“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” -Anatole France
At ﬁrst I made a doctor’s appointment because of my diagnoses with a pinched sciatic nerve in my lower back and wanted a second opinion but things had changed; I now suspected that I was experiencing certain symptoms not associated with nerve damage.
The office set my appointment for the morning of October 29, 2012; asked to arrive early to complete the new patient forms. As I arrived, I sat in my car in silence, the situation seemed too surreal and at the same time permanent. I knew I would see this place again. October is my favorite month and I couldn’t help but think of those lines by Thomas Wolfe:
“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to ﬁeld and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.“
I was coming home, being called to reckon with myself. It was time to stop ignoring the disconnect between my body and mind, what were they trying to tell me; time to pay attention to everything that was calling me back, time for me to get out of my way.
Before I knew it I was waiting for the doctor in one of the examination rooms. He walked in and as we traded introductions he took out a pad and pencil and started asking questions about my family history, especially hereditary issues and subsequently my personal history in regards to health. When did I ﬁrst notice the tremor, what was I taking for sciatica and so on? Then we came to the exercises utilizing my ﬁngers, hands, and arms as well as my legs and feet… walking back and forth in the hall… knee and arm reﬂexes plus eye to nose coordination… mental activities such as counting backward from 100 by sevens and recalling the months of the year backward. You get the idea that it was a complete workout with nothing ignored.
After the various test, we sat and talked about sciatica and the fact th1at I did have it. Will it come back and if it did, probably not as severe as the last time. Also, stretching, exercise and good posture and their importance for nerve damage. Indeed time has proven him correct as any pain I feel today is controllable. But the cause of the other issues I was experiencing like tremor and slow movement is Parkinson’s disease; he was positive about that.
I wasn’t really surprised which did surprise me… in a strange sense, I had expected it. You can call it intuition but I had read as much literature about Parkinson’s as I could so I wasn’t coming to this scenario from a complete state of ignorance. The confirmation did give me an immediate sensation of freedom as most people diagnosed with Parkinson’s will tell you, half the battle is in the knowing. But was I setting myself up?
*Image by Pixabay