Nothing happens the way you planned it.
This statement is the opening line to a book I have just started to read - and had to put down straight away to write this blog - the first blog after a three week break. The book is by Ken Follett and called "The Pillars of the Earth". I have no idea really what the book is about, and all I know is that should I live long enough to read all 1,076 pages of it, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
When I married my husband 26 years ago, had we but a crystal ball to look in to our future, I suspect we would have run screaming in opposite directions. To say that our lives have been eventful is no joke, and we have come perilously close to personal disaster on too many occasions which has seriously affected the strength of our relationship. Somehow we have made it to this point in our lives, but the events of the last three weeks have been, at the risk of sounding trite, worthy of an Eastenders plot. Had I been given the power to change the course of the last few weeks, and even the last few years, I would have done just that. Suffice to say - being told I have Parkinson's has turned my life upsidown, inside out, and that of my husband and children.
Three weeks ago, I was lucky to survive what should have been a fatal car crash. Not only that, but I walked away from it without a single scratch, with (miraculously) no-one else involved. That said, the mental scars will stay with me I fear for some time yet - how many times will I have to relive in my dreams the seconds before I am hit by that juggernaught? Until then I had a squeaky clean record. Having registered a breathalyser test of zero, I was "banned" from driving in real life by Traffic Cop Tony Curtis (yup - that's his real name - I kid you not and I have the proof). As a result, I am confined to barracks (that is, my house) for an indefinite period, unable to drive. In a complete and utter state of shock and definitely not firing on all four cylinders at the time, I surrendered my driving licence and hence my liberty and freedom to roam the highways of England to said cop in exchange for a mere slip of scrappy paper. I later discovered that Paul, husband to Wendy (of canal walk fame who managed to get us lost....but that's another story in another universe far far away.......) drove past the accident scene some 15 minutes later but didn't register that it was my poor car who was an abandoned quivering wreck in the central reservation, otherwise he would have stopped. Just when I needed a man to be batting on my behalf as well!
Unable to cope with a bicycle with 28+ gears (I used to fall off even without Parkinson's), the nearest village with shops is an hours walk away (Parkinson's permitting). So far I have made that tortuous journey on foot three times. The village itself is hardly a bustling metropolis and on Saturday afternoons you can even see the odd hay bale being blown across the High Street in true spagetti western style! The strange thing is that on that fateful day three weeks ago, a day on which had the coin landed the other side I would not have survived, my oldest friend from my school days sent me an e-mail saying that she had been thinking about me and was wondering how I was. My response, typically, was "To be honest, not so good". How she knew to e-mail me that day, I really don't know, and we managed to catch up with each other about a week later on the telephone. Niki is one of the rare gems, correction - one of the corner stones in my life who has kept me going. We haven't seen each other in a good while, but that doesn't matter. Niki is, and always will be, a friend who I will trust to the end of my days.
Another corner stone over the past two years have been my book club friends. It's my book choice this month and I suspect something afoot planned for this Friday, which had been postponed from last week. Asked if I would like to go out, or stay in, I voted for out - not only that but to go and get hilariously and utterly plastered. OK, I know this won't mix well with my drugs, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if my dear book lubbers are drawing the short straw for taxi driver. I don't mind walking to the pub, but to be honest, I don't fancy the slow crawl back.
And as for getting back on the road, I really don't know when, or if, that will happen. As for my dear little car, "Harry" was written off and is now a cube of metal. Having bought him when brand new, he has been an absolute super star over the years and has never let me down. The reaon why I chose this car was that it was top in its class for safety and reliability, and just as importantly in my price bracket. Eleven years on, with nearly 150,000 miles on the clock, Harry really came through for me and saved my life.
And as for what caused the accident? The only logical conclusion is Parkinson's and/or Parkinson's meds causing an unexpected onset of day time sleepiness...... At this point, I would like to say a huge thank you to those who stopped and stayed with me until the paramedics arrived, as well as the lorry driver who kept the traffic moving and prevented any further accidents.
As I said, nothing happens the way you planned it - well not always.