The parking deck I use is semi-attached to the clinic I work for.  The clinic is part of a large teaching hospital.  I park in the same spot every day thanks mainly to my handicap parking licence plate and the fact that I get to work at 7 am.  The level of the deck I park on is mostly full of doctors.

This morning a doctor who I meet at the elevator once or twice a week commented on the volume of my music as I drive in to park each morning.

“It’s not good for your hearing”, he says, “you’re going to damage it.”  “See my cane”, I ask him.  “I have Parkinson’s disease.  I think the odds of loud music getting me before the progressive neurological disease is slight.  I’ll take my chances with great rock and roll played a little too loud.”

The thing is, working in a hospital, doctors have a tendency to watch me, to try to puzzle out what is wrong with me but never, ever actually ask.  I think he was relieved that I finally told him what  is wrong with me.

We cannot always change the things we do not like in our lives.  Things happen that are out of our control.  The fact that we cannot change these things, that we are not responsible for them, rarely makes us feel better in the end.

This is a major thing about having a disease like Parkinson’s.  Not only am I slowly losing control of my own body but I am less and less able to control the world around me.  It’s little things.  I’d like to paint my bedroom (it’s this hideous pale blue color that I must have been drunk or blind when I bought it) but I just can’t.  My hand won’t hold a brush or roller in a smooth, steady fashion anymore and I have been explicitly banned from all ladders and chairs by my husband and sisters.

It seems like my list of cannot do grows longer by the second and I wonder what happened.   I used to be one of those people who did things, fixed things, made things.

The things I can still do I tend to do with utter abandon.  I listen to my music too loud.  I read too much.  I write and throw away countless attempts at novels.  I watch too much baseball and football (my youngest sister calls me a dude for this).

I can’t always dwell what I can’t do but the reality is I can not do so many things anymore.  I suppose one day I’m going to wake up and not be able to walk from the parking deck into my office.  What then?  When that door shuts I can’t see any window opening that will replace the ability to walk.  What then?  I just don’t know.  For know I’ll stick with my too loud music and let it drown out everything else…

I sit at my table,
And wage war on myself,
It seems like it's all for nothing.
I know the barricades,
And I know the mortar in the wall breaks,
I recognise the weapons,
I've used them well.

This is my mistake,
Let me make it good,
I raised the wall,
and I will be the one to knock it down.

I've a rich understanding of my finest defences.
I proclaim that claims are left unstated,
I demand a rematch.
I decree a stalemate.
I divine my deeper motives.
I recognise the weapons,
I've practised them well,
I fitted them myself.
It's amazing what devices you can sympathise,
[Empathise].
This is my mistake,
Let me make it good,
I raised the wall,
and I will be the one to knock it down.

Reach out for me,
Hold me tight,
Hold that memory.
Let my machine talk to me,
Let my machine talk to me.

This is my world,
And I am the World Leader Pretend.
This is my life, and this is my time,
I have been given the freedom to do as I see fit.
It's high time I razed the walls that I've constructed.

It's amazing what devices you can sympathise,
[Empathise].
This is my mistake,
Let me make it good.
I raised the wall,
And I will be the one to knock it down.

You fill in the mortar,
You fill in the harmony,
You fill in the mortar.
I raised the wall,
And I'm the only one,
I will be the one to knock it down."
World Leader Pretend, REM
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