Thoughts on turning 60

So this week is my birthday (February 21).  As is  “tradition”  on the Helman/Scherr sides of my family, I used to share it my Uncles Bob and Larry and now I share it with Larry’s great-granddaughter Greta who just turned three.  I really wanted to make a big deal about this birthday for several reasons but life is slowing me down.

You may have noticed that while I try to get my holiday letters out by Thanksgiving, I never got it done this year.   It’s hard to explain.   Parkinson’s steals my time.  Parkinson’s is not just tremors, it’s a slowing of the whole body.  My basic meds last about  2 1/2 to 3  hours which means I am constantly thinking about timing, etc. and since this started in 2004 and   it is a degenerative disease, it is starting to effect my everyday life.  There are times  now that the meds give out suddenly and I just have to wait. Sometimes this causes a  panic attack.  But the net result is fewer hours each day to do what I want.  On top of that some of the good hours are taken up by exercise -water weights,  yoga, boxing and drumming.

The key to living with Parkinson’s, in my opinion, is education.  I was told early on that in general one does not die from Parkinson’s but it’s not always easy to live with either.  I keep literature on hand and I do feel good to be able to share this with people.  I work with three support groups  – two in New York and one in Florida.  If you don’t hear from me,  please call me and ask me  how I am.  I might need some surgical procedure in the next year to control this  better and it’s hard because Ron isn’t as tuned in and the kids have been out of the house and have their own lives and just don’t ask.  My friend Debbi and my Aunt Estelle, spent a few weeks with me this past year and  while I hate imposing  on  people, it was good for me to learn how to share my problems with someone and for them to learn what I’m dealing with.   I think of my Aunt Beverly and I don’t know how she lived on a respirator with ALS for seven years!!

Meanwhile Ron still insists that we travel.  I am terrified of having an emergency away from home but we are planning on Israel, Greece and Canada for trips between now and December.
We welcomed our new granddaughter, Orli Bailey this month.   Ilene gave birth to her on Keegan’s birthday, February 2 and Nava is happy to be a big sister.

So as my childhood and college friends turn 60 this year with me, I  hope that you all have good health and please keep in touch.  I need family and friends to keep me active. .. What more can I say….

With love,

Gloria