By Erik Dolson
“I have been asked to participate in a forum on Parkinson’s in Washington, D.C. next month,” Irish said one morning in February. “They want us to talk with members of Congress.”
“That’s wonderful. You’d be great. I think you should,” I replied.
“They’re willing to pay travel expenses for me and a caregiver. Want to go?”
“Um, no. A hotel room for five days isn’t …”
“Three days, we travel there on Sunday and back on Thursday…” Continue reading Push
The medicine I take six times a day loses efficacy when taken too close to a meal high in protein, so an early dinner of salmon meant a slight delay in drugs. That meant my right toes, foot, and leg cramped up so tightly it was impossible to walk.
Cramps also attack when I don’t move enough or often enough. Like after a three-hour car trip. Or when I don’t take my usual walks. My right arm and hand stiffen so that I can’t write and can barely type.
One of the first symptoms of Parkinson’s – we didn’t even know – was losing my ability to tell stories or explain, well, anything. Laura noticed. I noticed but didn’t understand. Erik can tell where I am in my medicine schedule by how long it takes me to finish a sentence and how many pronouns I use.
Imagine that. An English teacher, writer, editor, and program manager who can’t explain, describe, or express herself clearly. Losing what was my life for almost 35 years. Continue reading How Do You Know?
We walked into the elevator and I walked into his arms. It didn’t take long to go down two floors, and then we were outside. This is not how I wanted it to be, I said. Adding that while I knew that was useless negativity, sometimes that’s just how it was. Continue reading I WAS Stable, But I’m STILL Strong
by Erik Dolson
“Fixing” is fun for me. That’s a good thing because I’m living on a boat. But it can be a strength or a weakness, especially when it’s hard to let go and do something else. A little ADHD.
Okay, a lot of ADHD. But I compensate. Continue reading Fixer
by Jane Miller
I finally slept, last night. Wrapped in Erik’s arms. The first time in four nights that I’ve slept like that. Deep, comforting, relaxing, sleep.
I haven’t slept in years. That’s not a hyperbole. I’ve slept no more than three hours at a time since the ‘90s. There are some people, from what I’m given to understand, who fall asleep and stay asleep until they wake up some required amount of time later. There are some people, from what they tell me, who actually sleep for eight hours a night. And wake up refreshed.
Honestly, they say “refreshed.” I don’t even know what that word means anymore. Continue reading To Sleep, Perchance
BY JANE MILLER
I’m rounding the corner. Maybe it’s only a small padded corner, so when I run into it I don’t hurt myself, but at least it’s a corner. On Tuesday, February 28, I have an appointment with my ocular surgeon. Dr. Perry will tell me then if my eye has healed enough for a permanent prosthetic.
Continue reading Rounding Corners, or, How Janie Gets Her New Eye
BY JANE MILLER
We are on the boat!
January 28, 2017: Just a little over eight weeks from the fall, exactly five and a half weeks after brutal facial reconstruction and removal of my eye, through pain I never imagined, we are back on the boat!
Continue reading On board