Waiting. The definition of waiting is: “to stay in place in expectation.” It was the middle of Covid, and I found myself waiting in the waiting room to see a Movement Disorder Specialist who would assure me that I didn’t have Parkinson’s.
The next month, I found myself in another waiting room to see a different doctor. This doctor told me my symptoms were due to stress, and I should see a therapist.
A few months later, I was waiting again, only this time, I was told that I had Parkinson’s. Yes, attempting “to stay in place in expectation,” was beyond difficult. I was really waiting for what I already knew within myself to be affirmed. After all, I’m the one who inhabits my body.
I knew before they knew.
While I waited…I had another birthday and turned 54. I voted for our next president. The kids returned to school virtually. My friends checked in. I walked in the woods. Gathered flowers from my garden. Painted pictures of the flowers I gathered. Went to the beach and found a starfish in the sand. Met with terminally ill patients and their families. Talked to my sister almost daily.
I read books, but lost my concentration easily. Snuggled with my dog, Norm. Got lost in my thoughts. Cleaned the floors and went to the grocery store. Dropped groceries off for my son who got Covid the second week of school.
I recited my Lovingkindness mantra: “May I be well in body, mind, and spirit. May my heart be content and peaceful. May I be safe and at ease and free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May I be filled with understanding, compassion, and acceptance of myself and others.”
This is what I did while I waited.
Kathleen Gleiter is a member of the Creative Writing for Parkinson’s Disease group at the Friedberg JCC in Oceanside, NY and a regular attendee of PMD Alliance’s live, online programs. Kathleen believes in the importance of advocacy and doing what she can to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research. She is on the planning committee for the Parkinson’s Foundation and has raised over 20K in donations.
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