Hands Up

Here’s a quick, random and hopefully helpful note to anyone who has Parkinson’s disease.  It’s probably painfully obvious, but trust me, it’s important.

If you’re walking, whether just from the parking lot to the store or taking a long walk through the park, if it’s wintertime and cold out, wear gloves on your hand.  If it is warm enough not to wear gloves, then it is warm enough to keep your hands out of your pockets. Never walk with your hands in your pockets.

Reasons are twofold:  first, arm swing, whatever arm swing you have left, is a very important component to maintaining balance while walking.  Hands in your pockets restrict arm swing and  increase the likelihood of falling.

Second, if you do fall (and trust me again, if you  have Parkinson’s and haven’t fallen yet, you will), having your hands free increases your odds of getting them up and in front of you in time to brace your fall.  You simply can’t rely upon the reflexes you’ve trusted all your life to be fast enough anymore, and without your hands to protect you, a harmless fall can turn deadly.

Winter here in the cold states is particularly risky, as all it takes is one small patch of ice hidden from view to tip you over.  Having your hands in front of you could make the difference between a laughable anecdote becoming a serious injury.

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