Nov 6, 2014

When life gives you lemons....

You make lemonade right?  Or that's how the saying goes... But what if you don't like lemonade?  What if you would rather a coffee?  Well I guess the purpose of that statement is to make the best of what life throws at you and many times we experience things that are out of our control.  So we can have a sour puss over it or we can try and add some sweetener to that lemonade and accept it.  Sometimes it's hard to find the sugar bowl though...

This has been kinda one of those weeks for me.  I've been in a bit of a 'funk' I guess you could say.  I think the colder weather and looming winter being around the corner has a bit to do with it.  When you're not working in the summer you can still find joy easily at a beach with some serious bouts of vitamin D.  I took advantage of that this summer a lot where I could sit my butt in a beach chair and the kids could play happily unknown to them if it was a good or a bad day for Mom.  But with the change in temperatures lately I find myself really missing the career woman in me.  In particular missing the daily outing of work and the social aspect that it brings.  When I do get to spend some much needed adult time I often find myself listening to stories of their workplaces.  Naturally so seeing how we spend the better parts of our lives working.  As time goes on and the summer heat is missing I'm finding it more and more difficult to listen to the workplace stories.  A sense of jealousy coming over me for what I'm missing out on.  And even a twinge of annoyance when I hear people justifiably venting or complaining about something that happened at work that week.  I usually hold back the urge to say "don't complain I wish I could work".  I try and rope that thought in knowing they aren't saying or doing anything wrong they're simply sharing.  I guess I've just been finding I have less interesting things to share and I'd be lying if I didn't say it was a downer for me.

So this week in particular I found myself all too willing to stay in my pj's all day long when Samantha would get on the bus to school and quite content to laze around with Izabella for the day.  I even caught myself dosing on the couch after supper while the girls played together in the evening before bedtime.  Now this isn't the end of the world but not a pattern I want to allow myself to fall into often.  I am exhausted all the time, that's just par for the course with Parkinson's.  Something I typically do my best to deal with and keep going.  But I was allowing myself to feel lonely and secluded from the adult world because I had nowhere to go, no place to be and no meeting I was expected to be at.  So the lemonade was getting pretty sour.  I realized the other day that I had to dig through the cupboards and find the honey to sweeten it up and get myself out of the 'funk' before it got worse.  Because I tried that lazing on the couch feeling sorry for myself thing this time last year and it did nothing other than make me get fat and make my mental & physical state worse.  So I need to remind myself of that experience as to not allow it to happen again.

Thankfully today I had a day that I very much needed.  A day for me, to recharge.  To change my attitude back to the way I typically try and live.  Thursday's are my one day of the week I get "off" from my new life of being a stay at home Mom.  I love my girls more than life itself but everyone needs a break and my break used to be going to work.  So now my break is Thursday-me-day.  So after Samantha got on the bus it was the usual routine of getting Izabella and myself ready and out the door to drop her off at the day home they once both went to four days a week while I worked.  It was then off to my weekly riding lesson.  Despite my rut I had started to fall into this week I still got my butt on that treadmill everyday when Izzy went for a nap so my legs were feeling in fairly good shape.  I hadn't really lifted a finger all week other than that, so overall my body was quite cooperative from all the rest.  In fact times like that are when your mind can 'almost' play a trick on you into thinking that maybe you're ok.  Unless it's first thing in the morning when you wake up stiff and barely able to get moving feeling like you have a 95 year old body, stooped over like the hunchback of Notre Dame, until you get your meds into you, then you know.  But other times your mind will play those tricks, until you try and do something fine motor related particularly outside of my 2 hours of 'on' times from my Levodopa.  Thankfully after having a great chat with another young onset patient and some other online communication I have found I'm not alone in this feeling of your mind playing tricks on you now and then.  But that's a topic for another post.  So off to the barn.  My legs seemed to be in pretty good shape.  Did the usual walking and trotting on TBone, some two point.  An exercise where I essentially stand up out of the saddle leaning forward but with a straight back, heels down and remain in this position while he continues to trot.  I've found this particularly beneficial for my balance and it really works a pile of leg muscles while doing it.  Afterall I have to keep that balance part in check if I want to keep wearing my high heels!  But the exciting part of today, just one little thing that I think took me right out of that "funk" was doing something new.  I had my first attempt since starting riding for therapeutic purpose at a canter!  Super exciting.  My legs definitely have some work to do to keep him going that fast and a new set of muscles need to be used more efficiently but it was a new step for me in this therapy and even though it didn't last long I thoroughly enjoyed my attempt at it.  It was exhilarating and just what I needed!

So after that exciting start to the day the rest of it could only go up!  I then got to get some womanly pampering and had my nails done, then home for an extremely LONG hot shower with no children interrupting or asking to get in the tub or screaming or fighting in the background.  I almost didn't want to get out at all!  And then as afternoon hit I knew there was a PD support group happening in Charlottetown, I had been invited plenty but never made it to one yet.  I did attend one in Montague a couple weeks ago and although I was skeptical it was a small group with a good topic and I didn't find myself nearly as uncomfortable as I thought I would.  But I would be lying if I didn't admit that seeing older people with Parkinson's freaks me the hell out!  I guess I'm in the stage of acceptance of myself and where I am with my PD but I'm not necessarily at the point of accepting where I "might" be down the road.  So when I see someone that's much farther advanced in the disease with very clear impairments in both motor, speech and otherwise it can be a bit scary.  I don't like that I feel that way, after all these are people too.  I don't like the fact that I find myself focused on limbs of individuals almost scoping out how well their body parts are working, what impairments I can notice on perhaps the less severe cases because I know they have it so I'm watching for it.  I'm not proud to say that I do that, but it seems to just be natural to me at this point.  I guess my mind is wanting to prepare myself for changes.  But like I said I don't like that I find myself focusing on those things as opposed to the person in front of me and getting to know who they are.  I guess this is a process and I'll move along on it as I have other ones with time.  So despite those thoughts I went to the meeting this afternoon.  It was as well a small group, smaller than I anticipated but as all of the PD community has been on the Island since I went public with my diagnosis they were very welcoming and kind.  I was made feel comfortable and despite the things that freak me out a bit about those meetings it was a positive experience and I do feel I will continue to take part in such groups.

I then decided that I started my day on a high note after a rather low week and I should end my day the same.  So I picked the girls up and we went on a date out for supper together.  The girls enjoyed pizza and of course ice cream at Boston Pizza and I enjoyed hearing the many stories of Sammy's day at school and all the trials of a 6 year old!  And of course the many hugs and kisses and stories of the bump she got on her head from Izzy!  Oddly enough I forgot to take my meds that I typically take around 5 or 5:30 as we were entering the restaurant and my extremely perceptive 6 year old quickly noticed by the time our meal came, pointing out that Momma's hand was starting to shake bad.  I told her I knew and that was ok, I'd get my medicine when we got back out to the car.  She then promptly told me that she told her friend Lexi on the school bus that her Mom has shaky hands a lot.  She then proceeded to say "I told her you had Parkinson's, but the day I told her I couldn't remember the name right and I told her it was something that starts with Park and makes you shake!"  There's no hiding anything from this smart girl of mine.  But I'm thankful that she now has a better understanding of things than she did before and she doesn't seem sad or upset over the days Momma might shake more or just be having a bad day. 
I guess it's true that children sure can adapt well.  If only us adults could adapt so quickly....

Restaurant selfie of the Momma & her two cuties!