It was a long drive to my friend’s house in Palm Desert. Through hours of traffic on the 91 freeway, I had finally made it to my destination, a birthday party for a 3-year-old. Before I could start my friendly hellos, I had to relieve my bladder from the large amounts of delicious lemonade I had guzzled on my lengthy trip. I drop my purse by the front door and slip my cell phone into my back pocket. On the way to the commode, I bumped into a friend. We chatted for a bit but my urge to get to the bathroom was getting fierce.
I reached the door to the bathroom, rushed in and closed it behind me. Reaching for my belt, while positioning myself in front of the porcelain pony I was ready to assume the position. As I brought my jeans down I heard “clank” on the toilet. I thought, “My Phone!!” I slowly reached to my back pocket while still in mid-squat. The moment my fingers hit the denim fabric, I hear “Gloomp”. I jumped around to see my beautiful iPhone at the bottom of the toilet bowl.
When faced with a crisis, you don’t think about the consequences of reacting. I did not even pause for a second to think about the fact that I was about to stick my hand into toilet water. And not just my latrine at home, but another person’s throne! I don’t know how they rule their kingdom? As a queen from another land, understanding my ceremonial and official duties, sacrifices must be made. So I dove into unknown territory, rescuing my troubled phone.
The reality of what just happened had not kicked in yet. I am not a medical doctor, but I am pretty sure I was in shock. I stripped the cover off my phone and grabbed a towel, frantically rubbing it back to life. I looked down at the screen and a sudden wave of relief came when I saw my pink, cheerful wallpaper. But then it happened, everything began to get blurry and fuzzy. I was hoping that it was just the shock my body had gone through. I mean really… worse case scenario, I would pass out for a minute and wake up lying on the floor next to my working iPhone. At least I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of admitting I dropped my phone and shamefully dove in after it. A flash of pink light glowed on my screen and then it went black… I apart of me died at that moment.
I felt dirty, shameful, and abandoned. That night I would reach for my iPhone just to remember the awful reality of truth. First thing in the morning, I ran over to the nearest Apple store. I frantically walked up to an employee, trying to be patient as she finished up with a customer. Now it was finally my turn… help was on the way! I spouted out, “My phone isn’t working.” With a smile, the young lady assisting me says, “No problem…. let’s make an appointment for you.” She leisurely swipes her fingers across her iPad screen and then says, “Oh no. Looks like we have no more appointments available today, but I can get you in tomorrow.” Uhhhh, come again?
This isn’t difficult… I come to your store…. You give me a new phone… Done! She goes on to detail that without an appointment, blah, blah, blah. I felt if she knew my important connection to my phone, she would take pity on me and find a way to help me. But no, she just stared at me with apologetic smile. Then it hits me, I feel my face getting flush and hot. I felt like I was about to cry. What the hell? I turned and rushed out of the store without saying a word.
**Spoiler Alert…. here comes reality. With Parkinson’s disease, controlling emotions becomes difficult and many Parkies share my frustration. The reason I chose to write about this in a humorous manner, is that it helps lightened the weight of PD. It was silly to fight back tears over being told that my toilet water drenched iPhone could not be fixed that day. I think I can handle a night without my Candy Crush game, to be honest… I still have an iPad and MacBook…. So I would not have to suffer through the loss, it is just a mere inconvenience.
But why the tears when l logical understand it is not the end of the world? Parkinson’s disease causes a loss of Dopamine that does only impact movement, but also our emotions. The brain chemicals Norepinephrine, Serotonin that regulate our mood, begin to fluctuate with the shift in our Dopamine levels. This leads to a range of symptoms such as depression, anxiety, apathy and dropping your iPhone in the toilet. As I have demonstrated in the past, I am freakishly smart, but I am not a Doctor, so check out this article, written by professionals about Parkinson’s non-motor issues.