Monday, March 12, 2007

brain trolls

Off somewhere in the far corners of my brain lies the crazy notion that I can do all those things I used to do. Though intellectually I know that is not true, the area of my brain that houses stubborn unacceptance refuses to acknowledge that truth. It’s as though the bridge between brain and thought on one side and nerve and action on the other is being blocked by the trolls of Parkinsons Disease. And the trolls that guard the bridges between thought and action are requiring increasingly higher tolls to allow the bridge crossings to take place.

Dopamine is the lucre of choice for those trolls. Given enough of the drug, they will allow the synapse between brain and nerve ending to make the crossing on the bridge between them. The tribute having been paid, my body will respond almost as I want it to in most instances. But the payment has interest to be paid as well, a requirement which is buried somewhere in the fine print that nobody tells you about. The interest is in the form of energy, ambition, and stamina paid on a daily basis.

Though my skill levels are still intact, my ability to use those skills has diminished with each day that Parkinsons Disease exists within the confines of my brain. I’ve paid the trolls faithfully the dopamine they want to unblock those brain bridges, but it seems their greed is never-ending. And despite paying the going rate for those bridge crossings, the trolls are dragging their feet and complaining of overwork as they move aside the barricades that must be pushed away before my brain’s messages can be delivered to the nerves waiting on the other side. The sluggishness that results robs me of precious time and makes my body move too slowly to suit my intentions.

Tasks that in the past would have taken mere hours, now stretch into days. Simple, routine duties and everyday actions more and more require careful planning. The actions I used to take for granted now are often tortuous and demanding. Realizing and accepting my new limitations is a constant battle. There is always so much I want to do and intend to do that never seems to get done now, because I continually forget that there are now limits on my energy and a speed governor on my movements.

Though the trolls will still demand their payment, I will gladly line their pockets if it means brain bridges are crossed and any movement is allowed. And though it may sound as if I’m complaining, slowly trudging along now has some distinct advantages. The rat race has become a stroll, good books are savored with time to think about them, waiting for the dough to rise is reason for a leisurely nap, deadlines have become as undemanding as” maybe next week,” and there seem to be a lot more roses to sniff along the way.

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