I keep a card in my wallet from the National Parkinson’s Foundation that list my name and address, family members to call in case of an emergency, medications I take, drugs I should not take and so on… On the back, it states that I have Parkinson’s disease which could cause me to move slowly and have difficulty standing or speaking. Now here’s the clincher and most of you will think I’m making a joke. Underneath the above statement, printed in capital letter it states I AM NOT INTOXICATED. Now why would it say this?
Parkinson’s is defined by two sets of symptoms… motor and non-motor. Motor symptoms would be tremor, rigidity, and slowness of movement as in walking in an imbalanced manner. Non-motor is depression, anxiety, and indifference.
The slow, head drooping forward, imbalanced movement, as though your head was in a race with your legs; the unbending facial expression, the lower in tone confused speech pattern… all of these are associated with the public either as a person with an unfriendly gruff attitude or someone intellectually challenged or more often than not, intoxication. But most would not guess Parkinson’s disease.
I take medication to offset these symptoms or apparitions of a self I’m still not familiar with. But there is one think that can send me spinning into a world of deep-seated tremor. And we know it as STRESS. I call my tremor ‘deep-seated’ because my hand is shaking so fast it seems to dig deeper into my consciousness as all the symptoms work their way full force.
So I try to control my little friend at every turn. If I’m traveling by plane I get to the airport ahead of time, my seating preference is the aisle in case I need to get up fast, I pay an extra fee so I can get on the plane ahead of others and for the most important reason… to be assured that I have a place for my luggage which is always carry-on so I’m close to my medication.
I make list so I can foresee the unexpected. For the unexpected causes stress which causes me to lose it. I do well with my list as I manage to stay on top of things; I’m making more of every minute of every day than I have ever in my life. However, it’s the small things, the unexpected that hurl me into the land of deep tremor and stress.
Stress with My Coffee
I go to my local Starbucks to do some writing. Now this is my local Starbucks where they know me. I order a coffee, plain bagel, extra toasted with butter. In mindfulness, you learn to listen to your intuition and that day I could feel the stress coming around the corner in the drive thru. I order my coffee and go sit down while waiting and set up my Laptop. Well they forgot about the bagel, so I go remind them, the bagel comes out and they have it with cream cheese, I go get butter, come back to my chair and discovered it was not toasted. By this time, my hand is shaking, my feet dragging my imbalanced frame, unable to say anything coherent. On top of this, I sense the world is looking wondering what is his problem. I want to shout with my twisted shaking hand raised up and say, “This is my problem!”
So I must ‘Om’ my way out of this stress. I go out to sit in the sun. You know, there is a tribe in South America who believes their sole purpose in life is to make sure the sun rises and sets each day. We call them primitive but aren’t we missing the point in this argument. This is the way of nature and it teaches what’s really important. Seek and you shall find! I’m back again and yes I did my part to help the sun.
Now I can handle the negativity in coffee and a bagel. I can think mindfully of stress and embrace it for what it is. I can handle curious people who don’t know how to approach me, so they may stare or look the other way. This is the reason for this blog… so everyone shall know if they want to. And I’ll give this address to anyone who wants to know. Stress comes from the unexpected, the small things and it’s all small things.
What do you think of stress and how has it affected your life or someone you know?