A day in the Life with PD: by Maria De Leon

10526144_743459779045084_7301643744003029952_nImperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

Ever since I was a young girl, I have always enjoyed modeling and getting all jazzed up. Often putting on run way shows and singing extravaganzas in my grandfather’s backyard for the entire neighborhood. But, as a busy solo neurologist on the go on call 24/7 unless out-of-town, I relished those few and rare moments where I could play dress up.

One thing I discovered over the years while purchasing clothes particularly dresses is making sure that you ALWAYS try them on before purchasing. Because even if it’s your size it may not move with you as you like for the occasion in mind. Be sure to try the dress in various positions. As I learned the hard way. I bought this gorgeous sateen empire waist low-cut teal dress which fit in all the right places …extremely elegant and sexy. Well, the day came when I was ready to wear my priced possession and show it off at a friend’s wedding, I suddenly discovered that this magnificent dress only fit me perfectly as long as I stood upright. However, if I sat down the front of the dress would suddenly become extremely lax and would open wide exposing the girls to the world unless I sat with my back completely arched and head tilted to the side as if posing for a calendar photo shoot….not having brought any other wrap ..this was the way I had to sit throughout the entire wedding ceremony.

Feeling all eyes on me instead of the event at hand, I had to concentrate on maintaining my posture rather than focusing my attention on the beautiful wedding in the most serene, picturesque outdoor scenery surrounded by lakes and huge 100-year-old trees. Needless to say that by the time the ceremony concluded I had such a crick in my back and neck.

So, the other day when I was asked to do a photo shoot for a magazine I was reminded of that day in the woods and I had to laugh.  I was not sure I could sit immobile in a certain position for hours once more now that my Parkinson’s has advanced. But, I thought surely they will only come and take a couple of pictures – no big deal. I figured one or two clicks and done. I never expected an entire production. When the crew arrived and started unloading cameras, lights, suit cases, and other equipment which filled up most of my living room. I knew I was in for a once in a life time experience.

My mother -in- law had fixed my hair but with all the perspiration that comes along with PD compounded by that day’s humidity and nervous anticipation, my hair curled back up to its usual frizzy state in less than 5 minutes. Although, I had carefully prepared my clothes the night before, that day I must have changed 5 times at least. Finally, settling on the right outfit and accessories a minute before the crew arrived. the rushing along with frustration of not being able to move quickly caused me to sweat even more despite having the room in the low 60’s. anyone who would have witnessed the down pour would have assumed I was menopausal especially since I had a patch on (neupro). I guess I will have to move to the north-east when this happens. Despite the perspiration and rushing, I was proud of my choice and felt I had done a good job with selection, apparently I was the only one that felt this way. After my make up was done I was asked to show them my closet so they could pick out my clothes. After several selections the RIGHT outfit was identified! I was ready for a nap and we had not even taken a single picture! No other choice but to up my medications to keep up.

I thought I knew how to apply make up, apparently I have been doing it all wrong! The key to good make up application is to make it look natural and last all day. I was amazed how wonderfully smooth and soft my face felt all day long. Moreover my lipstick did not feel like a cake on my lips yet never once peeled off or smeared on my cup (which I hate!).  I have  decided it takes great deal of skill to be a good makeup artist one which I don’t fully possess.

All throughout the photo session the team of photographers kept asking for makeup touch up and hair  touch-up which tickled me to death. After 3 hours of continuous photo taking in various rooms of the house and many poses, I was ready for a nap.

I felt like I should start my own portfolio for a new modeling career after 4 hour photo shoot session!

As I was drifting to sleep with my thoughts still racing from  exhilaration of the days activities, I thought how ironic had it not been for PD I never would have had such a wonderful, fun-filled day!

I slept like a baby that night. Who knew the secret to a good night’s sleep with PD was having your picture taken?

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