Parkinson’s disease is referred to as a movement disorder. The term movement disorder to me means that the human body is unable to move normally. Due to damage of certain cells in the brain, the brain – body connection is broken. The brain continues to send signals to the body to move, but the path these signals must travel is compromised. This affects my life in a number of ways.
I am no longer able to sleep with my wife in our bed. Because of pain, I have found the only place I can get a good night sleep and not wake up in the morning in extreme pain is to sleep in a recliner. I first started to discover the various aspects of having a movement disorder from that chair.
When every movement you make is uncomfortable in some way, you find yourself making less and less movements. My recliner has become a kind of refuge. I have placed it in the middle of the room and I have tried to place all the things around me that I need to have close… IPad, phone, pills, water, remotes for my different devices, my pillows and blankets, paper towels and so on. Because there are so many things I need around me, and just so much space, I try to place everything carefully. But still, I continually find that something I need is just out of my reach. It’s frustrating. This morning I reached for a pillow that had fallen on the floor. I tried to reach over from my chair and get it, but it was just an inch too far away. No matter how much I stretched, I couldn’t reach it. I had to get up out of the chair, get it and then sit back down again. But, I had my pillow, my blanket and my iPad on my lap. So, it was necessary to lift these things off my lap, find a close place to set them so I could easily reach them when I returned. Painfully and slowly I pushed the lever to lift myself into a sitting position in my recliner. Painfully and slowly I tried to stand up, making it on my third attempt. I retrieved the pillow and reversed the painful process to return to my original position in my chair. I was now exhausted, hoping I hadn’t forgotten something.
I’m not lazy. When every movement you make meets with resistance and pain, you make the least movements possible.
It’s like I’m in prison.
Every prison inmate has a movement disorder. Most of the world is out of their reach. They are not able to go where they want to go and do what they want to do. Their movement disorder they brought on themselves by their actions. They are usually placed in prison because of something they did. I don’t believe my imprisonment is the result of something I have done. I am in prison none the less. The reason I am not able to do what I want to do and go where I want to go is not because of any crime that I have committed. I guess I’m locked up in this cell of Parkinson’s disease because of the crime that was committed by my first parents a long time ago in a garden.
Most prisoners in jail are confined away from the world that was once theirs. They are locked away out of sight. But my prison is right in the middle of my world. That means I can see all the things that are mine, but are now just out of reach…. picking up my grandson, running, walking normally, doing the work I want to do, having a sex life with my wife, riding a motorcycle, sleeping in my bed. These and innumerable other things that were just a reach away are now just out of reach. But, I’m not blaming anyone, except the creep that snuck into that garden and offered my first parents a lie.
Despite the fact that I will most likely remain in this prison, it is my intention to continue to live a life based on a decision I made when I was six years old. That decision was to accept a free gift from God.
Based on that decision, one day I will wake up and discover that not only can I reach that pillow, but I can move without pain. I will also realize that the bars of my prison are gone and I am free.