Lately I have been receiving compliments about how good I’ve been looking. Someone even called me "young lady" the other day. I’m not complaining and am grateful for the compliments.
I AM looking good--even with Parkinson's. I’m down to my goal weight through adhering to the Weight Watchers program, attending their weekly meetings and exercising.
I’ve followed the fashion rules of Stacy and Clinton on my favorite TV program, TLC’s What Not to Wear (Their 10th season begins in January 2013. Check your local listings for time and channel).
In addition, after finding Charming Charlie I’ve started accessorizing. With more than 200 stores in the U.S, Charming Charlie provides a huge variety of affordable accessories, ingeniously arranged by color, making that perfect accent fun and easy to locate.
So I can get all dressed up and look good and appear confident, while my spoken voice makes me appear stupid. My once stronger voice seems to have morphed into a soft-spoken one. Although I can look good when my tremors and dyskinesia are under control, sometimes I can barely squeak out a syllable. I can walk for miles, yet my walking companion can’t hear or understand a word I utter. Lately I can’t even hear or understand my own quiet voice when I’ve left a garbed message on my voice mail.
I’ve been unsuccessful in getting my deep brain stimulator (DBS) optimally programmed. It’s often a tradeoff with DBS between having understandable speech and having too little or too much movement. I don’t want to compromise on speech or mobility.
It is not enough for me to have a lean body with nice clothes and colorful accessories. I want to passionately participate in life through my spoken voice not just be a passive observer. While I am grateful for my strong written voice, I must keep fighting for my strong spoken voice. I'll probably die fighting, but I'm not giving up on myself anytime soon.