I am in the throes of a down time. I hate to complain, since there are millions of people out there in the cruel world who have it far tougher than I. But my immediate world is what I know and what I’m complaining about, the far reaches of the universe beyond the threshold of this house notwithstanding.
This time of year is always difficult to deal with. I am not a fan of the cold and snow that come along during winters in Wisconsin. When the temperatures dip into the low single digits, as they have today, I find even more reason to stay cocooned in the warmth of home. I have little desire to venture beyond my front door when that means bundling up in several layers of insulating clothes that do little to keep my nose from dripping and my fingers and toes from becoming numb.
But the cold is really just an excuse, conveniently available, to explain the greater reason for my being increasingly housebound. It has become more difficult for me to get out because of this nonsense called Parkinsons Disease. For the past month, or maybe a bit longer, the symptoms of the disease have become more pronounced, making it far easier to avoid going out and having to deal with the infirmities that result from the exertion. I feel safer here. I feel less the object of other’s concern. I avoid the embarrassment that the tremors in my hands elicit from people who try not to stare. That I am probably imagining all those stares is beside the point. I would rather not deal with it, real or not.
So I hunker down here in my cozy abode, going out only when absolutely necessary. I made it to the library yesterday, but came straight home, not dawdling out there in the world for too long. I made it to a meeting of the men’s Parkinsons support group the other day, but by the time I got back home I was a quivering trembling mess and finished for the day. I used to do the weekly grocery shopping, but that has become too much for me most of the time now, so there goes another reason to get out of the house. Anytime our plans call for being out for more than a couple hours, I have to plan a nap beforehand and pace myself so that I have enough energy to get back home. I am more and more reluctant to drive, not trusting my reaction time now. If I have to go out, I plan the activity for the best time of day for me, which is late morning into early afternoon. After that it’s a crap shoot whether I will be functional beyond the bare minimum.
So I am having a down time right now, feeling a little bit sorry for myself and wishing it wasn’t like this. The mid-winter blahs coupled with my physical condition makes for a bad combination. I see my doctor in a few days. Maybe a change or adjustment in my medications will help. That and the advent of spring—baseball spring training is only a few weeks away—might help to lift me out of the doldrums I’m in right now. At least the sun is shining today.