Parkinson's Movement

Destination wedding terror... what would you do?

My oldest son is having a destination wedding in Costa Rica. It is a days flight from Arizona. My wife has extended the stay to celebrate our 35th anniversary making it a 12 day trip. That means we will be there alone an extra 6 days.

We will be staying in a small resort community on the coast that is focused on surfing and hiking the rain forests. The weather is very hot and humid with feels like index above 100 degrees which means that I will be stuck in doors.

I am terrified of going! I have irrational anxiety. I've been seeking counseling for 3 months with no success. I have been on antidepressants and atavan. It now takes 2 ambien s to get any sleep. Meditation is becoming more difficult.

I am also afraid not to go. I don't want to disappoint my family. The shame is very threatening. I also don't want to be alone... we live in a remote area and I don't drive much.

If it weren't for the fact that I am loved by my 3 children and my wife I'd consider ending it all. I know they are aware of my deep fear but they are pressuring me to go.

I admire those of you that exhibit strong wills and courage. I used to be able to overcome problems but have lost the ability in the last 4-6 months. I'm now a basket case. We are supposed to go in 5 days.

16 Replies

hi etterus

give me a call

maybe we can think of a few things you can do

what part of Costa Rica sounds like manuel antonio

nice place

i am also from AZ as in tucson



Hi Etterus,

I really feel for you - caught between a rock and a hard place, although I sense that you already know you will go - your fears are how you will cope once you get there. Plan ahead - and warn your family of your coping strategies - I don't know much about tropical parts ( coming from Scotland) - but if you know you will be indoors - make sure there' s air conditioning / or at least plenty of fans. I suggest making sure your room has a nice view - even if you don't want to go outside - have something nice to look out on. Take plenty of indoor activities - do you read ? Take a lap top and link up with this site - I will watch out for your blogs - and Larryp has offered very valuable phone support - can you link up with him on a daily basis?

Please, please don't think it's the end of the world - think of the sense of accomplishment - which I know seems so far away - once what seems an ordeal has been surmounted. I have been in the darkest of places too. I promised myself I'd opt out of life once my symptoms had reached certain points and had even lined up assistance - I'm surprised that 14+ years down the line I think I am even contented - still trying new medications.

I, too, have completely irrational fears and will still employ 'avoidance strategies' but I can vouch for the feeling of success when I confront them - usually as defiance. "This f****** disease is part of my life - but it's not having my life."

Alternatively I PRETEND - that I don't have it, or I'm someone else in the same situation - or I was 25 years old again.

You could tell yourself ( and your family ) that you will go - and have an open ticket so that you could return at any time if it all becomes too difficult - sometimes knowing you have an escape route is enough.

I don't want to witter on - but I will look out for your blogs and if you want to talk to me directly I will send you my contact details.

Please, please don't feel alone - one of the worst things about PD is it's ability to isolate - I don't know you but I do know how you feel.


thanks so much for the advice


I pray you are able to do well and overcome the pd regardless of the choice you make. I was stress that we were flying to Wisconsin for a birthday in the family. I let them know ahead of time and try to be a gracious as I can. I just feel I must tell them what "might" happen with PD. I do not think most of them understand. After the Wisconsin trip we have to go to Tucson, AZ. I bought a new home out near Colossial Cave and Spanish Trail. Daughter and family have lived in the house since it has been built. Now she is moving out as I am about ready to retire. The change to planes in Phoenix and the flight stresses me just as the Wisconsin trip does.


Hi Dennis

Give me a call before or after you get to Tucson no stress lol

I will be happy to introduce you to fellow Parkys , DRs ,support groups

or witch doctors . Etterus and I just live down the road from you .Your going to love the Rincon Valley area its a special place .I have lived in Tucson many yrs and was DX 6 yrs ago also having DBS surgery May 10 . I can't even explain or understand PD so i don't expect a normie

to understand . I do know WE understand ( sort of ) PD and were here for each other thank God for that . So please call the chatting and fellowship sure do help me . 749 - 8619



Thank you for your reply. I shall try to call you when I am in Tucson. (520) 749 8619 don't want to forget that number. I

am not positive of the exact date yet. Right now trying to get

beyond eye surgery and next is GI doc and the Neurologist and the doc keep coming at me. It would be nice to meet you and

meet fellow Parkys. I am about ready to retire due to health but not sure where wife and I will live. Tucson (kids and grandkids there) Wisconsin (wife's home), Maryland (my home).



