A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Neurologist…

Sometimes life’s inconveniences turn out to be the best lessons. Yesterday, I had to take RD to my neurology appointment at UCSF. It was my first with a new neurologist as I
made the switch from Stanford. I rarely go alone as Alli normally goes along, but
because of scheduling and daycare restrictions this week I went without her and with babe in tow. I parked and proceeded to get us both to the 8th floor. Exiting the elevator I pushed the stroller into the neurology waiting room. New  room, but same to me as I quickly recognize the eight year old feeling of being out of place or maybe just not wanting to fit in. Yes. I have Parkinson’s Disease. But often my fellow waiters are much older or far less mobile. Many use walkers, wheelchairs or an arm or shoulder of one or more family to make their appointed check in. So, to say I felt like the odd man out as I pushed my son up to the counter to make good on my copay is definitely understated. RD was a champ as he patiently sat in his ride while I was examined by two doctors each understanding and flexible as they did their own dance around the wheeled distraction in their exam room. An hour and a half later I pushed my youngest back up to the same lady we checked in with to schedule my next appointment.RDandme Finishing, she smiles down at the baby and then looks up and says to me, “How do you all THIS with a baby?” At first I was a bit confused by what she meant, but then glanced back at the waiting room behind me and realized that “all THIS” was all THAT. I also realized she very easily included me with everyone else sitting there…shuffling there, shaking there, struggling there…waiting there. I may not have been as bad as some of them today, but sometimes I am and someday I will be. But, also, I realized she and other people could tell I was there for a reason. I showed symptoms that she recognized as someone with Parkinson’s. However, for me it was a good day. Good enough to be able to take my son with me and any PD symptom was essentially being ignored…by me. What she saw as Parkinson’s was just…part of who I am now. You see, it’s all relative. Everyone in that waiting room was doing what they needed to do to be there and fulfilling their own act of living and surviving. “How do you do all THIS with a baby.” “It’s easy,” smiling back at her, “I do all THIS because I’m his dad.” She smiled back possibly as confused as I was when she asked the question and RD and I turned and rolled out of there.  Sure, there are things I can’t do that I could do eight years ago or there’s things I just do differently.  But as long as we never stop reaching and trying to do all “this” , THAT is success and we will be just fine.  Someday he (or any of the five) may be pushing me into that room, but we will still be doing it together. -lifeaseric

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