Saturday, 25 January 2014

What's So Funny Bout Parkinson's, Love, and Understanding

I started writing another instalment of goofiness that made me laugh as I was writing it. It was a story related to Parkinson's and as usual for me, I poked around the edges and periphery of the truth. I like that. It provides opportunities to entertain and share, often times with the reader unaware that they were willing participants in the latter.

I have had Parkinson's for eight years. As I suspect with many, the first three years were not  particularly tough  as the  medication Sinemet  was able to keep Ms. Dopamine  in the lifestyle to which she was accustomed.  The last three or four years have been a much different  story with  the associated challenges  requiring me  to finish work about a year and half ago.

It was about that  time that I started to internally write stories about incidents that had
happened to me. Nothing big, mostly incidents of freezing in the public, freezing in the liquor store freezer (a short one, luckily :-) and many others. I think it was able to laugh them off at the time because they were in public where I would take chances as far as the duration of my outings or the destinations. (I know that sounds counter intuitive to some, that one would worry more about freezing in front of their friends or family than in front of complete strangers, but so be it. That could fill volumes for another entry :-)

I had myself thinking that I had enough humorous content to tell funny tales for hours on end. But as time went on the number of incidents became less frequent as I became more cautious about duration and destination.  I'm not sure why, but the realisation came to me one day that, while there were snippets of humour in most of these,  it was becoming a REAL  stretch to call them  funny .

 The epiphany was in realising that it was me painting in the background,  filling out the characters,  overemphasising  strands, while leaving out others in to make it as humorous as possible. In short, it was ME that was injecting the humour in the situation .  A little rewriting of history,  as it were.

This led to one obvious conclusion: If I played my cards right, I could be operating Calgary's first totally legal humour injection site for those with Parkinson's! What I'm suggesting  is that we  should remind  ourselves that laughing is often hard work. Situations don't necessarily poke you in the ribs and say "look at me, hilarious!" I'm not going to compare tough situations with anyone here - as my mom says, "there is always someone worse off than you". I think you're getting the point. As things progress for all of us, it will be progressively tougher to crack a smile or joke - we will no doubt be asking more from others as well. Unhappiness no doubt will creep in at times, and depression is a extremely common occurrence. With Parkinson's, it is imperative that we take care of what we can control - and humour can take us a long way

Nature versus nurture? In this situation, I'm siding most definitely with the latter. You need to meet my mom. I should in all my best judgement stop here as I could minimise the damage to just a flesh wound, at the risk of mortal injury, I will proceed as I feel a great need to honor her.

What is there to say about someone that says so little? I think I have already said a lot.  She is easy to spot when she comes in the room.  She's one heavily armed with a smile, a positive attitude, and the joke or funny story tucked away in her pocket. At 80-some (again, trying to hold the line at a flesh wound) she recently made the transition to a care home -  telling me the other day that "she has nothing to complain about." That's the person I want to be. She's my inspiration. ***

***  It is important to note that she can also be the bane of my existence. For nothing can scar the fragile male ego deeper  than to lay under the covers having skipped his morning workout - then realising that his 80+  mother  schlepped herself across town   to the swimming pool  at the YMCA  and cranked out 25 laps ...

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful words about your Mom :) Will think of her next time I feel like skipping a workout.