Excerpt from Always Looking Up
This morning Tracy is already up, dealing out breakfasts and readying the kids for school. I blindly fumble a plastic vial from the nightstand, dry-swallow a couple of pills, and then fall immediately into the first series of actions that, while largely automatic, demand a practiced determination. I swing my legs around to the side of the bed, and the instant my feet hit the floor, the two of them are in an argument. A condition called "dystonia," a regular complement to Parkinson's, cramps my feet severely and curls them inward, pressing my ankles toward the floor and the soles of my feet toward each other as though they were about to close together in prayer. I snake my right foot out toward the edge of the rug and toe-hook one of my hard leather loafers. I force my foot into the shoe, repeat the process with the left, and then cautiously stand up. Chastened by the unyielding confines of the leather, my feet begin to behave themselves. The spasms have stopped, but the aching will persist for the next twenty minutes or so.