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Not wearing my reading glasses, I was blurry-eyed when I opened a letter from my primary doctor. The letter announced that he will no longer be seeing patients. He is moving to Texas in two weeks. “Whoa!” I gasped. I rushed to find my glasses, to reread the letter for accuracy. Yes, my doctor known for his flashy cowboy boots is packing up his saddle for the Lone-Star-State.

An important thing I’ve learned in my years as a senior is that you can expect life to change. I thought I had lined up the perfect retirement with the best doctors by moving next door to the hospital. Something happens. Everything blows up, causing all of us to adjust.

People with Parkinson’s are living in a new age that has evolved quickly, and unexpectedly. Our chronic partner Parkinson’s disease has prepared us to adapt to a steady stream of adjustments as we modify our medical care and medications. Now the world of coronavirus forces us to alter our lifestyle even more as we stay at home, waiting to resume our former lives at a date yet to be determined.

Overnight, Parkinson’s people have joined Zoom to exercise and communicate. The Parkinson’s Women Support group recently joined the new-age happening with a get-together on Zoom rather than in the usual restaurant. The Zoom lunch was an interesting dynamic of cyber-intimacy that avoided the clank of dishes and flying bread-baskets. For the first time, we were able to converse with each other without interruption. I kept thinking throughout our experience that what we were collectively experiencing was historic, and definitely unique.

There’s still plenty to learn and experience in the new world. Trained in perseverance by Parkinson’s  physical challenges, I still miss the freedom of no face mask on a warm California day…

 

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