As the late summer afternoon heated up, I slowed down. I sat down on the couch, ready to snooze off when my notification Bzzzz Bzzzz made me jump. Reaching carefully for my phone across the abyss that is the distance between the couch and the coffee table, I saw there was a Facebook post,  I opened it to see Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon had posted a question on their HELPLINE.  Sent by a reader  (Dear Abbie style) the question was…

Helpline question 

“I’m going to be out of town for several days next month. My husband (PwP) and I are both a little nervous about him being home alone while I’m away. What can we do to make this time smooth for both of us?”

My Answer

I am guessing there is no one else in the house. When I am home alone I plan a few activities with friends such as out to lunch or a movie to give me something to look forward to. Maybe a friend or neighbor can stop by to bring in the mail or newspaper just to make sure everything is ok. Having some easy favorite meals prepared that just need to be heated. And maybe there’s a special treat available (for me that would be ice cream). Its good to be away from each other, it shows both of your strengths.

Further comments…

In April of 2018, I accompanied my husband for 200 miles of the beginning of his trek from Le Puy, France to the coast of Spain, about 1000 miles.  I had planned on walking with my friend Alise in Spain after I left Charlie, but a bad fall on my last day of walking left me with no choice but to go home. I was home with our young adult son, who was not too helpful at the time.  In fact, I met many police officers and was on a first-name basis with the sheriff’s deputy.  Charlie and I communicated by calling each other on Facebook messenger. And as promised, Charlie made a Facebook post each night wifi was available at his lodging.

During this lonely time, I basically sat at home.  Grocery shopping was exhausting. I grabbed the nearest shopping cart and made my way to the produce section where I purchased three bags of premade salad to eat for a week.  I paid some bills, worked a little on my book, watered the flowers on the porch.  Yeah… I was a slug and my mental and physical health showed it. Before Charlie returned I had to hire someone in to clean the house.  I had turned it into a pit!

Charlie is a superhero.  He doesn’t balk at anything, even the nastiest of messes. He would have cleaned the house no problem.  I just couldnt let him see what I had turned into.

I would not have had such a crummy experience if we had planned ahead a little better.  Any time he has been gone since then, and it is important that he get time away, we have a plan, like the one I gave fo the actual answer to the person who wrote into PRO.

If you are going to be HOME ALONE, and you are not used to it,  HAVE A PLAN!!   (and maybe a plan b)

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

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