The year 2021 is almost done

While I’d love to say “time flies when you are having fun.”, that’s not the reason that I haven’t done a blog post since April 2020.   I’ve written many  articles in my head, they just don’t get down on paper.  There are  a variety of reasons why including Parkinsons.  In general, I’d say my Parkinson’s has been stable for the past 18 months but I do have some neurological symptoms that appeared to be getting worse but have recently improved. Sometimes the fear of getting worse does hold me back. 

Whenever I start a task, I think, am I in an A,B, or C place.  If I’m very comfortable, little stiffness, thinking straight, I tackle harder projects like reading an instruction manual, moving files on the computer, anything creative and things that require mobility.  I don’t sleep more than 5-6 hours so between that and Parkinson’s medicine cycles, my “A” time has to be planned carefully.   If I’m not quite at an “A” level , I try to do tasks that are standardized like paying bills, or simple research.  When I’m at a “C” time, I usually pedal the stationary bike, read a book or play computer games until I feel better.  Even as I’m writing this I was an “A” moving towards “B” ; my right ring finger is feeling tight and triggering, so I have to correct lots of typos. One word of advice is to always have the keyboard at your optimum height (I believe this is 25-27 inches from the floor.)    I have considered the possibility of hiring a typist so that I can get all the documentation and photography that I want to do, done.  I think I talk faster than I now type.

We would have never expected a pandemic in our time but while we want to comply, “sheltering in place” is exactly what a Person with Parkinson’s cannot do.  So I continue to take live exercise classes,  physical therapy, water exercise and outdoor bicycling as much as I can but I will use Zoom when necessary.

So my personal goal is to get my blog caught up.  Parkinson’s is such a strange disease and I want to tell whomever is interested about my unique case.  My husband and I never dreamed that I would be as “good” as I am now, even 10 years ago.   I keep thinking of more aspects of Parkinsons that I want to write about but I will them to another day and get to another “A” task before my 6:30pm water aerobics class.   I’d like to move the blog entries on to so watch both sites for more.

My goal is to AXE Parkinson’s (Advocate, Exercise, Education).

55+ Part 1 – What is a 55+ Resort Style Community

Valencia Shores
Valencia Shores, FL

So  this essay is a long time in “the making”.  I’ve written and rewritten it many times over.

We retired at the beginning of 2016 but we actually started looking at 55+ “resort style” communities a year or two prior.  We looked in the greater Phoenix area (Sun City, Canto Mia), and The Villages(central Florida) and the Valencia groups in western Palm Beach county.  We ultimately purchased a resale unit in VALENCIA SHORES.  But let me share some of our thoughts, experiences, and observations. There are so many factors to think about, I hope these notes will help you in making a next stage of life decision.

So first there was “our grandparents condo”.  In the late 1960’s and through probably the early 1980’s our grandparents, many of whom started their lives in the US in tenement houses, purchased condos in places like Century Village and Kings Point.  These were apartments in three to five story buildings.  There were pools and a clubhouse and some activities.  Some had golf courses.  Shopping was often close by.

The next generation were the grown up free spirits of the Woodstock generation.  Most of them had pensions and/or early IRA accounts and did well with their investments in the 80’s.  Their 55+ complexes often had golf/country clubs and townhouse or attached homes

Now the end of the baby boomers are retiring.  They are spoiled.  This generation of “resort style”55+ features single family homes of 3 to 5 bedrooms (often bigger than the homes where they raised their families) with top of the line appliances and lots of activities to participate . 

The website is a good starting point to compare facilities.

A Typical Day with Parkinson’s

Re-reading my April 29 post, it doesn’t really describe how I feel about “Living with Parkinsons” at this point. The bottom line is that it frustrating and scary. It’s frustrating in that it consumes my thoughts a huge percentage of the time. For example, every time I prepare to stand up, I have to “cross check” my body to make sure it’s working well enough to stand up. IF I’m sitting at the computer and accidently click the mouse, I have to be certain that no harm was done. If I schedule myself to go out with friends I have to make sure I have all the meds, etc. that I need including hiking cans and portable chair. Longer travel trips I have to think about waiting times in airports, delays, and time zone changes. I could keep this list growing but I won’t for now.

So, what is it like to be in my shoes and what do I mean when I say “I feel good” Generally I wake somewhat stiff and my stride is short. I go to the bathroom and take my pills I can usually feel my body soften as they kick in. I do some stretches and usually try to get dressed as quickly as I’m able to.

Then I have difficult decisions to make. I know I’m at my best mentally and physically but especially mentally in the morning, So do I do my thinking work or exercise. Since much of the exercise is timed meetings or appointments they usually win (and therefore the frustration of not getting things done.)

When I’m home, again I have to juggle mental and physical. Ron usually wants to take an afternoon or walk or I might have yoga or boxing classes, etc. Often I find myself just staring at the computer because I just can’t process what I need to be doing. Even though I’m retired I still have projects want to do.

