Door Knobs


I have always prided myself in having good balance and above average coordination.  At one point in elementary school I was an avid gymnast moving with ease on the balance beam and confidently tumbling through my floor routine. Believe it or not,  I can still do a halfway decent cartwheel (I only attempt this on cushy green grass or soft gym mats).

I am, however, having a tough time making it with any grace through door ways.  I currently have several bruises on my forearms as a result of earnest attempts to navigate my home.  I can often make it through unscathed, but nearly as often I find my arm clashing with the door knobs.  I realized that it had become a pattern this week as I had the occasion to wear a short sleeve shirt.  I glanced down at my arms after the latest collision to see three bruises all in unsightly stages of healing. ARG!

We live in an old home built in 1912 in a historic neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.  We don’t have an open floor plan, so I encounter doorways at every turn.  I am grateful that we have a number of pocket doors without knobs but most of our doors sport the lovely and solid brass hardware and I have no intention of removing them. I need to learn to be in harmony with the protuberances.

Proprioception is the ability to perceive where ones’ body is in space.  For those of us with Parksinson’s Disease, this perception may be altered.  Apparently, my perception of where I am in space seems to be about 4 inches off. The depth of a door knob.  Thus, I am sporting bi-lateral evidence of my listing proprioception.

It is a deeply humbling realization.

It is another opportunity to accept that my body is changing.

It is an indication that the challenges of this disease are progressing.

The truth is, I may not move with grace or ease again.

The bruises are evidence and they serve as a reminder that I am still here, still navigating doorways, still moving, still feeling, and still alive.

I may be humbled, I may be listing, I may be bruised

but I am not broken by Parkinson’s Disease.