Tag Archive: Health


This has been a bad year for ticks. Actually, it’s been a good year for ticks, a bad one for humans and their pets. The dogs race inside the house inevitably carrying a commuter or two. Luckily having white hair (or fur, I don’t know the difference) it is easy to spot ticks on them. Sometimes. And sometimes it isn’t until I am petting one of the girls that I discover one of the little buggers attached to the skin. And boy, do they attach. As gentle as I try to be, with my semi-official tick removal kit (alcohol, cotton balls, tick tweezers, neosporin) at the ready, there is no way to detach a tick without some discomfort. For everyone involved. I am including the tick since it does have a stake in this, though it is of short duration, culminating in the flush of a toilet.

Even as I write this I feel twitchy. Soon I’ll start whipping around to search out the cause of an errant itch or twinge. I know this about mysef. I get caught up in the ickiness and start envisioning some kind of tick SWAT team studying maps, gathering tiny little climbing gear and figuring out how to take me down. No matter my neurotic fantasy, the reality is I do find them on me. So far it’s been as they are ambling along, kind of window shopping as it were. I don’t know if I’ve missed any who had time for a sit-down meal. Inevitable, I suppose. I try to be careful but I am not going to let these bloodsuckers deprive me of walking in the woods or enjoying the winter sun sprawled out on a grassy slope somewhere. I’ll just have to accept that after indulging in any close-to-the-earth activity I’ll need to carry out a ruthless search and destroy mission.

Ticks- ick.

Wither I Goest

Okay, I get it. There are lots of people worse off than me. I know that. When I was young and very upset at what was happening in my family I used to try and gain perspective by reading about the Holocaust. And though I learned a lot about humanity (and inhumanity), courage and survival, still my pain was my pain. I couldn’t negate it or eliminate it just because of a growing awareness of pain on a global scale.

Just as someone else’s pain is theirs alone. They own it, they bear it. Comparing my pain with someone else’s is unproductive, a waste of time. It is what it is.

That is quickly becoming my mantra, bizarrely enough. I don’t know how I picked it up or where but that phrase is now part of my lexicon. It defines my outlook on life. It helps me react to negative circumstances in a…well, if I am unable to muster a positive or uplifting response, at least not a life-grindingly negative one.

Having Parkinson’s sucks.

It is not just the day to day things, the physical challenges, the demands on my patience with myself, and my compassion. It is those middle of the night terrors that drain me most. What if? What then? Visions of a hard future batter my emotions and my resolve. I struggle to keep in the now, keep my focus on the present. After all, who knows what is around the next corner. We only have today right? Actually we really only have right now…and now..and now.

I go to support groups (and will continue to do so) but it is scary and at times overwhelming. Sometimes examples of what my future might entail are right there in front of me and it can be a harsh look in  the mirror. I know that the reality is different for each individual, PD does not follow a uniform path. But still…I feel myself thinking I don’t belong here…yet I do. I want to run away, but I can’t run from this.

Maybe it is the combination of being 55 and of having PD. I think I am grieving the loss of my dreams, what I had hoped to achieve.

It is not just having PD that sucks…the letting go sucks. We all face it at one time or another. How we deal with the reality of our lives, our achievements, our gains, our  losses…the path we thought we were on that turned into a dead-end. How we deal with all that  is the ultimate definition of who we really are.

The best case scenario is to gather up all the loose ends, burnt bridges, broken hearts, faded dreams of our lives into a big colorful, cumbersome, complex bundle. Write our name on it in bold bright indelible letters (God forbid we get somebody else’s bundle by mistake). Then hoist it up onto our backs, gain our balance, turn our gaze forward and journey on.