Parkinson's Movement
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God Bless the Manicurists of Southern California

"Make up" is the costly accessories necessary to perform one or our female, cultural rituals for an acceptable appearance within our society.

Living in Southern California one can find a beauty salon on every corner and in every mini-mall. There is HAPPY NAILS, We Paint Cheap, Cathy's Nails, Patty's Nails, From, Head to Toe, you get the picture.

Unfortunately I have tried them all.You see, I make an appointment over the phone so they have no idea who I am or what I look like, But once they have given me a manicure they don't forget me. Most of the Salon manicurists are from Viet Nam and do not speak English fluently so the problem enlarges.

I arrive at the shop like most any other woman and sit down. Quickly a lady grabs my hands and puts them on a table. Another lady scurries to me and plops my feet into a bucket of hot water. This is the greatest form of muti-tasking known to man. Having someone play with my feet while someone else is cutting the skin around my finger nails can be clearly labeled as torture or at the very least extremely uncomfortable.

The lady with my hands says to me,"Relax your fingers." I said , "I am sorry but I have Parkinson and I can't." "OK" is the response. "Relax your fingers!" I hear again. Then she shakes my hand vigorously I am waving to everyone in the salon.

Then, the feet come out of the hot water bath and into the hands of a no nonsense lady. She goes to work and every few mins. she tickles my feet and I brake out into laughter This is odd considering that I am in pain and concentrating very hard.With a swift jerk my left foot is pulled from the water Their is no doubt that she has a Black Belt in Karate.Next, left foot dropped right foot jerked upward. She is holding a bottle of polish and starts to brush the paint on my big toe. My foot jerks up and just misses her head. "I am so sorry." I told her," I have Parkinson".' "OK" She replies. "You kick me! No!" She tries again to paint the big toe. My tremors start and she grabs my foot and pushes it down on the floor. "Don't move" she yells. But my foot keeps bouncing and getting worse. She fights to get that big toe red. "No move!" she repeats.

By now I am the center of attention. The lady doing my finger nails has my right arm crossing my chest going left and commands me to hold it steadily in front of a small fan.. She pulls my left arm and stretches it out to her in the opposite direction. My feet are being attacked by the lady in charge of toe color. We are an entangled mess with high level shouting going on. The foot lady jumps on my thigh and sits there reaching down to my toes."You must concentrate and think harder' She tells me knowing she has the answer. Her behind is up and in my face.

"TIME OUT." I shouted as the entire place stopped to look at me.

I tried to explain that I was sick and I couldn't control my legs and hands. My brain is sick I told them. They looked frightened by that remark and I had to get an interpreter to explain to them they were in no danger After a long period of time we finished. They were both covered with red polish and were sweating profusely. I thought a little levity was in order so I looked at the toe lady and asked,"Could you paint a little flower on my toe?" .

Her eyes were redder than my polish.

I left a large tip but they didn't show any signs of recovery.

They did a pretty good job so three weeks later I walked into

Happy Nails " once again. I stood in the doorway and saw twenty women duck under their desks! The place was deserted.

I have been to over 30 nail shops now. I figure one day I will find a place that will take me a second time.

I miss the good old days when I walked around with a flower painted on my toe!

6 Replies

I don't have Parkinson's but my dad does. We go to and help out with a local support group and are constantly trying to come up with new ideas for activities. I think finding a few very good, very patient manicurists to come to our group for a ladies pampering night would be great. I hadn't occurred to me that many of the women in our group don't wear make-up or paint their nails anymore. Thanks for the inspiration. *Side note...the first time I went for a pedicure I had no idea they soaked your feet or made you roll up your pantlegs. I just thought they painted your toes. Imagine their surprise (and incessant unintelligible chatter) when they started rubbing oil into my legs that hadn't been shaved since September! Mortified!


HEY GUYS! Don't you think that suggestion sounds a little "one way"? If the ladies can find "a few very good, very patient manicurists" and invite them for a "lady's

pampering night", do not the men deserve equal treatment? A "men's pampering night" sounds great, and I have always wanted a pictue of Payton Manning painted on my big toe What do you think, guys?


That would be a great idea. I am sure they would really enjoy it. you do nice things for people, Thank you..


hi i go to a local Parlkinsons group and a beautician there for a v small sum fo £ will od your finge rnails toe mnails a back masssagge or whatever

it is great !!

and i do nto have a probelm with the shakes a s i hav ePSP

BUT we are out fo rour xmas lunch today a coach of 41 peoplehaving a good fun dauy out

i cannnot recommend it highly enoguh ie to join such a group of v positiv e poeple wjho know wha tot sayh and understgnad

lold JIll



Oh my gosh you just explained why my nails arnt done. I was so sick of relax relax i wanted to say if u had any idea how many pills it took me to get here!

I was luck enough to have found a wonderful lady in new mexico it was so great when my hand would jerk or cramp she would say its ok its ok

Now that im on my own and on disability living in texas those days are gone


I know this is an old post but I have only just found it and can really relate. Luckily my local manicurist is brilliant with me. As I relax during a pedicure she often announces that my right foot is waving at her and, when it comes to the polish, jokes that she is getting good with moving targets.


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