Yesterday, my wife and I drove to Seattle for a scheduled neurology appointment. I find myself miss-identifying common sounds and unable to discern their origin. Other times, I’m surprised by an unfamiliar noise coming either from my imagination or beyond. I told my neurologist about these mild aural hallucinations and learned it was a common symptom of advancing Parkinson’s.
Not a big deal,” I said, looking at the neurologist. She nodded in agreement.
The appointment went quickly. I enjoy speaking with my neurologist; it’s refreshing to talk about Parkinson’s absent sentimentality or misguided pity. We have a few laughs and don’t get mired down with maudlin future talk.
Soon after getting home, a loud “rat-a-tat-tat” made me shoot to my feet. It sounded like someone was on the roof with a pneumatic hammer; this was not what I had in mind when I cavalierly dismissed the importance of noise hallucinations.
I sheepishly yelled to Laurie in the other room, “Did you hear that?” It was becoming an all-too-common question of mine.
“No. You must be hallucinating.” Laurie replied.
Another violent staccato reverberated throughout the house. “Wow! I heard that!” Laurie yelled.
I ran outside just in time to see a woodpecker fly off our roof. I started laughing, raising my fist to the sky in mock fury, finding it incredibly funny that nature should pick this particular moment to f#&! with me.
The world is a curious place of untold beauty and mystery, waiting for our tacit approval to come out to play in nature’s wonderland. Now I have to wait another three months until my next neurology appointment to find out if bird harassment is typical of Parkinson’s.
Your time will come, woodpecker, your time will come…