STORM

By Erik Dolson

Our first stop was at the end of the long, six mile finger of Eastsound that nearly splits Orcas Island. The village at sound’s end sits on a tiny isthmus of low land that stretches between mountains.

I imagined a storm wave from either direction washing buildings into the sea, making one island into two. Continue reading STORM

The Last Blog

by Jane Miller

To all of our loyal friends and readers, On Till Morning is no longer. What began as the story of Erik and Jane, of love and healing, of boating and adventure, is over.

Caring for a person with Parkinson’s Disease is a big responsibility. Add in a traumatic injury, the loss of an eye, the prospect of blindness, and it is not for everyone. Erik has decided that it’s not for him. Continue reading The Last Blog

July 28

by Jane Miller

I have had damn little good news in my life in the past 19 months, and I wasn’t expecting any when I sat in the exam room for an hour waiting for my retinologist, Dr. Lin, to explain the monthly test results.

My distance vision was strangely better, my middle and near vision worse The “starlings” of floaters and clouds of gray tulle that dulled my vision were back, the flashes of light continue. Continue reading July 28

Anchor

By Erik Dolson

The marina where we’d gone to do repairs cost more per month than the mortgage on my home. Parties down the dock were too long and loud. We’d been sprayed with water by a young man washing the boat next to us, and he was belligerent when we objected.

It was time to go. Irish wanted a quiet day on the boat before we headed south, and so did I. Besides, crab season had opened and she had a license! Continue reading Anchor

Who’s blind?

By Erik Dolson

We were back on the boat at the end of December, planning for a New Years celebration in Victoria. The fireworks had been cancelled, or were never scheduled, but we didn’t know that and didn’t really care. We were on the boat and with friends.

Irish’ last doctor’s visit had been great. Her left eye had improved after the injection of steroid. (I held her hand, but could not watch.) While it was impossible to know if the methotrexate was effective, signs were positive even if her vision wasn’t improving much past 20/30, even with the new glasses we bought her last summer. Continue reading Who’s blind?

On Becoming an Advocate

by Jane Miller

                                                                               

Whoever wrote the definition of “advocate” didn’t know the half of it. I mean, “to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly,” does not even begin to describe this past week in Washington, DC.

I am exhausted beyond words. The insomnia that dogs me nightly is worse when I travel. It has been like that for as long as I can remember, no matter how many times I have flown for work. The insomnia that sits up with me when Erik is not in bed comes along, too. The insomnia that comes from Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and sleeping on titanium refuses to be outdone. A powerful triumvirate, these three insomnias. Continue reading On Becoming an Advocate

Push

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

How Do You Know?

Jane Miller

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?

I WAS Stable, But I’m STILL Strong

Jane Miller

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