They say, “If you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s, you’ve seen one person with Parkinson’s.” (If you’re wondering who “they” are: ‘These are the people who have studied the disease and are experts in the field.) However, while it is true that this disease is individualistic, we all have some things in common. One such thing is good days and bad days.
One of the problems with this disease is one can never be sure if something, say depression or constipation, is because of a current problem or from Parkinson’s. So, do I respond to each new development or try to cover any possible problem with daily exercise and therapies?
A few of our doors have quite high thresholds. Because I have not been keeping up with my BIG Therapy sessions, I tend to shuffle my feet, trip on things, and generally have a bit of difficulty getting around.
Three weeks ago, I woke up early, had lots of energy and thought this was going to be a productive day. I was going into the garage, and my foot came down on threshold, twisting my ankle quite painfully. I was certain that it was just a bad sprain and began using walking aids to get around, which includes a walker, my hiking sticks, and a cane.
The following Sunday, I was going into the house with a walker. The walker slipped off the step and I landed on my already injured ankle. I had no doubt that something down there was broken. My good friend Bill and my wife Harriet, drove me to the emergency room.
After spending four hours in the E R, the Doctor assured me that nothing was broken it was just a soft tissue injury. They sent me home with a pair of crutches, and the instructions to rest and elevate the injured leg for a week to ten days.
“That’s the most ridiculous medical advice any doctor has EVER given me!” I thought to myself. “SEVEN TO TEN DAYS! HAH! I’ve got way too much to do to sit around and stare at the ceiling for the next ten days.”
Harriet is certain that the Doctors know a lot more than I ever will about healing and wholeness. She was adamant that I take their advice for at least five of the ten days. Monday found me sitting on the couch, with my laptop and working on my novel. All day Monday I had pain in my foot whenever I would get up to walk.
Tuesday morning, I was up early and feeling quite well with only a little bit of pain in my foot. Harriet was still sleeping, and I thought “what harm could it do if I were to go out into the garage and finish my exercise space by hanging up the quick punching bag and the television set? After all, I would still have the entire afternoon and evening to sit with my foot up.”
My ankle was feeling so well that I figured just a cane would be needed to walk into the garage, open the big door and get to work. There are two steps down from the house into the garage. I navigated them without a bit of trouble. I’m not exactly sure what happened after that. What I do know is that I had gone about eight feet into the garage when I felt my foot roll and it felt like a hot icepick was plunged into it. I fell into a chair that Joshua sits in. I tried to stand back up, but the pain made it impossible. I sat there for a few minutes but every time I attempted to rise up, the pain stopped me.
Joshua was sleeping in the basement, and I was hoping to wake him so that I didn’t have to bother Harriet. I’m not sure how many times I called Joshua, however, it soon became clear that I didn’t have any other choice but to wake Harriet up.
I called Harriet and I have never seen her wake up and move so quickly. The door opened and the look on her face was not a happy one. Don’t you hate it when someone asks you, “What were you thinking?” Usually thinking doesn’t have anything to do with it. She brought the walker and I was soon back on the couch where I belonged.
If I had followed the doctor’s orders, I would be walking around with out any pain whatsoever. This Sunday, August 14, will be fourteen days since I was in the Emergency room. Can you keep a secret? Harriet was right and I was wrong about listening to the Doctor. If I knew then what I know now…
The last twelve days have not been good ones. But it cannot be blamed on Parkinson’s. Rather it’s all because I can do the dumbest things.
Please keep praying for us and be sure that we will continue to pray for you