Sunday, August 1, 2010
Heat, Rain and Parkinson's
I have always loved the heat. Growing up in Canada’s Okanagan Valley (today: 34°, partly cloudy and 12% humidity) I learned that the heat of the summer meant it was was time to max out playing tennis and riding bikes. No one cared about sweat or sunstroke. It was dry heat after all. So being in the California desert to deal was not a hardship, at least not due to the heat.
Of course, you need to be prepared for the weather, whether you enjoy it or endure it. A parka, mittens and insulated boots for the snow. Shorts, golf shirt and sandals for the heat. And an umbrella, slicker and waterproof galoshes (or maybe even hip-waders in Vancouver) for the rain. Remarkably, the body underneath the garb does just fine adjusting to the weather.
But our attitude about the weather ends up being the toughest thing to change. It seems that, regardless of our incredible physical adaptability, mental adjustment struggles, and often fails, to follow suit. Every climate in every country seems to elicit complaint. Sweltering humid heat in New Delhi, unrelenting rain in Seattle, fog as thick as cotton batten in London, biting cold in Moscow. Still, people survive the meteorological extremes. Most of us actually even choose to stay where we are, complaining all the while.
The same can be said of those of us who battle our body’s current Parkinson's "weather" and long-term forecast. The PD prognosticator that "weather" predictions are for: “Intermittent shaking today, increasing at times in the days ahead, with the likelihood of sudden stiffness storms developing over a wide area. There is a chance of freezing movements leading to potentially widespread and severe imbalance and falling. Care should be taken as a high stress pressure system is fast approaching, making matters worse as the front settles in and worsens.”
Posted by Bob Kuhn at 12:15 AM