My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 209 … Getting Dressed for my Morning Walk … Kato!

owlMorning! A time of eager anticipation! A time of great foreboding! Excited anticipation of my morning walk! Tremendous foreboding of getting dressed for said walk!

In the summer, piece of cake! Throw on a t-shirt and pair of shorts, and out the door I go. Winter on the other hand is an entirely different story! Layers of clothing with numerous traps and obstacles lying in wait make for an experience akin to the Pink Panther being ambushed on his arrival home by his devious sidekick, Kato!

It might be two layers of cotton obstinately refusing to slide over top of one another. It might be a zipper catching on fabric. It might be a loss of balance at any point in the process, sending me crashing into a wall or doorjamb. Whatever the obstacle, frustration is quite often the outcome.

The process begins with a t-shirt. Typically, no issues here, except that they don’t unravel quite as easily as they used to. Next up, long johns. Again, usually not a problem, although occasionally, my toes get stuck in the fabric, particularly when I wear cotton, which I rarely do anymore. Better to stick with synthetic fabrics, as they are far more forgiving! Then we move on to socks. Rarely any issue here as well!

Pants are next on the list and I am now on medium alert, particularly if the temperature outside requires snow pants [- 10° C or colder]. My snow pants have flaps at the bottom which quite often snag my feet as I’m putting them on, putting me at serious risk of going for a tumble … which I’ve done … not gracefully! They also have a pesky clasp which never seems to want to perform its designed function [clasp]. I have made as many as four attempts to do up the aforementioned rascal which as you can imagine does not contribute to a lighter mood. Otherwise, if the temperature is warm enough for slush pants this part of the process is typically quite smooth.

On to tops!

Here is where the adventure really begins to ramp up and my Kato radar goes on high alert!

I start with a light windbreaker. It typically goes on easy enough, but the zipper is stubborn and invariably gets stuck on the fabric. Grrr!

Next, my hoodie! Again, it usually goes on without too much difficulty, but the zipper is pesky, and often refuses to be inserted into the clasp. Grrrrr!!

The next step is where it gets tricky and where Kato is most likely to pounce! If the temperature is below – 5° C I put on one more layer [usually, my plaid jacket, otherwise known as my Keswick dinner jacket]. It is bulky, often difficult to fling around my back in order to insert my arms in the sleeves, and it has little buttons that invariably refuse to snap into place. Grrrrrrr!!!

What makes the Keswick dinner jacket more problematic is that  because it is a bulky it makes my winter jacket considerably more difficult to put on and way more difficult to do up. More on this in a moment.

Next on the agenda, shoes. I wear shoes year round because I find it too difficult to walk in boots and I find that the thick wool socks [from Bass Pro] are sufficient to keep my feet warm. In order to put my shoes on I have to lean against the kitchen counter, but it’s almost always straightforward and I really have no difficulty tying up my laces. I even double-knot them! It continues to marvel me that I’m able to do my laces up almost normally despite the difficulties I have with my left hand.

Up to this point, most days, the process goes fairly smoothly. I yell ‘yes’ a lot because I find yelling ‘yes’ helps me perform tasks much easier. From time to time, I get tripped up, but usually I can muster up enough patience to get the job done.

But then comes the final step in the process. My winter jacket! Getting it on is not too difficult unless I’m wearing my Keswick dinner jacket, in which case it is invariably a bit of a struggle, but not insurmountable! It’s the doing up the zipper part where Kato is most likely to strike.

There are three steps in the process: inserting the zipper into the clasp, getting it started and zipping up. Not once this winter has this three step process gone without a hitch. Every single day, that little beggar ambushes me! Well, it has happened so often it is not really an ambush anymore! The zipper won’t insert! I can’t get it started! And it always gets caught on the fabric! Weary as I am at this point, from this delightful morning ritual [heck, from a winter’s worth of morning ritual], I take a deep breath, ask God for strength, and zip determinedly away!

Toss on my toque, mitts and sunglasses and I stumble gleefully out the door!

Why do I torture myself in this way you may ask? First, I’m stubborn! It’s a family trait, passed down from generation to generation! Second, I strongly believe that exercise is an essential part of my recovery protocol  and I love exercising in the fresh air. Third, I simply love going for my morning walk! It takes me along the lake, past farm fields, through the forest and invariably, to a labyrinth! In the past year, I’ve seen a great horned owl, a bald eagle, trumpeter swans, deer, coyotes, foxes and various other creatures!

I love it!

Have an awesomely gleeful day!


6 comments on “My Journey with Parkinson’s … A Natural Approach: Post 209 … Getting Dressed for my Morning Walk … Kato!

  1. Can entirely sympathise Fred, I have enormous difficulty doing up my bra most mornings, be very glad that you dont have to wear one. Also sometimes my arms refuse to pull up my pants, making bathroom visits a slow process along with falling against the walls.
    Today however I feel good, its a beautiful summer, and I’m about to go into the garden and do some weeding. Life can still be enjoyed !

  2. Love this post Fred.Having never been to Canada it has given me some insight into what a real winter is like.Also love your cheerfulness and determination.Enjoy all that wonderful wildlife!

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