07 June 2022

Rainy Days and Ride Days Always Get Me

It's been a while since I've done a Parkinson's update. I get discouraged sometimes because Lizard is losing so much so fast. I guess I stopped talking about it here because I didn't want to be a Debby Downer. Some days the future seems so bleak. Not just at home, but in the world. I've decided some attitude adjustment is in order.

One of my friends told me last week about losing her first husband to ALS. When I get discouraged about Parkinson's, I really need to think about those who've got it worse. ALS travels MUCH faster than Parkinson's, and ALS takes no prisoners. There is no real medication to ease the symptoms. They can delay the inevitable three to six months. There have even been a few cases when patients have beaten the odds for more than two years. But generally speaking, ALS is FAR, FAR worse than Parkinson's.

Bicycle rides so far this year have not been the day brightener they were last year. Every ride seems shorter and slower. For all the feelings I've been battling, Lizard's fighting it even harder. Some days, it takes everything he's got to even want to get on the bike. I think knowing what's happening to his body is playing a big role, but also, there is progression we haven't been able to slow, no matter how hard we try. So often, he describes it as, "I just don't have any legs."

When we do get out, oh, how wonderful it is to be outdoors, to see wildflowers and wildlife, to remember the adventures of days gone by. We took a short ride up Waterton over the weekend. We'd hoped we'd be able to do at least the shortest Elephant Rock route that day, as it was the final Elephant Rock. So many of our favorite rides have not survived two years of postponement. Many of our favorite rides have been sold; at least they are still going, but it feels as if everything has changed so drastically.

Elephant Rock's shortest route is - make that WAS - 12 miles. Lizard can barely do three miles these days. So I donned one of my favorite Elephant Rock jerseys, and we pedaled a short distance up Waterton instead.

Waterton Canyon is awesome therapy! We are so blessed to have such a beautiful and easy ride so close. Wildflowers are beginning to poke through the canyon walls, and there are almost always wildlife photo opportunities.

We waited until after the afternoon high, knowing Lizard would be able to go a little further if the temperature was a little cooler. Humidity was about as high as I've ever felt it in the canyon. But we were treated with a nice little rain shower on the way back down, which really cooled us off. I worried Lizard, who has no cold tolerance anymore, would be miserable. But when we reached the car, he said he felt refreshed.

Just as we were finishing up the ride, a muted pastel rainbow appeared, the first one we've seen in a while. I thought about the Biblical promise connected to rainbows. In spite of hardship, I need to remember God's always got us on His radar. I need to do my part and keep my attitude out of the bitter swamp. And He's given me an abundance of paint and canvas to help me do just that!


  1. It is so hard to watch the struggles of those we love. I am glad Lizard was able to get out for a bit, and that you have such a beautiful place for rides close by.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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