Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Snowing All Over My Parkinson's

Snow on birdhouse
  WINTER DRIVING and Parkinson's disease

Before I got Parkinson’s I enjoyed winter, even a heavy snow storm. I often spent a lot of time working outside in winter months and my wife marveled at the way I could handle the heat of the summer as well as the bluster of winter.

Before PD, I was fascinated by the way the normal functions of society broke down. When I was a kid there was a heavy blizzard in the early 1950s with so much snow that. trucks couldn’t deliver to stores.The streets were plowed by the National Guard. Grocery stores couldn’t open.  My mother and I walked about a mile up to the Main St and bought milk and eggs and butter.from some soldiers. Cars could not get through. My father didn’t get home from work until the next day. It was the deepest snow I’ve ever seen and that was over 50 years ago.

What the snow feels like with PD
My wife remembers that a bit farther north, milk trucks had to be pulled by horses for a few days. She and her friends actually dug a serious tunnel under the snow. The snow was way over her head even where it hadn’t drifted. She also loved those days when ice covered everything. Trees sparkled and yards were fairylands. For children, those days are magic.

About 25 years ago, I was often on call to deal with heating problems for the properties administered by the non-profit which I helped to found. I was out there on the road when few other vehicles were.

Our dog walk area in Winter

My wife still talks about the way I handled the car in a snow storm on a Christmas night returning home to Cleveland from Dayton. Most of the highways had been salted and although slushy were passable. She remembers the huge pink Caddy directly ahead of us at the crest of a hill, unexpectedly hitting unsalted ice and then sliding down sideways down the hill. The median strip looked like a demolition derby, 30 or more cars facing every direction. I had to steer from the icy road to the shoulder next to the guard rail protecting us from going over the side of the hill and then down the shoulder. Piece of cake for me. She says we’d still be in the median if she had been driving.

I hardly drive at all these days. The last time I drove in snow I had to get towed out of snow drifts at a shopping center near our house. I know my reaction times are a little slower but I can backseat drive with the best of them. 

Sunset, trees and snow

Now bad winter storms give me anxiety and make me worry more about climate change, which many say is still just a theory and not a scientific fact. We’ll see about that.

Winter without climate change is bad enough, PwP worry about winter the way I do because we worry about anything that is change. My arm is stiffer and my hands shake Nothing helps very much except Sinemet and exercise and sometimes CoQ10 and relaxing. Those magic days become nightmares...and then Rita comes inside when I call her and I am rewarded with a smile and a nudge for a dog treat.

1 comment:

  1. All that snow is pretty to look at, but I'm glad I haven't had to drive in it for eight years. Being snowless is one of the best parts of S.Georgia.


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