I pull into a familiar parking lot early in the morning to drop my dog Crash off at daycare. Yes, I understand that most people don’t drive their pups to a place where they can play with other dogs under the watchful eye of dogsitters, complete with video cameras, allowing the worried parent to see how their little fur child is doing throughout the day. This concept might just be an Orange County kind of thing. You know, like the dog food truck that serves frozen yogurt for dogs… one of Crash’s favorites.
I notice the lights are dim in the doggie daycare, but I reasoned that they’re just trying to save power… or maybe it was so early in the morning, they hadn’t officially got everything up and running at the front desk. I slowly make my way out of my car and walk over to the passenger seat where Crash was sitting on his booster seat… yes, my dog has a booster seat… maybe this is another Orange County kind of thing. It’s just high enough for him to put his head out the window, in addition to being lined with faux sheepskin to ensure the highest quality of softness. The seat has also safety functionality by harnessing Crash into his throne just in case I have to stop fast or if he wants to bark at another dog.
I unhook him from the harness and begin to back up providing adequate room to jump out of the car. I felt my heel hit the trunk of a tree. Still focused on Crash’s acrobatic moves as he exits the car, I think to myself, “That’s weird… the must have just planted that tree recently.” I’m still clueless even though the universe was slamming clues in my face. I take a walk up to the door, oblivious to the absence of any dog barking, let alone hearing a sound. I pull on the handle and the door doesn’t move. It’s locked. I, like an idiot, press my face against the window and see an empty room. What the hecko gecko?
It’s then that I come to the realization that I am at a completely different business complex. The doggie daycare center was further down the road. Now, ok, I will play devil’s advocate… the buildings were similar in color and size and I was listening to an audiobook about the art of tidying up your life… ironic seeing as I am feeling extremely unorganized at that moment. So could this be Parkinson’s disease or just a part of life as I age? I shudder.
With the many faces that Parkinson’s can have, it’s easy to blame various shortcomings in our lives to PD… but when do we stop and say, “Well that isn’t because of my neurological disease, I was just having an off day… anyone could have made that mistake.” But no, I believe the blame goes to Parkinson’s for this one.
Here’s my argument… I have never pre-Parkinson’s experienced confusion to this degree. Sure sometimes I might forget where I left my keys, or mixed up the time of a previously arranged appointment, however I have not had such a blatant determination that I was in the right location, in spite of all the contradicting evidence. It could be the fact that I have lost the ability to multitask and with my mind on all the events of the day, I got distracted. It could also be due to mild cognitive impairment due to the lack of dopamine in my body, or maybe a side effect of my medications. Regardless, it all comes down to Parkinson’s.
I am not writing this blog post to make excuses for all the challenges I face in my life by throwing all the blame on Parkinson’s, but I wanted to show how difficult it is to peel back the layers what is truly PD, or what would have naturally happened without any health conditions. Parkinson’s has so many faces and impacts so many aspects of your body and mind…it’s easy to place blame.