The Goldilocks Moment
I don’t know if this is a well known phenomenon for People with Parkinson’s (or PwPs) but I find my symptoms worsen in the cold (or what I define as cold but my much better half defines as “you can’t possibly need a jumper yet it’s only September!”) and I slow up significantly.
My symptoms also worsen in the heat which makes me feel lethargic and a bit dizzy sometimes. In between I can usually function quite well, medication permitting. I refer to it as my Goldilocks temperature zone, because there is a similar concept in science.
Astronomers refer to the circumstellar habitable zone or Goldilocks region which is an area of space in which a planet is just the right distance from its home star so that its surface is neither too hot nor too cold. Earth, of course, fills that bill, while Venus roasts in a runaway greenhouse effect and Mars exists as a frozen, arid world.
(While we are on the subject of Goldilocks what exactly is the story trying to say? That its ok to break into a house, steal food and mess about with people’s belongings if you’re a blonde girl and your victims are ‘only’ bears? That’s very speciesist.)
But I digress.
So last week we had an unseasonably hot day, the hottest September since records began or since the previous Thursday or whatever, I was too hot to care. I was slow and shuffling but we needed to go to the supermarket, so I swapped my shorts for jeans and grabbed a jumper.
Jeans and a jumper I hear you exclaim!
On the warmest September day ever? Is he mad?
Let me reassure you of my sanity. We went to our local Tescos (other supermarkets are available and this applies to them too.) For some reason they have turned the settings on the chiller cabinets to 11 or ‘blooming freezing’ as it is known technically. Quite why they have done this is a mystery to me as you’d think they would like their customers to stay longer and hence, buy more stuff.
Even with my added layers my temperature falls and as I cool down my step becomes more sprightly and I become more mobile.
Suddenly I realise that I am not too hot any more, no I am ‘in the zone’. In aisle 13 between the baked beans and tinned vegetables I am at my peak, my trolley is a chariot of the gods and I am in command. I inform my much better half of the situation and suggest that she might wish to take advantage of this; if for example she needed any top shelf tinned vegetables now was the time to ask. It felt great, even with one wonky wheel on the trolley.
We turned the corner and my core temperature fell further still. A shiver ran down my back, kick starting the tremor in my left arm. My moment had passed. Once again sprightliness is replaced by a shuffle. The trolley with the wonky wheel is in charge again, yet I remain optimistic. We’re at the checkout which means we will be leaving the Tesco permafrost and heading for warmer climes.
Another Goldilocks moment is on the horizon.

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