It’s true, folks. It really does take a Village. To raise a child. To build a family. To stay healthy. To thrive, even (especially!) in the face of a progressive illness.
Today, we have been celebrating my husband’s birthday. It began oddly enough, with a regular 6 month appointment with my neurologist and the good folks at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital who have played such a significant role in my life for the last 4 years. In some ways it felt like a visit home as we caught up on events of the last 6 months.
Today’s visit was remarkable for several reasons. Even with the recent progression of Parkinson’s maladies, I scored just about the best ever on the neurological tests. Apparently, the new regimen of an hour a day in the Silver Sneakers exercise classes (plus Yoga and Tai Chi) is working. Not only am I getting stronger, but my moodiness is getting better. Ditto, balance and coordination. I never expected to be addicted to exercise, but it is happening!
Equally remarkable today was the Neurologist’s magic touch with the computer/ deep brain stimulation. With a few “tweaks” he calmed the rigid muscles in my legs and evened my gait. As the day has progressed, I also realize that I’m smiling again. With a few hours of practice, I’ve just about relearned what normal walking feels like. Somehow, I feel less old and gray. It’s as if someone oiled my joints! I am so blessed to have found a medical team, headed by a physician who knows not only what questions to ask, but how to interpret my answers. Who seems to have taken his skills to a brilliant, artistic level, using cutting edge technology to create real quality of life.
We left the medical complex, heading for the mountains for some birthday R & R. Our route took us around Pilot Mountain, a prominent local landmark. Many years ago, the Native Americans called this place “Jomeokee”, which means Great Guide. It rises more than 2000 feet above the valley floor, highly visible for miles. We have climbed this mountain, driven past it more times than we counted, even stayed several times at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast at its base.
I am, it seems, surrounded by greatness. By ordinary people, who rise above the valley of normalcy to live creatively, finding ways to make life better for the village. It is a joy to live in this place. It is an honor to be part of such a Village.