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Blogger Spotlight Sharon Krischer

A portrait of a smiling woman with shoulder-length blonde hair. She's wearing a white cardigan over a blouse adorned with a colorful floral pattern, predominantly in shades of blue, with hints of red and yellow. A maroon bag strap crosses over her left shoulder. The background is blurred but appears to be a sunny, verdant outdoor setting.

Sharon Krischer. Blog: TwitchyWoman.com

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Fifteen years ago, I received a Parkinson’s diagnosis. My journey began with a neurologist who offered minimal guidance. Feeling lost, I switched to University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) movement disorders clinic, where I found a supportive doctor who gave me my diagnosis. At that time, I didn’t know anybody who had Parkinson’s. Neither did I know anything about it. But I’ve been with the same doctor since then and it has made a huge difference. Even though there wasn’t much out information out there, she was a big help. Basically, I was in denial for about five years, trying to hide the tremor. Because I was tremor-dominant my doctor said I had a slower developing form of Parkinson’s. Despite initial denial, I eventually embraced my condition, prompted by others noticing my symptoms. Ten years ago, I started a blog and Facebook page aimed at sharing information about Parkinson’s. Attending a Fox Foundation symposium in Los Angeles really got me going on my journey to become a Parkinson’s advocate. I also attended an event in New Jersey where I was one of only 25 women from all around the country. We were asked to do something in our community when we got home. So, I pulled together the women that I knew in Los Angeles with Parkinson’s and we started meeting by organizing fun events—boxing, yoga, speakers on all types of subjects. The group quickly blossomed into a thriving community which adapted seamlessly to Zoom during the pandemic and continued twice per month since then. 

Best Travel Experience

My husband and I went on a cruise to Antarctica two years ago. That was the most amazing experience. On every trip I usually have at least one day where I don’t feel well but I didn’t miss anything on that trip. It was so wonderful, everything worked. It was different than most trips because there were two excursions a day. You go out, come back, rest and then go back at your assigned time. Because it was broken up like that, it helped. It was much better than going out every day and doing full day things which are overwhelming.  As a result, it was amazing. I don’t remember having any issues on that trip. I take my walking poles with me when I travel because it makes such a difference and when we were out on the ice and snow, if I didn’t have the poles, I would have been falling all over the place. Walking, hiking or even going through the airport—they’re helpful.  

Worst travel experience
 

Last October, we went to Morocco and it was a nightmare getting there. Our flight went through Montreal. When we got there, our plane was late so we missed our connecting flight and had to stay overnight. We got back to the airport the next day and eventually left Montreal through Washington DCand then to Morocco. When we got to Morocco, my bag wasn’t there. I had an air tag on my bag and when I checked it, my bags were still in Montreal. We were meeting friends in Morocco and they got there on time, but we got to there a day late, and had no luggage. We had to stop and buy clothes for me. Then, I woke up in the middle of the night and I was so dizzy I could barely move or stand up. A doctor came to the hotel to make sure I was okay. So many things went wrong and it took another two days for my suitcase to arrive. Fortunately, I always carry my meds with me—that’s the one thing that you should not put in the suitcase you’re checking in. You have to carry it on board. However, not getting my luggage along with the missed flight and everything else, I was totally wiped out for a couple of days, but the rest of the trip made up for it. One thing we did was a sunset camel ride in the Sahara, and it was pretty cool.  

Must-return-to place

Hawaii. We love it there. We do nothing or everything, whatever we want to do, and it’s wonderful. We go there  almost every year because my husband is an avid whale watcher. Last year we went to the Big Island, but usually, we go to Maui. It’s wonderful, so just relaxing. Just reading, swimming, snorkeling. 

Travel and equipment advice

Take your meds with you in your carry on and always bring your prescription bottles, because if you’re in a foreign country and you have an issue and you have to refill, you’ll need it. Also put your doctor’s contact information and other important information such as a list of all your medications and how often you have to take them in a kit. It’s really important to have that when you’re travelling.  

If I am changing time zones and my medication needs to be taken on time, I just adjust to the time zone I’m in. I may end up taking one less pill or take it at an earlier time than I normally would but that works for me. I take sleeping pills  on a long flight because it really, really helps and I usually also take them the first night or two when I get there. It helps me get adjusted to the new time zone. That’s one of the biggest questions, how do you adjust your medications when you’re going through a big time zone change—because it really can mess you up. You should talk to your doctor about this if you are not sure what to do.. 

I have a massage roller stick that fits in my suitcase, which is nice, because if you’re dragging suitcases around and your muscles start to ache afterwards, it comes in handy. 

Also pack collapsible walking poles. I usually put one in my suitcase and take one with me as it helps with walking around the airport. Alert the airline people that you have you have an issue.

 

Travel advice for younger people

Enjoy everything that you can. Before he retired, my husband travelled for work and he would often go to Europe or Asia.  I went with him a lot of time and I learned to explore on my own. It’s really fun because you can immerse yourself into the culture of a place. I like to go to a lot of historical sites and  archaeological sites that are fun, learning about the culture and the history of a place. I have souvenirs all over my house from all over the world which are a constant reminder of my travels. 

Since my husband retired 12 years ago, we travel a lot now because we can. We don’t know when we’re not going to be able to travel, so “Let’s do it while we can.” That’s why we did Morocco. In the summer we went to Scotland then London and Barcelona for conference. And we were in each city long enough, three or four days, which was great because we were able to explore.  

Luxury vacations 

For me, this is one where I don’t have to carry my suitcases, somebody else is taking care of it for me. 

A luxury vacation is going someplace where you go to really wonderful places, but also get some pampering, That is why we like cruises. You have days on shore to see different places and you can get pampered with a massage, a facial, and other things on days at sea. 

We had fabulous luxury vacations in Scotland, London and Barcelona. We also had a safari in Africa where we slept in lush tents where you could hear the lions and other animals at night. 

www.TwitchyWoman.com

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