‘How PD Made Me Stronger Person ~ …and changed my life, for the better
**If you haven’t read Part 1 I recommend scrolling back on the blog to read it.
These are small samples taken from the reports I would send to friends and family while I spent many weeks in the hospital this past winter, and the result, both emotionally and physically.
Warrior princesses aren’t invincible.
I’m in the hospital due to “Complications” with my Parkinson’s. No worries! I’ll lick my wounds; dust myself off; put on my favorite combat boots, and stride gracefully into battle…after they find out what’s wrong with me.
I am very sick.
Mid-night conversation with my nurse.
“I knew what kind of person you are the second I saw you,” he says “Yep, this is your breath between battles.”
“But I’m tired,” I say “I don’t want another battle”.
He turns and looks at me sitting on my bed, “Yeah, right now you’re tiny, and defeated, but YOU ARE supposed to do great things. So, rest up; a storm is coming and I have this really cool feeling that you’ll be right in the middle of it…..now go to sleep!”
I’m sitting in the dark on a balcony overlooking the atrium. The lights cast a calming shadow…this could be peaceful.
I’m remembering how many times today I’ve sat alone; doctors in front of me; my eyes on the ground; refusing to let tears out. Thinking “it wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
What a pointless question!
The question that matters is “Meg, what are you going to do with it?”
They came to take my blood before my first dose of PD meds. Asked me to straighten my arm. Seriously? She tried, causing a poorly contained scream of pain. Poor woman. No meds = painful rigidity. Fact.
I have a tube up my nose, and I decorated my IV pole like a Christmas tree. Does life get any better?
Through this whole experience so far, I haven’t lost my smile, but my new roommate Meghann (That’s right “Meg with 2 N’s”) brought back my ‘giggle’. I believe I’ve been sent an angel. We’ve bonded over toothpaste; and been serenaded by our nurse.
I thought of that quote about being a blessing to others in the midst of your storm. It’s something as simple as remembering a name; saying hello; smiling; telling the nurses they “so totally rock”. ‘Meg with 2 N’s’ is my blessing as she goes through her own storm.
Melissa and I are a “give and give” pair.
Midnight; the “blood taker” comes for 20 vials of Melissa’s blood.
In my half asleep state, I hear distress coming from her direction so I shout the first thing I think of…”ICE CREAM!” For 20 vials, we discuss the concept of “birthday cake” ice cream. 2-in-1. Brilliant.
Next morning brought a new tube up my nose and much sickness. I collapse; eyes closed; tremors from PD overwhelming. Suddenly a warm blanket, then another and another. I open my eyes. Melissa. Sweet service.
I know it has been hard to watch. I hear “it’s not right, you’re too young”; witness tears of frustration; proud tears for my courage. They have amazing empathy. “How have you endured this,” they ask. Easy answer. I know I MUST be healthy and strong for 3 children. My strength and courage leave me in awe. I couldn’t have done it alone. Angels everywhere.
I now own a Gastro-Jejunostomy feeding tube (J-tube). It bypasses my stomach ending in the jejunum of my small intestine. This means food (which consists of only formula), water, and medication (crushed and made into solutions) all go into the tube. Nothing by mouth. I’m an inexpensive date.
I wish I had eaten more pie at Thanksgiving
Today I hid…under my blankets.
I’m a bright woman, I was aware they knew where I was. It was more of a ‘hint’ thing. Slightly more subtle than yelling “Shhhhhh!”
Then I hear Annie having a spinal tap; I feel her pain and wish it were my own. I then hold her hand when just moments before I had been hiding. How does this happen? The change from thinking of our own trials, to being willing to take on another’s pain?
Physically I’m not the same as I was, but I have gratitude for each day I live. But mostly I’m not the same person I was. I wouldn’t want to go back to who I was before, these experiences have made me a better and stronger person. A person I am grateful to have become.
Wherever we go, we plant seeds. Seeds of kindness, sunshine and mutual support; seeds that will grow into something strong, beautiful and nurturing, so that even in the most difficult of circumstances beautiful flowers will bloom. These flowers are what help us remember what is really important in life, the real purpose of our journey.