Friday, September 19, 2008

Shake, Shake, Shake ...

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted anything, which is about par for me. It’s extremely hard for me to type most of the time, so I have to triage my time at the keyboard. Also, I decided that it would be better to wait until I had something to say, rather than just post for the sake of posting. Sorry about that.

I said in my last post that I would talk about the young-onset Parkinson’s retreat Debbie and I went to. I was pleasantly surprised to see most folks vibrant and active, rather than defeated. This is something I have to struggle with greatly, since one of PD’s most insidious (and, it’s tempting to say, invidious) aspects is the way it saps one’s will and induces passivity. It is a struggle to get out of bed every morning, both physically and mentally. I have to triumph over my recalcitrant body and its stiffness and refusal to do what I tell it to, as well as this powerful depression and ennui that produce a reluctance to do the everyday chores and tasks that an adult has to do -- pay bills, shop, etc. So it was quite interesting to meet other sufferers and learn the various techniques and tricks they play on themselves in order to do what needs to be done.

The most common one is one I’ve done myself for many years, with varying rates of success. Basically, if I start thinking about all the many things that I must accomplish during the day, I become (sometimes; not every day, thank God), so totally overwhelmed as to be virtually paralyzed. I simply can’t face doing all this. Forget it.

But I can get up and brush my teeth. After I’m up, I usually make the bed, because that makes it harder to just get back in it, for some reason. Then I get dressed. And so on through the day, one task at a time. It’s important to find the balance between not being overwhelmed by the enormity of the day and not being consumed by each picayune task.

This is how most PWP (and, I’m sure, most people in general), get through each day. I suspect it’s a little harder when your body has to be prodded into each individual movement that most people do automatically. But I’m certainly not claiming that PWP have a monopoly on this kind of existential life.

Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you, as they say. Some days the bear just sits on you, completely immobilizing you. Those days are the worst.


Terry D said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your troubles Mr. Reaves.
I have been an avid fan for years and always look forward to your new novels.
If there is ever anything I can do, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Julie said...

This coping technique is similar to what I think a lot of people with disabilities do. The days when I wake up and it doesn't hurt yet are the best.