Please don’t disable me before my time….

I was having lunch the other day with some of my colleagues and I was talking about how my husband caught me climbing on a ladder in the garden. I had looked up while putting some netting on my cherry tree, when I saw him looking through the window in our bedroom. When I went inside, I asked if he was concerned for me being on the ladder. He expressed some concern, but I assured him I had been very careful and would not have done it if I had felt unsafe.

I was recounting this story at lunch and one of my team mates recoiled in horror, and so did the others all joining in and saying I should never climb a ladder and it was too risky. Now, the thing is, I do not have any balance issues at the moment. I feel I am still quite strong and able and I argued against them. They all saw this activity as being too risky.

The same colleague also went on to say, ‘I’m not particularly happy with you riding your e-bike either!’ I advised her that again, I have good balance at present and that I am very careful. I choose my routes so that I am not cycling anywhere too remote, so that if there is a cycling mishap, people will come across me and give me help. I have also done some research and have found that in fact riding an e-bike is very good for general health and for balance for someone with Parkinson’s. I pointed out to her that far from being detrimental to my health, that riding my e-bike is certainly beneficial. See https://davisphinneyfoundation.org/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-ebikes-for-people-with-parkinsons-and-more/ or https://www.fastcompany.com/90341686/the-unlikely-way-e-bikes-could-transform-how-we-age

I understand that my colleague is concerned for my welfare. I understand too that they like to give me a hard time – we are always giving each other cheek – but at the same time, I need to be trusted that I am careful and that I can do these things at present. Sure, I could fall off the ladder or fall off my bike. Anyone could, even without Parkinson’s. I get that it’s a risk. But all of life is full of risk and we can’t always avoid it.

The thing is, what I don’t want or need is for anyone to be actively disabling me, by saying that I shouldn’t do these things. If I need to get something from a top cupboard, or climb a step-ladder or ladder to paint a fence or other job, I need to be able to do that. There will come a time, when this is not advisable, but for now I need to be supported and trusted to do these things and that I will take as much care as I can to try to minimise risk.

As to my e-bike, there is no way I am going to give up riding my bike. It gives me too much pleasure for me to give it up. Again, if I am feeling too tired even before thinking about hopping on my bike I won’t ride it. Simple! I monitor how I am feeling when I am riding and will stop for a rest and a snack if needed. I also take into account when on the outward leg, that I will have to find the energy to return.

Last night, my husband was at work and I had a spa. No-one else was home, as I carefully climbed into the pool and sat down and relaxed. Thinking about other people’s risk adversity in relation to what I should and shouldn’t do, I had a thought as I lay there, that they would most likely say I shouldn’t spa if there is no-one else home! I think if you look hard enough, you can find risk in many of the things that we do in life!

So, I will continue to use a ladder on the rare occasions that I need one. I will take great care and be as careful as I can. I will ensure it is on a solid footing before I set one foot upon it’s rungs. I will continue to ride my e-bike for the enjoyment and physical benefits it provides. I certainly will also continue to indulge myself at the end of a busy day by sitting in my spa pool.

One day I won’t be able to climb a ladder.

One day I won’t be able to ride my e-bike.

One day I may need someone to check on me in my spa.

Today is not the day!

Do not disable me prematurely and take away these freedoms!

Published by kiwipommysue

I work in health and have been with the same supportive team for over 7 years. They are all aware of my diagnosis and this helps tremendously especially while I get used to the idea of my diagnosis. My parents both had Parkinsons, so I guess my odds were higher than most.

2 thoughts on “Please don’t disable me before my time….

  1. Beautifully and wisely said Sue. Keep riding, keep doing whatever it is that pleases you, and keep doing as well as you are

    Like

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