A friend was having her Bachelorette party this weekend and while I was excited about going, making plans in the evening can be dicey for me. I try to lower the amount of Parkinson’s medications at night to prevent any sneaky Dyskinesia from keeping me up. This means I have to take more pills in order to make it through the party. But for me, I was up for the challenge because it was important to be there for a friend… plus I wanted to wear my LBD… AKA my “little black dress.” Maybe that should be added to my Urban Dictionary.
I made sure that I time to get ready without being rushed, because every Parkie knows that someone tapping their toes and pointed at their watch can literally induce a panic attack. I carefully prepped my lady-bug-out-bag for the night, which included my photo ID, cash, credit card, lip liner, phone, gum, keys and 2 lip-glosses… just in case my mood changed, I would be prepared with a variety of shades.
With my hair styled with beachy curls, dressed in my LBD and my make-up flawless, there was one more final touch I needed before this Cinderella went to the ball… the perfect shoes. I was feeling lucky with my lady-bug-out clutch and my meds were on, so I thought, “hey, I got this” then opted for black stiletto heels, which is almost a requirement to wear on a girls night out.
The girls had rented a party bus for the night, so everyone could be safe while getting a little crazy. But knowing that my body could go wonky and my evening might be cut short, I opted out of the bus and carpooled with a friend… which I would find out later that this decision would alter my destiny. We arrived at a trendy restaurant where the evening began. I strutted in a little unsteady because it has been awhile since my high-heeled days, but it didn’t take me long before my feet found a rhythm. I guess wearing heels is kind of like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it.
The evening was off and running with Margarita’s, chips, salsa, the best guacamole I’ve had in my life and girl talk. I was having a great time until I felt my Parkinson’s symptoms beginning to creep up, but I wasn’t afraid. With my lady-bug-out-bag, I was ready for the zombie apocalypse if it were to come my way. I reach my hand into my bag and didn’t feel the familiar shape of my pillbox. Oh crap! I had forgotten to pack my Parkinson’s medications. Parkie Panic Attack for one please.
Now, let me remind you that I am the girl who has prepared to great lengths to avoid this very circumstance. I have pills in my car, my wallet, my keychain and my gym bag… all of which I didn’t have with me. So the fact that I had foolishly packed 2 lip-glosses, but forgot the most important thing to assure I had a solid night was a bit of a shock.
I can feel the anxiety starting to rise. Our food hadn’t even arrived and there was no plan to leave in the near future, nor did I want to! I was out and about with the girls. I felt almost normal. I started the night not even giving my PD a second thought, it was furthest from my mind… but now I couldn’t get my Parkinson’s out of my head. I thought, “I’m good. People have survived decades without medication and I even have DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation). I can handle one night. I will just sit here in my chair and I’m safe. No worries. I got this.”
Our food arrives and I was enjoying my goat cheese tamale, when I feel my body starting to stiffen… like someone is pouring cement over my body and while it’s slowly drying, I begin to suffocate. I can’t help but think, “Well this sucks!” As the dinner went on, my words got softer and more mumbled, but I was still determined to have a great night out. In a last-ditch attempt to alleviate my symptoms, I start digging through my purse, just hoping that the Sinemet fairy had left me a little yellow pill. Hey, I would have even been fine licking the inside of my clutch if there were a small chance of residual dust coating the lining.
I feel my posture declining, my facial expressions diminishing, and my anxiety intensifying. I’m watching people talk, but their words seem to just float by me. By this time, the ladies have all learned that I have forgotten my medication and it’s all just a matter of time before I would need to excuse myself. Maybe I could make an announcement to the restaurant. Ummmm, yes, could you stop the live music, pause the delivery of chips and salsa, oh, and yeah, can you guys stop talking so I can see if there is anyone with Parkinson’s disease in this wonderful eatery?
I knew that I still had to get home, take my medication and then wait for it to kick in. So the longer I waited, the worse it would be. I needed to tap out. I gesture to my friend that it was time for this Cinderella to leave the ball. I strutted like a Queen out of the restaurant… ok, well that’s a lie. I was gawky and awkward like a baby deer taking its first steps in life, but I made it out to the car without falling. Bonus!
I entered my apartment and went straight to the medicine cabinet. Sweet, Sweet Sinemet… I took my pills and waited for relief, but unfortunately, that wouldn’t come until the end of the following day. I guess it’s like pain. You have to stay ahead of it and not let it get out of control. With my delayed dose, I didn’t feel well for sometime after my girl’s night gone bad. Although my night was cut short, I was able to wear my LBD, eat the most delicious Guacamole and enjoyed the company of good friends. Now if I can just find a way to hide Sinemet in my stilettos.