My right hand used to be so strong! I could do anything I wanted with it and consider that perfectly normal. These days, whenever I see my right hand, I know: you used to be so strong. You’re doing your best, but you’re definitely not what you used to be. And my heart breaks a little. (more…)
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.…
Vrouw.nl, De Telegraaf, interview, April 2017 50,000 people in the Netherlands have Parkinson’s – a progressive disease that causes certain nerve cells to die, resulting in loss of muscle control. The repercussions: tremor, stiffness and slowness.
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…)
You, or someone you know, has got Parkinson’s. Perhaps you’ve only just found out or maybe you’ve known for years. If you’ve only just found out, you’ll probably be feeling pretty overwhelmed to say the least. All you can think, is: What Now!?
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…)
I once said to someone who gave me unsolicited advice on how to deal with Parkinson’s: look, I might be losing my health, but I’m certainly not losing my mind. So if I need advice, I’ll ask for it, okay? And you might or might not be on my preferred shortlist of advisors. That was a bit harsh.
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.