinson’s. Let’s also hypothesize that you’re in reasonably good shape; your meds are working most of the time, and have done so for a grand total of about three weeks. You try not to think about the inevitability of a shift in your condition, represented by the fun horse, the one that goes up and down just for the hell of it.

You’re not interested in the fun horse. Let the civilians (People without Parkinson’s) have their thrills. You want the horse that stays fixed in one position. You may not be headed anywhere exciting seated atop this plodding creature, but you are highly unlikely to tumble off. The ride’s actually kind of dull, your steed rather wooden, much the way your leg feels when the muscle stiffness of Parkinson’s pays a call,

On the other hand…there’s the more prized horse that rises and falls while the ride spins round and round without deviation.

In your previous – that is. pre-Parky – life, no doubt you’d have gone for the more exciting motion of the horse on the go, and the up and down would be a welcome adventure. But with this wretched illness, much as you might prefer the experience of a slow and steady day, you find yourself stuck with a highly variable up-and-down life, waking daily to a mystery: Hmmm, what will my body bring today? Will it be slow and steady, with minimal discomfort? Or as Dorothy Parker famously snapped when forced to deal with a ringing doorbell “What fresh hell is this?”

Unfortunately, I suspect the up and down pony is what most of us reluctantly ride. We go up – meaning we’re “on” and our medications are giving us the relief we so desperately crave. And we go down, into “off” mode, in which we wait desperately for the next pill to take effect and put a halt to the trembling, the apathy, the muscle stiffness – choose your poison.

I’ve milked this merry-go-round thing for all it’s worth. I think I need a new metaphor.

Meanwhile, how about a recommendation?

I’m a recent convert to audiobooks and Audible. I have become very (self-diagnosed) ADD and I’m finding it hard to concentrate enough to read a physical or e-book.But the audio book is perfect when I’m out for a walk (DO NOT FALL and break your hip. I speak from experience).

And another WARNING: Don’t do the audiobook in bed if you’re the least bit sleepy because you will conk out and when you resume listening you will have no idea what the reader is talking about. But when I’m listening while alert I find a very intimate connection with the book, more so than when reading. And a friend noted that listening is simply more fun! I’m all about the fun! So try it; you might enjoy it.

One thought on “What Fresh Hell is This?

  1. Leslie

    such a beautiful read, Andi

    ps. I’ve never tried an audio book – and now I will

    pps. Keep those Dorothy Parker comments coming!


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