I don’t presume to have a lot of regular readers and probably fewer still will have followed me from the beginning. Which is why I would not assume that anyone remembers at what age I had my first PD symptoms. However, for some strange reason they coincided in a slightly alarming way with the first time I was trying downhill skiing. I was in my early teens and for some reason, my parents had decided that the family would spend Christmas in the Swedish “alps”, having a wonderful time skiing together.
I can tell you that trying to sort two pieces of wood the same height as myself attached to me feet, while in any kind of controlled manner descending a steep hill covered in snow and ice is difficult enough without adding the complication that a declining balance, difficulty shifting the body left and right and a tendency for my body to not comply to motoric instructions, especially under stress, that my first experience with PD threw at me. I honestly believe that no-one has a higher falling-to-standing ratio in a ski slope than me. The good thing was that I quickly developed my skills in reassuming a standing position, even from the most awkward falls and of course the strange fact that I didn’t break any bones in my body.
I was by my friends fondly nicknamed “the human bowling ball” and I can, even now over 25 years later, easily see the inner picture of myself going down a slope with the victims of my skiing-disabilities falling right and left.
This trip down memory lane was actually brought on by a trip to a bowling alley I did in January. It was the family’s annual bowling tournament to celebrate our mother’s birthday and this year her offspring treated her to a few days skiing together with all of us. At the time, the skiing adventure seemed reassuringly distant, but as time went by, the distance diminished to the point that departure is tomorrow. So I would like to issue a warning to all those planning a peaceful day in the slopes of Dalarna these coming few days: beware of human bowling balls….
Actually, the truth is that medications and training at the gym has provided me with both the balance, muscle strength and control enough to enable me to descend a ski slope in a more greceful manner and my falling-standing ratio these days might even be below 1. So I am looking forward to a few days of family quality time with my own small family with extensions summing up to 7 adults and 5 children ages ranging from 2 months to 8 years. Mind you, I didn’t say quiet family quality time….