Putting on My Pants

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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pain in early Parkinson's

Sherri Journeying Through

I had a shower this morning, then proceeded to get dressed. I pulled on the blue pants I wear when volunteering at the hospital once a week at an adult day care program. The participants have conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke recovery, and more. It’s a nice place to volunteer with Parkinson’s disease because I tend to fit in rather nicely.

I can dance the slow two-step because the older folks think my shuffle is actually my dance step. And if my tremor has a mind of its own that day and they notice, they forget quickly. They don’t ask silly questions like, “Do I make you that nervous?” when I do shake. It’s a bit refreshing.

Anyhow, my husband had already left for work and I’m pulling on my pants. I got them up. It was the button that gave me trouble.

I used to lay on my bed years ago to get my zipper up if I ate one too many cookies the night before. Now, don’t tell me that you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ve more than likely done it yourself a time or two. I’m happy to report, however, that I don’t need to do that now. I found myself some bigger pants. Ha.

This particular situation was different. My brain kept telling my fingers to put the button in the buttonhole, but my fingers had a mind of their own — they did their own thing. Isn’t that just Parkinson’s disease? You decide to go one way and your feet go another. You decide to pen a note and your fingers say, “Not now, dear.” You thought you were in charge, but when Little Monster (aka Parkinson’s disease) came to visit, he not only stayed — he took over.

My fingers decided to do what they felt like doing, and today, they felt like taking the day off. I ended up lying down just to get the fabric to lay flat so I could try to maneuver the button into the hole. It only took six tries, but I did get it in. It was a major accomplishment — I stood on the top of the mountain with my flag of victory.

I had a choice. I could get frustrated and end up in tears, my pants falling off while I felt sorry for myself. Or, I could be determined not to allow this unwanted Little Monster get the best of me, and be thankful I could still try to put on my pants.

I chose to be thankful. But I’ve got to tell you: I did think about those polyester pants with the elastic waistband that used to be the in-thing 40 years ago. They’re actually becoming somewhat appealing. Almost.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s Disease.


Jamajo avatar


Having my own "Little Monster" the hardest thing for me to remember is to concentrate NOT what I can no longer do, but on what I can do. Well said, sister!

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thanks for your comment and encouragement!

Betty Dawson avatar

Betty Dawson

Hi Sherri,
I'm about to have my first grandchild , about whether I will be able to help with taking care of her. My upper body strength is not good at all, and I do have some balance problems. On the other hand I work out daily and I do not need help with any normal daily functions. I just wondered whether you might have some insight or/and suggestions about grandparenting with Parkinson's.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Betty - I am formulating an answer... :)

Gavin Mogan avatar

Gavin Mogan

Sherri, I enjoy your insight and mentality. You are making a difference in both thought and action, perhaps more than you’ll ever know.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Gavin - Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Your comment made my day!


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