The Golden Girl May 11 5 days to DBS program session 2

The sky was a perfect shade  of gold ahead of  me.  Driving up Rieth Ridge on  I-84 west out of Pendleton I knew what I was in for.  Twelve years of commuting to work had taught me about the beauty and challenges of driving into sunrises and sunsets.  Arriving at the top of the ridge the gold reflection of that sun would hit my bug smattered windshield.  It was going to be more challenging to see.

But I did see.  I looked at the  huge golden sun as it dipped into the horizon  There, those dark  mounds, my mountains,  the volcanoes of the Cascade Range.  Far left was Mt Hood, its triangular summit reaching towards the heavens.And directly ahead I saw the first mountain I climbed.  Mt Adams. Loved it so much I had to do it again.  Slightly North I saw Mt Rainier and recalled one of the coldest and most magnificent nights I ever spent out doors, our tent dug into  the snow at 10,000 feet, glaciers glowing white in the full moon.

Today was a golden day.  Some time spent with friends.  A day when I drove my car by myself with music blaring.  Driving  on  familiar mountain roads that in times past  had lead me to skiing, hiking and work locations  The hillsides were green, the  greenest richest green that breathes of new life.  The sky was an indescribable hue  of  blue   The snow covered Wallowa Mountains in the Eagle Cap Wilderness were still white capped, as their descriptive name.

My friend and cycling buddy Mike Fahning often signs off his Facebook posts in gratitude “I am a lucky man”.

And I feel now, more than I have felt in the last 10 years, that I am a Golden Girl.

This  Golden Girl has incredible fortune in for which she expresses immeasurable gratitude.  I left  the Golden Girl behind while I worked on accepting this diagnosis of Parkinson Disease.
And now, I feel the Golden Girl return.  Its starts in small ways.  A fingers moving on guitar strings, smiling and laughing and gesturing, speech  with volume and vocal inflection to tell a story,  jogging down the long hallway in our house, driving my car for 4 hours and not needing a nap…And grows larger, saying hard things with a heart full of love rather than anger, fear and anxiety, staring into the face of truths past and future, sobbing desperate tears, turned  into screaming then talking and then laughing with  God who has been waiting awhile for that Carol who had those emotions so strong, but so ok, to share them.

My first programming session:
Dr Hiller asked me  “What  symptom do you want most to get rid of?”

Can you imagine that?  Being able to choose a malady that has been with you for 8 -10 years and have it be gone in the blink of an eye!

What medication do you no longer want to take? uh, no  brainer….the one that causes obsessive compulsive behavior and addictions to gambling, sex, drugs and alcohol.  Ropinerole Doc.  Ropinerole, its awful.

I return  in 5 days to face these questions. Adjustments will  be made and different amounts of current will be sent to the active probes and maybe even more activated. And again, I will leave  Portland a different person, changed from who I have been for these past long years.

I am a Golden Girl.. I am incredibly fortunate.  I am so grateful.

I may never climb those peaks again, or sleep in a tent dug into a snowy mountainside.  And if I never drive that road again with the music blaring, It doesn’t matter.  I have this wonderful glorious magnificent opportunity to return to some level of “normalcy”.

I am a Golden Girl.

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty she was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from her career as a speech-language pathologist she decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. Her first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired her to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. Carol blogs about her everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. Her honest, humorous and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of Carol’s resilience and acceptance. Her blog, sharing the name of her book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University Carol received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. She provided speech pathology services and was a program director for 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association she received honors of the association and the presidential award for her work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Carol presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. She was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licencing and consumer protection agency. Since her diagnosis in 2008, Carol has become active in the Parkinson’s Community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. She was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected Carol to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, Carol presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulaiton. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan she presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Her book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 she rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project she read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

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