Evenings are the most variable and that makes me afraid to go out, especially if it’s past 9 :00 to return. Ron and I used to have a signal that if I said “it’s time to go” that means “My meds are wearing off and I must get to the car and home ASAP or I won’t be able to walk to the car” It still works but it takes a lot more prodding. I rarely sleep through the night. Sometimes, but rarely, I wake up and go back to sleep. More often I get up and go to the bathroom and take a sinemet if it’s after 2:30a. If I wake up in the 4:00 hour I’ll often read or turn the TV on.

So at the moment – I would say life is at an equilibrium. I’m in a livable amount of discomfort and actually I’m doing things that I haven’t been able to do for the last 4-6 years. I’m helping more in the kitchen and with chores. I can’t remember when Ron took that over but I think it was after the trip to Krakow, Prague, Vienna and Budapest but before Nava was born. So it was late 2014, early 2015. Among other accomplishments of late – I’ve been able to lift my feet higher at exercise classes and I can finally walk close to a mile without much pain and stand for close to an hour. I even played pickleball a few times this winter. This may sound trivial but these are huge accomplishments from where I was. My two biggest fears are 1. What happens when this comes crashing down on me and 2. What happens if and when Ron has a medical emergency. He’s been great with me (most of the time) but I hardly be there for him (when my meds are low I can hardly talk on the phone). I guess these will become points for the next blog entry.

Highlights of 2018

It’s hard to believe that Jan 2019 will be four years since we retired. We certainly seem to keep busy. As we approach the new year it is a good time to think about our lives, where we’ve been and where we are going.

In our case life is good at the moment, very good. Ron’s health is good and a change in medicine has resulted in me doing better, the best I’ve been in 5-6 years in many ways. The back/leg pain is significantly reduced and thanks to PT, I can get it to reduce when it acts up. I often get pain when I walk more than .5 to .75 miles. That said I walked 2-4 miles a day on our recent trip to Greece and only used my walking sticks occasionally. I hardly used them at all on our fall cruise to Canada.

Exercise takes up a large part of our schedule, but I hope to feel well enough to get into some afternoon games. I’ve been taking bridge lessons since January.

The highlights of our year are in the attached slide show. I hope you go through it, I’ve been enjoying taking pictures and then I’m learning ways to refine my techniques of general composition and matting, etc. See my website or if this is electronic, click this link. I now have a “wall” of southern tier waterfalls, etc. I’m also still scanning in old photos and dabbling in genealogy. I’m excited to have communicated with a grandchild of my Grandpa Scherr’s sister. Yes, I’ve gotten to know some of my extended Helman cousins more since Facebook (Melissa, Susan, Steven, Judy), this is the first previously unknown close relative that we’ve met.

Of course the major headlines of the year have been our 60th birthdays, the birth of Orli Lev Bailey, 9 days early, on her father’s birthday, February 2, and Jonathan and Jessica purchasing a house in Riverdale, Bronx. Last year I asked for 60 donations for my Parkinson’s Moving Day Fund Raiser. I had 42 donations but “we” raised $4200 for Parkinson’s Support so I can’t complain. Thanks all.

I’m not driving long distances, so I hope old friends will continue to come to visit me. And we continue to travel as we can. This past year included trips to Israel, Greece and Quebec City. Ron wants us to go to World Parkinson Congress in Japan next June so we might visit our west coast friends on either end of that trip. We are cruising from FLL to New Orleans in March.

Please keep in touch. Phone, email, facebook, text.


Gloria (and Ron) Friedman

Welcome to my new website

Categories: Family General GSF

Welcome to my website. As you might notice there are several themes. You will find my Journey with Parkinson’s disease and other information related to Parkinson’s. Also are pictures from many of our travels, mostly from the past 15 years. My favorites are separated out. Finally there is information on my and my husband’s family tree research. I plan to add a few blog entries on deciding about where to live when you retire.

Please be patient if pages don’t work, I’m still working on the site but wanted to get it live.

Living Day by Day

Categories: General GSF Parkinsons

So it was almost four years ago that we lost our office building and retired.   I don’t know where the time goes.   We’ve in our third summer with the Rock Hill family retreat home and we’ve had three winters in Lake Worth.  Ilene and Keegan have been married for 10 years; Jonathan and Jessica are celebrating their second anniversary soon and they just purchased a home in the Bronx.  Nava is 3 years old and learning new things every day and Orli is 5 months old, born on her father’s birthday in February.

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Thoughts on turning 60

Categories: Family General GSF

    So this week is my birthday (February 21).  As is  “tradition”  on the Helman/Scherr sides of my family, I used to share it my Uncles Bob and Larry and now I share it with Larry’s great-granddaughter Greta who just turned three.  I really wanted to make a big deal about this birthday for several reasons but life is slowing me down.

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