Balance is important. For people with Parkinson, it’s challenging. My balance is off, which means that I fall easily, and have difficult navigating sidewalks crowded with baby carriages, children flying by on bikes and scooters, and parked cars (yes, cars parked on the sidewalk!).
But although physical balance is extremely important, I also have to remember to balance my priorities. To take the time I need to take care of myself, and keep myself healthy; after all, without that, my balance is completely gone. It’s one of the things I’m challenged with — and yes, sometimes it’s also “off” (although I imagine that people without Parkinson are also challenged with this).
Thursday, I spent nine hours doing tedious filing, something that only I can do, for Tikvah for Parkinson. At the end of the day, I was beyond exhaustion, so of course I threw myself into bed, instead of pushing myself to exercise. And that was a huge mistake. No, I’m not talking about throwing myself into bed, because at that point, there was really no other option; I’m talking about spending nine hours organizing files. Yes, it needed to be done, and yes, it was urgent, but at the same time, maintaining my health must be my first priority.
The following morning, I was so stiff that I could barely get out of bed and drink my morning cup of coffee. I spent the day bent over like a little old lady, shuffling through the house, holding on to chairs and walls to keep myself from toppling over. It wasn’t a pretty picture. Or, as my husband so succinctly put it, “You were so busy working to help people with Parkinson that you forgot you also have Parkinson.”
Let’s hope I learned my lesson.
On a more positive note, I spoke with some of the women who took the caregivers’ course. One of them told me how she and her sisters take turns doing exercises with their mother; three times a week, one hour each session — and how their mother is feeling so much better as a result.