A Challenge Just When I Needed One
April 20, 2021
I have not been having a good time lately. You read my last post, didn’t you? My mind seems to be thinking clearly but the words are getting mixed up. I cannot walk any distance at all without support. Up and out of the chair is an impossible task. The list goes on
I just wrote my Dr a long letter. She’s the one to hear all my complaints, not readers of my blog. You can just know that I have been struggling more than usual. I know you will understand in the way all people with Parkinson’s understand.
So, I stay true to my form. What form? The form of me that says no matter of bad I have been feeling, no matter how hard things are for me to do, if I have a chance to go try something new I will do it…except for hang gliding, bungee jumping off of bridges, or cliff diving. These things I have no need for. But there are other challenging things I might try…yes, there are.
A camping trip with long time friends was an immediate spirit booster. I reserved two spots across from each other at the Deschutes River recreation area. What fun we had telling stories on each other, watching the baby owls preparing to leave their nest, sharing meals. We also played hours and hours of cutthroat Kings in the Corner. When they had to go back to work, we got to stay another day at the park. (can you spell r-e-t-i-r-e-d? Another night of watching the baby owls lead to me telling my Parkinson story in detail to other campers parked nearby.
Time for the bike ride. Charlie borrowed a mountain bike. My tires are larger and heavier than a road bike so I thought it was good. The old railroad bed had a slight grade of 3% at the most. The challenge here was to stay in the smooth part of the track because there were patches of solid rock, loose rock, deep gravel, pea gravel some sagebrush, limbs downed.
In town I may ride at 12-15 miles per hour. I thought we would easily pedal along at this speed on this gravel dirt road, taking an hour to ride to the end of the trail and return the same route I actually hit the top speed of 6 mph at that rate we certainly would not get back to camp before dark.
My DBS stimulator was bouncing in my chest and on the worst bumps I had to place my hand there to keep it from bouncing around. That gave me less control than if I had both hands on the wheel.
Charlie thought something was wrong and came up beside me.
“Are you ready to turn around”.
“No way” was my response.
I didn’t come here for some half done rodeo BBQ. I wanted adventure and I was going to get adventure.
Adventure it was. Bumpy road. Avoiding rocks. Making room on the narrow road for forestry trucks to go by. Turkey vultures swooping for the critters we scared up.
Charlie wanted some pictures with the river canyon in the background. This could only be completed by my maneuvering the trike within 2 inches of the drop off. I felt like my trike was going to take the leap with me on it. We didn’t take that picture, but did find photogenic flowers in bloom.
Sometimes you just have to look at some new scenery. Do something that’s a little challenging. Get your mind off your woes while you wait for the doctors response. Fresh air, campfire smoke, telling stories, star filled skies. Lazy mornings.
It’s a familiar scenario. A rough path, a little push through the deep gravel and I am back pedaling fast on smooth pavement.