What a strange and crazy year it has been! We are all adjusting to a new normal, but that seems to be the story of my life. Every time I feel that we have jumped the hurdle and settled into the new pace we are faced with a new obstacle.
I am now four years into this and I won't lie, it is still very challenging. Just when I think I have a handle on things BAM! Parkinson's rears its ugly head and reminds me that it's still here. Physically I am still doing good and progressing slowly, but it's mostly because of exercise and wonderful medications (which my day now revolves around). I have tremor on my right leg and when my meds are 'off' my leg becomes it's own metronome, it has a life of it's own. My right hand is getting stiffer, as is my back, but I've got to keep moving and fighting this. I am exhausted, things that shouldn't tire me do. Thank God I have taught the boys to do the dishes and laundry ;). But seriously, my body works so hard to just try and function normally and it is very draining, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And then you throw a pandemic on top of this.
In March, I found my self homeschooling three boys in three different grades, all my gyms closed, and my support groups cancelled. This is difficult for any parent to manage, but having Parkinson's made it all the more challenging. With this added stress my medications don't work as well, my symptoms are harder to manage, the depression sneaks back in and it was very hard to be motivated to care for myself. I had little energy left after caring for my family's needs.
I am not the only one in this situation. Thankfully groups like Parkinson's Resources of Oregon (PRO) quickly adapted to the needs of the community. They offered online support groups, we could still see each other and talk, they offered online exercise/meditation/nutrition classes. They personally called every member in our community to check on their needs. I opened my door the other day to a beautiful potted plant on my door step with a note from PRO. The depression would have gotten worse if I didn't have this group supporting me and encouraging me to get back up and fight.
PRO needs our help this year, as with many organizations, their primary fundraisers have had to change. This year's Sole Support walk is changing to a virtual walk. This is uncharted territory for us, but I personally think it's a great idea, it means that everyone can join me and walk on September 13th. So please, join my team or better yet start your own team and compete against us :) If you are able to, I would appreciate if you could donate to this group. It truly is life changing for me and your donations stay locally in my community
Finally, last summer I was asked to do a news interview. If you are interested here is the link