Wednesday, 31 August 2011

New Beginnings

Here I am, awake at my usual 4:30 in the morning, with a blog running through my head. I need to get up, go sit at the pc and write. My night has been disturbed twice already, with hunger pangs resulting in two early morning raids of my fridge. These moonlight forays will have to stop - I'm putting on weight, which I admit I needed to do, but as I'm now the heaviest I've ever been (pregnancies excepting) I'm getting to the point where I'm going to need a whole new wardrobe. Hmmmm the prospect is tempting, but having been off the dopamine agonists for about 6 months now, my spending habits have taken a surprising turn - I hate spending money. In short, I have become exceedingly thrifty! So, note to self - ask my PD support chap next time I speak to him about these annoying middle of the night hunger pangs - I eat plenty during the day, so why do I feel I need to graze all night as well?

Its the last week of the summer holidays, we're on the big countdown to the start of the new school term, and I must admit I'm feeling absolutely cream crackered. I don't want the summer holidays to end,especially as apart from anything else I absolutely loath the Autumn and Winter. But I have been seriously burning the candle at both ends this week and really do need some R and R as soon as possible, much as I love my two beautiful children. Elise starts at her new school, and she currently swings between excitement and fear. She and her friends will be going from being the big fish in a small pond, to little fish in an extremely large ocean.

The start of this week was marked by going to a 25th wedding anniversary. L and J are the parents of one of Elise's class mates. L has a successful event management company, so we knew the evening was going to be a good one. Having borrowed their neighours field, shelter from the elements, if so required, was provided in the form of a double tentipi, which not only housed the bar, but also an extremely good band. Antonia though, on it getting dark, soon found us, and finding it too dark and cold for her liking outside, also suffered in the tent. Like Tim, she was struggling to cope with the loudness of the band, and before too long I took them both home, whilst also grabbing the opportunity to bung on a few more layers. There weren't a great deal of people we knew at the party, but I was more than happy to wait until Elise was ready to go home. I eventually tracked her down at 1:00 in the morning and managed to persuade her that it really was time to go as I had left my drugs at home, I was late for my bed time dose, and really did not want to face the prospect of freezing - literally. Much to my surprise Elise was more than happy and admitted to me later that she was glad of the excuse as she was both cold and tired, even though she and her friends had been hatching plans to stay up and see the sun rise. Had I been younger and fitter I would have been happy to stay up with them, but these days I find I really do need my beauty sleep.

Also at the party were friends P and G plus their brood. They had just returned from an extended summer trip to Uppsala in Sweden, having put in train their plans to move there as soon as possible. I had given them Sara (Riggare's) contact details, but being short on time they never had the opportunity to make contact, but plan to do so when they return. Even though we've known the family since our respective eldest started school 7 years ago, P and I have only been firm friends for the last two. Having been a PD support nurse in her native Holland before she moved to England, P had long suspected that I had Parkinson's and had slowly been chipping away at the shell I had isolated myself in, eventually challenging me to consider, just before my first meeting with Dr T, that I had Parkinson's. Whilst other friends had suspected as much, she was the only one who actually mentioned the dreaded word, she said what needed to be said, and for that I am so grateful. P, bless her, had laid the foundation stones of the diagnosis, Dr T then built on that and here I am today, two years on, a fully fledged Parkie chick, making the best of my life that I can.

Its fair to say that I really don't want P and G to go..... I dread the day and know that there will be many tears - of joy as well as sadness. But I know that they have had itchy feet for a long time now. I'm not alone in dreading the day..... they have an extensive network of friends and will be sorely missed.

A week next Sunday marks a very personal anniversary for our family, as my father, Bill, would have been celebrating his 80th birthday had he still been with us. The date is also significant for a great many people across the world as it also marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 bombings in the States. On that day in 2001, my father, like so many others, took the news extremely badly. He had not long retired from living and working in the Middle East for the previous 20 years. On that day, when he finally answered his phone, the one sentence he said which I have never forgotten was "I'm glad my life is behind me". He had planned to spend his 70th birthday celebrating with friends, but cancelled it as a mark of respect to the thousands who had died that day. He said it wasn't right that he should celebrate his life when so many had lost theirs. But to me, it also marked the day that he lost the will to live and 6 months later he suffered a massive heart attack which felled him in an instant.

When I think of my father now, I wonder what he would have made of my being diagnosed with Parkinson's. I know he would have been upset, but I also like to think that he would have been proud of me. Proud of the fact that I'm still standing, proud that I'm determined not to let this beat me. He, like the rest of my family, would have been amazed at the way my life has been transformed as a result of this, with opportunities coming my way which I would never have even dreamt of. So, bring it on, I may have Parkinson's, but Parkinson's will not get me, not without one heck of a fight!

This blog is dedicated to the many who lost their lives on 11th September 2001, either at the World Trade Centre, at the Pentagon, or on United Airlines Flight 03, for they are the true heroes whilst the names of those who carried such atrocities against the human race will be long forgotten in the mists of time. 

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