Parkinson Vacation

Vacation is challenging, especially with Parkinson. Tikvah’s Monday and Wednesday program is closed for the month — with so many people, both participants and people with Parkinson, leaving the city, it just didn’t pay to continue. But now, with 20/20 hindsight, I realize that we should have put in the extra effort to keep the program running, despite the country-wide “vacation” mode. That’s because I’ve received too many phone calls reporting a real decline, due to lack of physical exercise. 

On a personal level, as well, vacation is challenging. Children and grandchildren seem to appear on our doorstep  at all hours of the day, which means that much too often I end up not going to the gym. I can’t really tell people not to come, or if they come without warning, to say, “Sorry. It’s been close to a year since I saw you last, but excuse me (sorry, sorry) I really got to run.

And then there’s the minor disappointments, the realization that the disease is creeping slowly, constantly making inroads into my capabilities.

Sunday and Monday, I attended a two day conference at Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim. I went with three daughters, a daughter in law and two infant grandchildren. The classes were great, the food, much, much too good for my own good (!), and the company; well, what can I say except that it is pure joy to stay up until 2 am, laughing, reminiscing, and discussing the ideas that we heard at the lectures, with four young women whom I love and adore.

Monday afternoon, we all played hooky and, instead of attending that afternoon’s featured lecture, we walked over to the kibbutz water park to have some good old-fashioned fun, with a capital F. But then, when I got there, I realized that this type of fun is not for me, at least not anymore. The park was bursting with children just being normal children as they raced between the wave pool, the many different types of water slides, and the regular swimming pool. One part of me wanted to join my girls in their fun and  make a big splash as I whizzed down the enormous water slid, but  then I realized that getting to an upright position afterwards would be almost impossible.  The asphalt was wet and slippery. I was afraid that some kid would run in front of me, and cause me to lose my balance and without my cane i might fall (G-d forbid). Even changing into my bathing suit seemed nigh impossible. The dressing room was crowded, with almost no place to sit. Although enticing, going swimming at the water park just too complicated and dangerous. 

So I left the water park and returned to the conference, just in time for the afternoon break. 

My life had become just a little bit smaller.