Fort Therapy

On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the worst, yesterday was a 12. It started off with a root canal, yes that dreaded procedure that gives one chills just thinking about. Luckily the two-hour appointment was pain-free, however quite a shaky affair. I don’t suffer with tremors unless I’m faced with stress, anxiety, or fear. Yesterday I had all three. If you met me in person you’d have a hard time telling I have Parkinson’s Disease. Besides a slow right hand and foot, I’m doing pretty well.

I’m a complete scaredy cat when it comes to dental work. This fear topped off with tons of lidocaine turned me into a mess. I was relieved when the nurse placed a pair of dorky dark glasses over my eyes, it ended up hiding some unexpected tears. I felt surprisingly vulnerable and exposed as the right side of my body did the cha-cha. Truth be told I was down right embarrassed. This is the first time I’ve felt this as a PD patient. I asked for a blanket, not only to put pressure on my jumping limbs, but mostly to hide my tremors. Millions of thoughts raced through my brain for the next two hours.

I’ve been praised for being courageously inspirational. Yesterday I began to think about my upbeat attitude towards my illness. Maybe I’m positive right now simply because my disease hasn’t moved into advanced stages yet. I worry that when they do become more noticeable I won’t have the strength to cope with it as gracefully.

PD can turn a patient into a recluse….probably one of the worst side effects of the disease. Yesterday was the first time I understood how this can happen. We all want to appear in control and attractive to those around us. The last thing we want is for anyone to pity us. As my right side shook uncontrollably under the blanket, I wished I was invisible.

I can pull out a charming anecdote or a funny one-liner in most sticky situations, however I was too shook up to even go there…no pun intended. I arrived home with a heavy heart. I put on my pj’s, curled up on the couch with Honeydew (my favorite hippo pillow), and quietly prayed. I reminded myself there’s meaning in my journey and I do have the strength to cope and thrive. My faith in a higher power surfaced and I reminded myself to stay in the spiritual backseat. I sometimes forget the view is better from the back and God knows all the short-cuts.

My day came to a close with a heart to heart talk with my beautiful daughter Emma Rose. She’s a brilliant bright light who makes my heart smile. Amazing kid? yes…however still a typical 16-year-old teenager who occasionally needs help staying on track…last night was one of those nights. If you happen to have kids in your life, here’s a great tip: Before having a soulful one on one with any kid (or adult), build a fort. Yep, a fort. Just like the ones you made with your sibs when you were seven.

Together we constructed a cool fort out of quilts, chairs, pillows, and a standing lamp. We hung a battery operated paper lantern, turned out the lights, and crawled inside. The comfort and camaraderie of building our fort together set the mood for honest sharing. My girl went to bed happy, I slept like a baby, and the fort still stands. P.S. Mikey loves “his” fort.

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3 Responses to Fort Therapy

  1. Maggie says:

    What a great fort love! There really are few things better than girl talk in the safety of a handmade canopy. I’m sorry to hear about your dentist experience. Just remember to take one day at a time, and that you have family and friends who love you and will help you get through every moment. Hope to see you soonsies!

  2. Ingrid says:

    Thanks, dear frien, for sharing your yesterday, just the way it was. I don’t know anything about the tremor part of the journey, but I know all about dental fears. I even felt courageous just reading your post. And the fear of not being seen as attractive, people’s judgements, that must be a pretty hard one to grapple with. I am so glad that at least you’re not (yet) having to face that on a daily basis. Sending thoughts of love, comfort, strength, and self-esteem regardless of outer appearances your way (and some of that to myself too). xxx

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