Saturday, January 29, 2011

My father and stepmothers

My father likes more emotional distance than I do. For example, when I told him about my diagnosis, his response was to say he understood support groups are helpful. My stepmother Dorothy got angry on my behalf. I’m glad she’s there to balance him. Now
she has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which makes me sad.

My brother and sister also have HD. My father helps us financially to different degrees, because we are all disabled.

My sister Joan lived in Nicaragua for 4 years because her income went further there. She decided it was time to come home and go into a facility because she was having cognitive problems. Carol and Lena and I went down to help her move back. We spent a week
there, which was fun. Getting her back was a bit of a challenge because she was right about her mind wandering.

My father found her an assisted living home in Novato a 45 minute drive from where he lives. I was surprised he only visits Joan on holidays. My sister does have anger episodes which is a symptom of the HD. Also, she and my father don’t have a very good relationship because he can be critical and she hasn’t learned to let it roll off her like I do

Our half brother lives in Novato, but doesn’t visit Joan much because he has two young children. I have another stepmother, Dee, because Dad married three times. She is a retired social worker, which is handy. She also lives in Novato, and has a standing date
to take my sister to a movie every week. It’s a good thing they have bonded.

My friend Evelyn reminded me of a trick I taught her: $15 standing room tickets to the opera, so I went back, last night and saw all of Barber of Seville.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Leaving the Opera Half Way Through

Carol had a fall, misjudging where the chair was, when she and I went to see Suzanne Westenhoefer.  Because of her artificial hip, it takes her a long time to heal from these.  I gave her massages to help.

She and I went to hear The Barber of Seville, because our friend Kathy won tickets.  Lawrence Brownlee was singing the lead beautifully.  Because of her pain Carol found my movements irritating, so we left at the first intermission.  She tells me I was moving more than usual, too.  At first, this made me nervous I was going to have to stop going to shows.  That was so upsetting, I wasn’t very supportive of her.  Then, I calmed down and apologized.

Carol pointed out sitting on aisles would help.   I know of one theater in town has a crying room.  The next day, my friend Alice took me to the Metropolitan Opera auditions, and suggested I sit in the disabled section.  In that venue the disabled section is nice and large, so I could have more space if I needed it.  Also, other disabled people are more pleasant about my movement than average audience members.

The present moment is warm.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rambunctious Dog

Our dog Pearl is pretty energetic.  When I first come into in the house I get her to roll over and show me her belly to rub, so she won’t knock me over with her enthusiasm.

Part of my routine is to let her out to run a few times a day.  Sometimes she decides she needs more exercise and pulls her leash away.  The other night I was too tired to wait for her to come back,  so I held on to the leash.  She knocked me over.

Since then, I have remembered to keep her on a shorter leash.  Carol pointed out that the dog belongs to Lena, and it seems fair for the teenager to let the dog out and back in.  Lena has helped.  She is only here half time.

Carol and I saw Pearl Django as part of my column.  She says, “That band always makes me happy.”  I agree.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Minor, minor fender bende

New Years Day, Carol, Lena and I had fun going to the Sing Along Sound of Music and an exhibit of amazing ginger bread houses.  As we were pulling out, I couldn’t find my wallet, so shouted for Carol to stop and let me go back.  Someone came out of nowhere and scratched his car on our bumper.  I jumped out and ran back but couldn’t find the wallet.  When I got back to the car, I found it in my coat pocket. 

Carl would have liked me to have slowed down and helped her deal with the accident, then check other places the wallet might have been before going back.  She isn’t sure it was safe for me to walk a couple of blocks without my walker.  Lack of impulse control is a symptom of HD.  I’m resolving to slow down more.  We live in one of the most honest cities in the world.  I have had wallets returned twice.

Carol says she is tired of doing all the driving.  I say I wish I could help.

I heard my friend Angie is volunteering to give me free acupuncture treatments.  My friend Jude says she will give rides to those, helpful since I live in the north end and Angie works in the south.

Liz and Louise took me to try out Interplay, a movement group activity.  That makes up for having to give up dancing nicely.

The present moment feels sweet.