I know how you are feeling. Our daughter has a home in Panama and wanted us to come down and vacation with them for two weeks. In a weak moment I said yes and immediately regretted my decision. I stressed myself nearly to death. It is a 2 1/2 hr flight from Phoenix to Houston, a 4 1/2 hr flight from Houson to Panama City and then an 1 1/2 hr drive to their place in Gorgano Beach (off the beaten path). I encourage you to be prepared. Take everything that you think you may need in a carry on bag. I even took a change of clothes.

I took an Ativan just before boarding the flight to Panama. We had downloaded several movies to our Ipad so I just sat back and relaxed. I think you will be much more at ease and enjoy yourself if you are prepared. I took a little bag with me every where we went. Have a wonderful trip and Happy Anniversary to you and your wife. Our 45th Anniversary is in June.




You sound really desperate. I don't have any answers but these are a few thoughts to add to those already here.

Your family don't realise how frightened you really are it seems or if they do they hope you will cope. I am sure you will cope but IMHO you need to know you have an 'escape' plan and you have their support


Could you show them your blog or write them a letter telling them how you really feel and what you need to help you get through. I don't know but I suspect that if you had some agreement that you could leave if you really couldn't cope then that might make it easier.

You may need some extra medication for the plane ride, have you been to the GP and discussed this?

If you are able to name your fears then work out how you want to deal with each one and what support you need to do this then perhaps it will be less overwhelming. I think Jinty and others have identified alot of your worries and how you can deal with them already.

Thinking of you.


You have all been so helpful. I seem to be better equipped already. Larryp was very supporting with the idea of being under medicated..... Don't wait till it's out of control.



The first thing you should do is breathe.

Now, assuming all your cards are on the table with your family, and they are well aware of your stress level, do they know how poorly your Rx works when you are 1.Stressed 2 Fatigued 3 Overheated 4 Ill 5 Have consumed the wrong food at the wrong time 6 Get off your pill schedule? If they know all these issues, and still believe you can make the trip because there is adequate available health care if an emergency arises, maybe you can. Do you have your free kit from the National Parkinsons Foundation? NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT.


I have not heard fo the free kit... What is it?


It is a kit designed to take to the hospital. The funding was from a private foundation. It looks like a shaving kit. It has and ID bracelet, padded forms for patient to fill out and give to each person that cares for them and recommends you save at least one of each of your Rx bottles, fill with a weeks worth of that pill and put in kit in a place you can grab to go to ER or any hospitalization. We found out how worthwhile it was when Moonman needed ER visit and they did not understand the concept of "pills on time, everytime, with appropriate food in appropriate quantity" They offered no food for 6 hours ( I had a cracker stash) did not know he could not go cold turkey off certain drugs. Get one. They are great.


Where Does one get this "KIT" Or can I just make one myself? Sounds like it contains your meds, and a snack?

Husband has had PD for 16 years. DBS surgery in Nov. of 2011. It's been a long bumpy ride....Love and Prayers to all our fellow Parkys.


go to the National Parkinsons Foundation web page and there is a link for it. It is called the Aware in Care Kit. I believe it is


One day at a time. I did two trips with my daughter who has TBI so between the 2 of us! All of the above. Plus make it clear if you need to cut it short, you may want to change your return flight. Enjoy what there is to enjoy. We send our prayers etterus


Hi, Even though I live in Sweden, I am still an Australian citizen. So I know about looonngg flights. After my diagnois in 2003, I still thought it a breeze to travel to Aust. I have just been down again, but this time with reservations.How would I cope alone on the flight, how would I get from A to B etc. I was all set not to go, but I thought, I am not a "vegie"ye and I wanted to help my mother celebrate her 90th birthdayt, so I'll give it ago again. Yes, at times you feel very insecure. I ordered "meet and greet" or assistance att all airports, and the cabin crew were a delight. Just think, no standing in immigration lines or quarantine for Hours, one just whizzes through. Order wheelchair service.

Over here in Sweden, most PD are on some sort of antidepressive, It's nothing to be ashamed of. Your brain can be sick the same as your heart or liver only there is always a myth about being on antidepressives.

I say don't give up, just organise your "pills" etc and enjoy being with your family. I word of advice from one PD who is used to heat, don't forget to drink, especially "sports drink" Helps with the L-dopa by giving you more energy.

Have a great time and try and forget the "Parkys" for a while.


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