Monday, March 28, 2011

Traveling with Parkinson's, Part 2

Back home again; it was a bad reason to get together, but at least we WERE together, and we made the most of it.  My mom is doing much better, but she's very tired of being tired, and sore at being sore.  My dad is pretty exhausted too.

I took a redeye flight home; left my parents' house at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, took the 5 a.m. flight to North Carolina, then had to practically RUN to get to my connecting flight on the FAR END of the airport.  I made it just in time, but I was extremely shaky and stiff when I got to the plane.

More traveling tips/observations:

1.) Give yourself plenty of time. Don't book a connecting flight for less than an hour after arriving at the airport.  Better yet, fly nonstop.

2.) If you bring a cane with you, other people will understand that you may need help and will generally cut you some slack.  I didn't have mine, and I got shoved around quite a bit.  Nobody seemed to notice that I was shaky and a little less stable than some.

3.) Bring a small flashlight with you, if you're flying at night.  They sometimes make it so dark in the cabin that there is a real danger of tripping over someone's feet in the aisle.

4.) Get up at least a couple of times, even if it's just to stretch in place, but make sure you're holding on to something in case of turbulence.

In general, I'm pretty proud of myself.  I managed to get myself to my folks' house and back, so that nobody had to pick me up on the trip to NY.  I also managed to get around in unfamiliar territory in an unfamiliar car without getting too lost.  I was able to run errands and whatnot without having to get directions.   I even drove my brother and his wife back to Brooklyn after their visit the first weekend, and made it back to my parents' house on my own (o.k., I had a GPS, but it still counts!).


friendandfaux said...

I am proud of you too. I knit when I fly so the shaking hands are not quite so noticeable

Marian said...

Thanks, friendandfaux! I was dismayed on the first half of the journey when I found that I couldn't access my crochet project. Next time, I took it out of my carry on and stuck it in the seat pocket before we started. I find that the shaking is not as bad with the crochet, too. Knitting is too hard for me; I always get frustrated and end up throwing the needles and yarn across the room. Anyone that can knit has my admiration! Maybe I'll try it again this weekend; just have to tell everyone to remember to duck :-)

Judy in TN aka In10city said...

Great suggestions...and I"m proud of you take some time to regroup and don't push yourself too hard. Hugs!

Marian said...

Thanks Judy! Hey, look who's talking about pushing yourself! Climb any mountains lately? :)


Lindy Swain said...

This is a great post - very useful information for traveling that I will pass on to many of the people with Parkinson's I work with. Flying is never fun and then with Parkinson's on top of it-great tips!
Lindy Swain, PharmD
Pharmacy Advocates

Marian said...

Thanks Lindy! I always hope that somebody will find this stuff useful. It's so good to hear that someone has.

Trevor said...

Hi Marian!

I recently traveled abroad with friend with PD, and her cane made ALL the difference. Man, when folks saw it, they let her pass right on through!

Thanks for your great blog. Here's another that has helped me:

Best wishes, Marian!


Marian said...

Thanks, Trevor. You're right, John's blog is a great one. Thanks for pointing me there.

About Me

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I'm a lucky lady. I have a wonderful husband of 27 years, a fantastic 25 year old son (I'm so proud of him!) a loving and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a job that I love, and... Parkinson's Disease. I was diagnosed in September 2006. That was a jolt, but I'm learning to deal with it.