Although I prefer to describe myself as thrifty, I was being a tightwad when I decided to take the $9 bus ride to the hotel instead of the $40 taxi ride. I lined up to purchase a bus ticket from the temperamental machine that refused to take my newly acquired Canadian dollars. Once I got the machine to cooperate and purchase a ticket, I then waited in a long queue of passengers eager to board the busses for the rides to their hotels.
I was mad at myself for over-packing my weighty suitcase that I had to carry on the bus and lift up onto the luggage rack. I vowed never to stuff my suitcase again. I tried to reduce the weight of my luggage by wearing (instead of packing) my heavy-duty winter coat, and when I arrived in Montreal, it was a balmy 75 degrees (Fahrenheit). I was sweating bullets.
On the overly crowded bus, I was squeezed in between two men. I developed a bad case of dyskinesia, those uncontrollable involuntary movements, as my right arm and right leg flailed. The man on my right probably thought I was hitting on him as my leg and arm kept touching him. There was nothing I could do to get that unrelenting dyskinesia to subside. I didn’t say a word to anyone on the bus and pretended my dyskinesia didn’t exist. I got off the bus at a location that I thought was near my hotel, and discovered that I had gotten off several miles too soon. I waited for another bus, boarded it and asked the bus driver to notify me when we had reached my destination. He responded in French, as though he couldn’t understand or speak English, and I could barely speak any language as I was recovering from recent vocal cord surgery,
When one of the passengers advised me about my bus stop, I got off the bus and walked about five blocks wheeling my cumbersome suitcase to the hotel. I was drenched with perspiration when I arrived. I later realized that I hadn’t eaten for 12 hours and was dehydrated from too little water and that I was worn out after that dyskinesic episode. And with the crossing of time zones and with my first dose of meds being three hours earlier than usual, I realized that I probably had taken an extra dose of Parkinson’s meds. After I checked in to the hotel, I took a shower, got dressed, and walked over to the opening ceremony, arriving late.
Although it couldn’t exactly be described as a fun day of travel, a good night’s sleep helped me to recover, and the next day I was back to my normal Parkinson’s self.