I am not clairvoyant. I have not consulted with, nor have I in any way tendered or secured the services of a fortune teller or soothsayer. I am not hallucinating in some apocalyptic, drug-induced delusion.
I have seen the future – it’s not the lively cinematic version served up in Back to the Future, the fanciful and technological marvel of The Jetson’s, nor the darker Metropolis or Blade Runner for that matter. Nor is it the one recounted by Leonard Cohen in his song The Future (from whence today’s blog draws its title). But I have seen the future, and it is murder.
A few weeks ago, while prodding around leaves in my back yard, I had my first PD fall (and wrote about it here in case you missed it). A few days later, my chest and neck pain persevered and I consented to go for x-rays. I was fortunate to discover I had not broken ribs – just bruising and some soft tissue wounds.
That being said, the pain was pretty intense. I couldn’t reach out, bend over, stretch, sit/stand. I could walk but a few steps. Even laughing hurt! I was forced to cut back on most, if not all, my regular activities around the house as well as my exercise and fitness regime (such as it is). For the first week, I did little more than sleep, sit, and read. In the second week, I began to have some relief, albeit minimal and my activity level remained stuck at zero. Now, in my third week, I’m finally feeling like I’m beginning to heal. The pain is still very much there but it has moderated and I am attempting to resume some of my normal activities.
Now, before this blog descends into a session of self-pity and woe-is-me (one reader actually once did describe my blog as being “a bit whiney”), or even a sanctimonious lecture on safety while working in the yard, let me get to the point. While I was down and out of it those first two weeks, more than once the thought crossed my mind that this might be my future. I had, after 15+ years with PD, my first of what will likely be many falls ahead and this body of mine isn’t exactly becoming more resistant to punishment or abuse. Is this what I had to look forward to?
Being inactive – physically and socially – even in a short two or three weeks – starts to feel debilitating. Besides wondering how long it would be until I could resume some of my normal activities, I couldn’t help but project what this might look like further down the road. When the day comes when I am not able to be as active as I might like, how will I respond to that?
Notwithstanding these concerns, I suppose it’s the old adage of “live while you can” or “make the most out of it” that has to spur us on. Parkinson’s will. inevitably, and in all likelihood, have its way with our bodies. If not, certainly age will catch up to us.Yet my latest foray has given me a glimpse into the road ahead. I’ve seen the future, and it’s murder!
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