Today has been a good day, not without help from some very dear loved ones. I have a new vehicle. Well, it’s a rather old vehicle, but it is new to me. In wanting to cease use of my diesel car in order to move to a cleaner type of fuel, I now have a Bongo! No, not a drum, although we do have one of those at home, but a Mazda Bongo. A camper van. I’m afraid we won’t be lending it out or hiring it out, to anyone. We have to be completely selfish with this vehicle for it will be serving a very special purpose for us, around how I cope with Parkinson’s, literally every day.
Alongside being my day to day vehicle and a wonderful project for my other half, Kevin, and I, it will be a therapeutic room for me. A therapeutic room, with wheels, in which I can have space, several times each day, to relax away from all of the You things that can cause me stress. A space away from noise, dogs, telephones, mobiles, computers, people, television and even the sound of the washing machine! This will be something Kev can benefit from, too, should he need some therapeutic time out. As a caregiver, he also needs restorative time.
It will be great fun when Kev and I go out and about for longer days than we would normally, to events, festivals and interesting places slightly further afield. We will not only be able to take all of the provisions we need, we’ll have the facility to cook, use a sink and run a fridge all within the Bongo.
Then, where Parkinson’s is concerned, something amazing will be that, on longer days out at fun places, I can simply go to the van, pull out the bed and sleep, restore and recover. This will help with the fatigue and pain, that Parkinson’s causes, and will help improve my stamina to participate in fun days more fully. We will even be able to take our little dogs with us to some of the places we will go. This will make days out easier for Kevin, too. It restores something of how we used to be able to live.
Of course, we intend to share some of these adventures with friends and family who might like a day out with us. I can see it being great with the art group that we are part of, should we form a convoy and go somewhere lovely to sketch or paint for the day. When, however, we are not out at such events, the Bongo will be my Parkinson’s therapy room at home. Currently, I use our guestroom for getting that recovery space and for getting quiet time when, at several times in each day, my symptoms are at their most uncomfortable. It does not work well for this purpose for I frequently pack my things away to accommodate our houseguests. I also find that our dogs crave for and demand my attention if I am unwell and need rest; for they sense my unwellness and want to jump on my head and cuddle me, which isn’t that restful! (Though that always makes me chuckle).
So, there it is. A new way of life. A wonderful addition to enhance our lives and the therapeutic ‘do not disturb’ daily zone that will give me a renewed sense of tranquility and well-being. A place to meditate, to read, to sketch, to write and to simply switch off, every few hours, in order to recover from what Parkinson’s throws at me. Plus, a source of adventure and fun when we decide to go out for long days in wonderful places; something we have not done for some time and the chance to arrange sometimes to be away overnight either with the dogs or they may be with a house sitter. Bring on the fun. Bring on the well-being.
Have you got a camper van that you use in this way? Do you have a therapeutic space for using for your health and well-being; a ‘do not disturb’ place that is your own special sanctuary?
Do you have Parkinson’s? If you have Parkinson’s does this idea appeal to you? Would you consider something similar?
(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.