Parkinson’s Is Punching Back and Teaching Me a Few Lessons

Moving to a new home highlights columnist Lori DePorter's disease progression

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by Lori DePorter |

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Do the people around you notice your Parkinson’s progression? Do you? It can look different for everyone. My progression has been slow, and the changes subtle.

As a Rock Steady Boxing coach, I throw punches to manage my symptoms. However, I’m not the only one punching. My Parkinson’s is fighting back as I experience disease progression, menopause, and other age-related challenges, including moving into a new home. Once-subtle changes are suddenly bold.

In a previous column, I shared that my husband, Mike, and I had started our downsizing journey by decluttering our home. This presented some physical challenges, but the continuous flood of emotions was front and center.

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Understanding What Parkinson’s Progression Means to Each Patient

Moving was not Parkinson’s-friendly

During the moving process, the physical challenges seemed insurmountable and overwhelming. I hadn’t prepared for this chapter in our life. Our “great adventure” was now an enlightening challenge.

The Mike and Lori who began planning this move a year ago are different from the Mike and Lori who are moving today. Punch!

What is my body trying to tell me? Following are the lessons I’ve learned while moving with Parkinson’s disease.

  • Bradykinesia, or slow movement, is a common symptom of Parkinson’s. Slowing down is part of disease progression.
  • Think before you climb. Yes, the lightbulb is out, but with five other lights illuminating the room, replacing it right now is unnecessary. If you choose to climb, be safe. Use a stepladder with rails and wide steps.
  • If you can hire someone or ask for help with certain physical tasks, do it.
  • Take time to stretch or meditate. Five minutes can recharge your internal battery.
  • Buy an automatic screwdriver and teach your children how to use it. My favorite is a mini drill that fits nicely in my hand.
  • Pace yourself. It’s not good for you or anyone around you to spread yourself too thin. Do what needs to be done before moving on to the next activity.
  • Many of us experience sleep disturbances, but try to get some restful sleep, even if it’s just a nap.
  • Embrace change and learn new things. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as the saying goes, but you can teach a wise one a few things. I have learned to paint, use a drill, and remove air from a boiler system.
  • Learn to adapt. We used a hammer and a screwdriver as a can opener!

This recent punch has allowed me to see the bigger picture and pushed me to listen to my body. Mike and I are finding the good in the challenge of moving, and I’m grateful that we’re facing it together.

What have you learned from the punches that Parkinson’s throws? Please share in the comments below or on our forums.

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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


Stuart M. avatar

Stuart M.

Thank you Lori for sharing your experiences. I have been noticing personally more rapid progression of my PD in recent months. While it can be discouraging at first, I usually find that pushing through that negative feeling and doing my best to do what I can do positively changes my attitude in the short run and positively changes my functioning in the long run. Just trying not to surrender.

Lori DePorter avatar

Lori DePorter

I know you are a fighter! I see it in class! Rest but never quit, my friend.



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