PANDEMIC LESSONS FOR PWPS: SURVIVING THIS NEW JOURNEY WITH COVID-19

Occasionally I am asked to write for another blog. This was originally published on the World Parkinson Congress Blog, January 11, 2021

After living with the threat of COVID-19 for nearly a year, we are all more than a bit weary of the drastic changes we have had to make in our lives.  As the virus surges, wanes and then surges again, we face more and more restrictions on what we can and cannot do.  Some of us with Parkinson’s have managed pretty well, looking for ways to connect with others.  Unfortunately, there are many who have become isolated, rarely leaving their homes or making contact with others outside of the home.  According to Dr. Laurie Mischley, a presenter at the 5th World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto, loneliness can be devastating to People with Parkinson’s, causing them to decline much more rapidly.

You can read the rest on the World Parkinson’s Congress Blog

Guilty Pleasures – Another way to survive

One of the guilty pleasures Mr. Twitchy and I have indulged in during the Pandemic is binge watching TV shows that we probably never would have watched. This was pure escapist fun during a time when we really needed it.

Outlander Poster

We watched all 5 seasons of “Outlander” (67 episodes) in 6 weeks. Oh Jamie Fraser, I canna wait for your return in Season 6. Ok, Mr. Twitchy is waiting for the return of Claire Randall, too. We can dream, can’t we?

Friends recommended the Australian show “Rake”. We loved this show about an Australian barrister whose life is a total mess. It is offbeat and quirky, but the main character here doesn’t quite leave you longing for his return.

The Great British Baking Show | PBS

The show that has captivated us, that really should not have, is “The Great British Baking Show” (“The Great British Bake Off” in the UK). One of our daughters suggested that we watch it. Another daughter agreed. So we watched it. And got hooked. So has, apparently, everyone else we mention it to. What sets this show apart from other cooking competitions is the humor of the hosts and the fact that the bakers, all amateurs, seem to really like each other and support each other. And of course, there is that British accent (hmmm, is that a common theme with all three of these shows?) The two judges can be harsh, especially when giving minimal instructions for an obscure pastry or cake that the contestants have never heard of for the weekly technical bake, then expecting them to make it perfectly. But that is all part of the fun.

Making my grandmother’s Pletzel (onion rolls)

So what does this have to do with Parkinson’s? Absolutely nothing! Except for the fact that I think it has sparked the need in me to cook or bake things that are much more complicated than I would normally make. One afternoon Mr. T came home to a kitchen that looked like World War III. There was flour everywhere along with used mixing bowls, ingredients, utensils, scattered on every flat surface in my kitchen. Is Parkinson’s to blame for this behavior? Probably.

I even bought a pizza oven just because it was on sale. This was definitely a Parkinson’s driven purchase. We still haven’t quite figured out how to get it to work properly. My family is going to make fun of me for years about this purchase.

I never used to be like this. Before PD, cooking for a crowd was easy for me. I was organized and got everything done on time. Now I often feel like one of the contestants on the Baking Show, trying to get that complicated masterpiece done in the allotted time and often failing to do so.

One more guilty pleasure: I really think I need a sous chef.