…to these “lay” eyes, the single most important thing that each of you can do is exercise, exercise, exercise and then . . exercise some more. Joel Krischer
From my wonderful, supportive husband, the last post of the year!
As a regular (and not disinterested) reader of Twitchy Woman, I threatened her with writing a comment to her most recent post to correct some factual inaccuracies in her description of my various musculo-skeletal sufferings, but more importantly, to offer some sideways views into the PD world. She said I should. She will likely regret that.
But first, a few words about TW, herself. We will sidestep the intra-familial dispute about which of us came up with the name for the blog (hint: it wasn’t her). There are no words that can express how impressive she has been (and how proud I am of her) in grabbing PD by the neck and refusing to give in. From demanding a new neurologist, to doing her own research, to starting her blog and support groups, to getting involved with, and becoming a leader in, the various existing PD organizations, she has shown the strength, endurance, resolve and commitment of a genuine Kryptonian. It has been something to behold.
Second, a few words about her PD pals. I have been inspired by watching each and every one of them fight as hard as s/he can to make the best of the hand that s/he has been dealt. In this regard and to these “lay” eyes, the single most important thing that each of you can do is exercise, exercise, exercise and then . . . exercise some more. Both body and brain. It’s not just the high visibility cases, like Jimmy Choi, as marvelous and impressive as he is that have inspired; it is the progress and tenacity of the “regular” PD people. I have seen TW’s relentless improvement through her various activities (she is literally stronger physically than she has ever been). I have also seen people join her boxing class at a time when they could not move without a walker progress to vigorous and unaided activity in a matter of a few months.
Now finally, the real reason for writing. Those of us without an incurable disease can never know – or feel – what that is like to live with one (and those of you with early onset have a particularly heavy cross to bear). But attitudinally, we must understand that are all suffering, or going to suffer, from the incurable condition of age. My right knee has been bone-on-bone for years; it will be at replacement level soon but is not quite yet there. While that day approaches, the left knee got jealous and decided to compete for the world record in arthritis. Both of them, however, must now get behind the connecting spine, where a combination of stenosis and scoliosis (the latter makes Superman’s “S” look straight) resulted in some micro-something surgery to relieve nerve compression. And most recently, my right groin (if there is such a thing) broke during the intensely heavy and manly activity of swinging a golf club.
This list is not meant to start either a pity party or a contest in victomology. It is just a note that each of us has to accept that, as long as we are on THIS side of the sod, something is going to get us. And that it is our duty to deal with whatever that is as best we can, to stay on THIS side of the sod as long as we can, and to be as happy about that as possible.
When I retired seven years ago, TW was so (legitimately) terrified I would drive her nuts, that to keep me out of the house, she enrolled me in two stand-up comedy classes. And made me attend. At the end of the second class we were privileged (required) to do a 5-minute bit in front of an audience at the Comedy Store here in LA. It was the most terrified I’ve ever been. All I could think of was explaining the bitter irony of “growing old.” I stand behind every word. Click on the image to view.
Other exciting news from Twitchy Woman: I was interviewed on PDConnect this week. You can listen to it here.