Posted by: PD Warrior | August 21, 2007

And now it’s time for your weekend update

And what a beautiful weekend it was. The weather was perfect, the atmosphere was perfect, and most of all – I got to hold my grandson!!

Sunday was the first day since he was born that I didn’t go see him, mainly because I was taking pity on my daughter and her husband. I don’t think a second went by in the maternity ward that they didn’t have at least one visitor; usually they had two or three. So, I figured the new family needed a little bit of time to themselves.

Then came the “Great Painting Escapade.” Besides spoiling my grandson, My wife and I and the three children that still live at home worked on our front porch. We started to scrape, and prime it a couple of weeks ago, but hadn’t had the chance to finish it yet due to extremes in weather ranging from boiling hot to cold and rainy. This weekend however, the weather was perfect, so I got out the ladder.

Now let me explain a couple of things:

  • I love heights. The higher the better as far as I’m concerned. So, working on a ladder is of no special concern to me.
  • My wife hates heights. She hates ladders, and sh hates watching anyone working on them. Especially me.
  • I have Parkinson’s, which can make working on a ladder interesting for two reasons – it affects your balance, and it affects your strength.

The day we decided to paint I was having a “good day.” The PD symptoms were at a minimum, and I felt full of energy so I dragged the ladder out and proceded to climb it, much to my wife’s chagrin. She didn’t want me on the ladder because she was afraid I would fall due to my balance. At the same time she didn’t want to climb the ladder herself, and neither of us wanted the kids to do it because they are terrified of heights. So, there really wasn’t any other choice but for her to let me do it, which suited me just fine,

Until I got the ladder out that is…

I thought I had won the battle, but my wife still had one more trick up her sleeve. As soon as I was up the ladder with paint brush and bucet in hand she sent my 12 year old daughter out to baby-sit me with instructions not to take her eyes off me until I got back down on the ground.

I appreciate the fact that my wife loves me so much. I appreciate the concern she has for my safety because of that love. But, I have lost so much to this damn disease that it isn’t funny. With a twelve year old babysitter, even though her intentions were good,  I lost my dignity too.

I would rather have fallen off that ladder and injured myself than gone through that. The worse part of it all, I couldn’t find the courage to tell anyone. My daughter was only following instructions by watching me, and my wife was trying to protect me the only way she knew how.

I had no trouble with my balance that day. Nor did I have trouble with my strength. The only “physical” problem I had on the ladder was when my left leg suddenly went numb as it tends to do from time to time, and when that happened I was smart enough to call it quits before I did get hurt.

The physical parts of this disease are merely an annoyance to me. It is the emotional aspect, the loss of dignity and identity, that I hate the most. 



  1. I love this post! First, I can totally understand your wife’s thinking. Now, do you suppose that her own fear of heights (and not your PD) may have prompted her to send your daughter out to keep watch? I also have a fear of heights and my husband does not have PD, and yet when he is on the ladder, I am in a panic. it has more to do with my fear than really thinking he may hurt himself. I am always watching him when he is on one.

    About your new grandchild…. congratulations! Being a 3 times grandmother I think there is nothing better in life than grandkids. I also have a new 9 month old grandson. He had a shaky start and was 8 weeks early and weighed 3lbs 13 oz. He is wonderful now and is over 20 lbs. you would never know this was the same baby.

    Thank you for signing up for the writing challenge for 9/11! I cant wait to read all the entries!


  2. Boy I’m I glad I came over here from Rosemary’s blog. I liked your explanation of the GoLytely since I had recently been forced to consume a batch of the stuff.

    Then, immediately I fell in love with the music and I ordinarily hate automatic blog music.

    And I looked at your posts and was drawn to the wonderful way you have with words. I don’t have anyone with PD in my family but have had a client in a past job. I wished I had had more experience and knowledge to help her and her husband.

    Sorry to be so wordy, but I wanted you to know your voice is being heard. Too bad doctors and other medical folks don’t take it upon themselves to read blogs like yours and Rosemary’s. I loved the dandruff image and all of us can identify a bit with that.


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