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When Parkinson's is all you see

Late last year I began freezing and stutter-stepping quite badly. Because of this, I try to go grocery shopping only when I am on. This afternoon I took a chance and ventured out when my meds hadn't fully kicked in.

Unfortunately, pushing a grocery cart is no help when my feet and brain decide not to talk to each other. I found myself freezing and doing the stutter-step two-step while muttering "you can do this … you can move !" The other shoppers stared at me in action, or maybe it's better to say they watched me in inaction. And as I lurched past them, I said with a smile: "Parkinson's — it's a very strange disease."

This time something happened that took me quite by surprise: a very nice lady whom I had stumbled past in the cheese and yogurt aisle came up to me and asked if she could give me a brochure about crisis counseling. I said of course. I accepted the brochure, thanked her, and put it in my pocket. I tried not to cry because I know how strange freezing and stutter-stepping and dyskinesias look to "healthy people."


jean pushing grocery cart
There is a saying in the PD community: "I have Parkinson's, but Parkinson's does NOT have me." I must disagree. Sometimes Parkinson's DOES have me. Whenever I struggle to move or do my strange stutter-step dance, it is Parkinson's that has taken over my body. It isn't really me. I wish I could explain that to all of the people who stop and stare at me. I wish they could understand who I really am.
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blogger partner WPC 2016 in Portland