Parkinson’s is a disease of losses, wouldn’t I know it. But hey, deep down we all know there’s one thing that not even Parkinson’s can take away from you.
Tell me about when you were little; the hands with which you played in the sand, the food you shunned, the small heartaches and the huge plans. Tell me about a time when you were so sure that you’d grow up big and strong, and what you would and wouldn’t do. Tell me about the grownups, the role models in your fledgling world. Tell me about your home and your place at the kitchen table. Tell me about your first despair, your first triumph. Your very first hero. Tell me what makes you happy and sad or, better still, what makes you giggle uncontrollably. And when was the last time. Tell me what you're good and not so good at. Tell me which faces are forever in your mind, which eyes you love to see. Tell me about your favorite book, the music that makes your heart leap.…
Remember that sea, those swirling waves and the bambino on the beach with his bucket and spade? And that sandcastle?
Well, today, I misplaced my own trusty spade. Had absolutely no idea where I’d put it. Not that I had sandcastles on my mind. Far from it. But I did want my spade back. On a day like today, not everything works and what does, works only by half. (more…)
Now, now! Tut, tut. Get a grip. I suspect you might be suffering from a touch of parkinsonneritis. Yes, you do. Not that it matters, but I hope you realise we all feel a little under the weather from time to time. I’m a complete wreck at times, yet I still manage to soldier on. Why don’t you take a nice, brisk walk? Will do you the world of good, all that fresh air. That’s what they tell people with depression and it helps them no end. Now, come on – a little rain never hurt anyone. Come on. Up and at ‘em!
Soooo, Mrs Robijn, tell me, what seems to be the problem? Went there on my own, obviously, I’m perfectly healthy, aren’t I. So I reply: Well, doctor, er yeah, I have a feeling that my right hand’s not quite okay, neither is my right foot and I er, I dunno, it’s like the messages are not getting through quickly enough or something. Silence. Hm. Too slow you say? Can you still smell properly?
You promised me a lot, Life. Happiness, success, a touch of fame, even if I didn’t know exactly what form that would take, a family with the love of my life, living to 100. Sooooo, can we take just a little moment to discuss, Life? That’s if you can tear yourself away from lining up yet more surprises? (more…)
For some reason, the thought of losing my freedom of movement fills me with particular dread. Why, I can’t quite put my finger on. When I try to imagine it, I picture myself in a room clad with dated wallpaper, sitting in a grimy chair with a not-so-fresh glass of water. With a straw. And, I’m waiting you see, just waiting.
ID card? Where’s my hospital ID card? And socks, am I wearing clean socks? What if I have to undergo an examination for one thing or another, on that paper-covered couch in my whiffy socks. And he’ll naturally assume (I have a he) that I’m not looking after myself properly anymore. You bet he’ll ask: are you having difficulties getting dressed?