September 6, 2019
The start of a new stage of life should be exciting. Today marks the transition from living within a scheduled world to one in which every day is a Sunday. I should be excited. I’m not!
I should also be excited as one of my mentors and smartest docs I have ever known paid me a high compliment. In his words, “Jesus Christ, you have become a writer! You have graduated to introspection and clarity.” I’m not!
Retirement is what everyone works for and looks forward to. Not me! I truly belong in the office, caring for those who put their lives in my hands. Getting up to go to the office was easy. Getting up now requires self-motivation. Frankly, it hurts to get up. My back is at its worst after lying on it through the night. My Parkinson’s is at its worst upon awakening as my medications have worn off. It took 45 minutes to dress today. Now I’m supposed to follow the exercise routine set up for me by my physical therapist. My brother loves to go to the gym, I don’t.
I’m not looking for pity. I’m describing what countless people go through every day. When I first recognized that I had Parkinson’s, I got mad at G-d. Then I rationalized it, believing it was a gift given to me to help me better understand chronic illness and better care for the chronically ill. Then I realized that Parkinson’s was going to stop me from caring for others and give me the option of caring for myself or languishing in self-pity.
Languishing in self-pity is not my style. I can still care for others by writing this blog. Can I care for myself? Years ago, I wrote an article about my friend, Will. You know him as Will Power. Will Power is a great friend. I need him to stand by my side now more than ever. Will, are you out there? If you are, join me in the gym. While I don’t want to stretch and workout, I need to. I need to be healthy enough to put words on the internet that, perhaps, will help someone else who is entering my stage of life.
Here’s an article from January of 2012 about my friend, Will Power. It was also about losing weight and following a healthy diet. Losing weight is just one more thing on my list of things to do. It was also one of my favorites:
January 9, 2012
Have you seen my friend, Will Power? Will and I have been hanging out together since I published my book(Diets and Other Unnatural Actrs). Will’s my best friend. He’s the sensible one, always keeping me out of trouble. With Will Power at my side, I have flourished.
Today, Will and I walked into the Garden Fresh Super Market together. Will thought we should stop for lunch first but I was in a hurry to get home and prepare for my mother’s 90th birthday. On entering the store, I noted an attractive young woman standing at a table selling her goods, so I stopped to see what she was offering. Will was with me one minute and gone the next. I figured he wandered off for a moment and would return shortly. Mr. Will Power is a loyal friend; he wouldn’t abandon me!
Anyway, this young woman was sampling a multitude of cheese spreads on delicious, gluten free, crunchy, whole grain crackers. Any idiot knows not to walk into a grocery store when he is hungry but I figured I was safe since Will Power was with me. Unfortunately, with Will missing in action, I was doomed! They sure were delicious. All seven varieties!
I quickly gained my composure and started searching for Will. Searching the aisle at Garden Fresh was like maneuvering through a mine field. One aisle over was another sampling of cheesy treats. Two more aisles to the north and I was accosted by samples of fresh baked goods.
I figured Will Power would be waiting for me in the healthy produce area so I ate my way through the mine field, seeking refuge in the green leafy aisles. They were waiting for me and Will was nowhere in sight! Taco, salsa and guacamole dip and chips tripped me as I turned the corner. They assaulted my mouth with jalapeño peppers. Over by the celery was another woman, offering tastes of hot dogs and queso blanco. I searched for Will while working my way towards safety in the fruit aisle and the hope of getting to the checkout counter without any other treats.
I’m home now. I’m calling everyone, asking for help finding my friend. I’m not worried about Mr. Will Power. He’s tough and can handle himself. I’m worried about me. Without Will Power, I’m afraid I’ll fall off the wagon. I know what they say, “If you fall three times, get up four;” but, without Will Power’s help, it’s going to be tough.
When I find Will, I’ll apologize for not listening to him. I’ll never go grocery shopping when hungry again. I’ll also walk right by pretty young women peddling their wares.
If you see my friend Will, tell him I miss him!