The past 6 years
The past 6 years have been rough on and off. The past couple years have been extremely rough on and off. I was fortunate enough to have helped take care of my grandma for most of the past handful of years prior to her death. After her death, my dad fell at work. My dad is the most independent person you’ll ever meet and used to always be on the go. Now he is disabled. He used to do so much for me. He still does, but just can’t physically. Breaks my heart. Now I help him if he needs it. I know he’d rather do it himself. He never complains though.
After 6 years of struggling on and off, I think my bad times are behind me. They caught my melanoma early and removed it, I am a car owner again, and start my new job on Monday! I’m going to try to stay healthy physically and mentally. I’m going to pray that my struggles are behind me at least for awhile!!
More Travel Tips for People with Parkinson's
Here are some more things to keep in mind as you travel.
Hats and sunscreen
I never leave home without at least one hat. Many of them are packable, so take a couple. You can always look chic wherever you go. Don't forget that we are more vulnerable to Melanoma and other skin cancers. Take a good sunscreen with you so you don't have to look for it while you are traveling. My dermatologist recommends Elta MD Broad Spectrum 46 and I have been very happy with it.
From Carol Clupny, author of The Ribbon of Road Ahead, who just returned from a 67 day trip to Europe:
Using a walking stick to navigate the cobblestone sidewalks. Oh those cobblestones! I have great stories about wheelchair assistance. And because of the wheelchairs, I did not have any trouble carrying my trekking poles on the plane. I found disability assistance to be very good in Europe. There are even programs that an individual could access on trains. I was boosted up to a back door of a plane on a lift in Latvia and had a personal assistant who took us through the entire airport and even showed us how to buy train tickets in Munich. A small suction cup shower bar. I used it a lot! (note that many come in pairs. You probably need to take just one with you.) Pack light. Plan clothes to layer. We had only carryon-size roller bags and a backpack each. A drain cover to stop the sink when you are rinsing clothes. (a great idea for those sinks that won't hold water). Piece of shower line. We were able to buy Sinemet in a pharmacy by only showing the bottle. (and it was very inexpensive) Be aware of discounts for seniors, disabilities, and care partners in museums and attractions. We usually spent less than 50%We happened upon a 9 euro train ticket that allowed us to ride any type of public transportation in Germany (EXCEPT the intercity fast trains) we traveled for two weeks on 9 euros!!!
More travel tips from Parky Boy from his March blog post.
Choose luggage that you can cope with – this may have changed Aim to go at the pace that you need, especially when navigating transport hubs – because only you know Control anxiety and stress as much as you can by having everything you need very accessible. This may include Covid pass and locator form, which we’re not used to carrying. Take a few days more medication with you than you need – just in case If you’re flying, take a few days medication in your hand luggage (with, of course, toothbrush and knickers) – just in case. Carry on enjoying enjoying traveling
It’s been a while…
Just when you think your chronic pain can’t get any worse, it does! A few months back, I began to notice both of my shoulders were becoming very painful. As someone with chronic pain, I tend to ignore pain in my body, chalking it up to “just more pain” that will eventually even out or subside, as pain flares do. Well, this one hasn’t….it’s gotten worse. I now can’t lift my arms and the pain is excruciating. A friend of mine had frozen shoulder and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on in both shoulders. I’ve been putting off dealing with this because I’m having surgery next week to have my melanoma removed, and they are also removing lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread. I can only deal with so much right now! I didn’t want to get started with PT only to have to stop right in the middle because of my surgery, which will affect my left shoulder. I am miserable, not sleeping, completely stressed because of pain and the stress over the cancer, and my depression and anxiety are really messing with my head. I feel very alone right now, but I know people here understand what I’m going through. I’m 54 and have lived with intense pain for over 7 years. Anybody else ever feel like they just can’t take it anymore? I’m so worn out…
#ChronicPain #ChronicDepression #CPTSD
Sadness and gratitude