by Alan Ascher

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of Sixty-Five.
I was told “a pill and exercise” would get me out alive.

I was told that my arms weren’t swinging – that I had an improper gait.
My body wanted to walk ahead, but my feet said “this can wait.”

Putting on a bathrobe has become a royal pain.
Buttoning a long sleeve dress shirt has become a project I disdain.

Don’t be surprised if I shake a bit, completely out of the blue.
It’s called an essential tremor, I may spill coffee all over YOU.

Putting on socks and tying shoes have suddenly caused me trouble.
Not much use for the phrase anymore: I’ll be there “on the double.”

They tell you “get some exercise, do some stretches, ride a bike.”
If only I wouldn’t get dizzy on a short walk or hike.

We often have trouble swallowing, pills and capsules make us cough.
Riding a bike is no problem, it’s the getting on or off!

I’ve taken for granted my balance, it was never an issue before.
I must take a shower more cautiously, or I’ll end up on the floor!

Life is a constant search now for just some stabilization.
And I haven’t even touched on the accompanying constipation!

I must resort to pills now at specific times of day,
To try and slow the Parkinson’s in every possible way.

So yes, those are the symptoms of which we must endure.
Until the blessed day comes when they announce – they found a cure.

Parkinson’s Community LA
Hand's Solo by Amy Sommer Childress