You sometimes find yourself wondering: What would it be like if I didn’t have Parkinson’s? Which is why I’ve listed the top 10 differences between having and not having Parkinson’s below. Please note that for the sake of comparison I am assuming that “not having Parkinson’s” equals to being healthy. And simply swap Parkinson’s for any other nasty disease, if that better matches your situation.
Your future is exactly what the word itself implies: still to come. What you envisage for your future is thus a figment of your own imagination.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you have to leave your imagined future where it belongs. Firmly in the future. Otherwise you risk shaping that future with your thoughts. If you don’t have Parkinson’s, you can let your imagination truly run wild. Which is infinitely more appealing, albeit not realistic at all.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you’re abruptly confronted with a pill dispenser. And prescriptions that cause your pharmacist to look up in alarm and ask: is this prescription really for you? You’ve got medication stashed in your kitchen drawer, ruck sack, back pocket …‘just in case’. If you don’t have Parkinson’s, you can dither about taking a solitary paracetamol. When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you think nothing of swallowing an entire strip of ibuprofen.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you simply have to exercise. Otherwise you’ll rapidly go downhill. It’s a no brainer. And, whilst exercising is far less enjoyable when it’s a must, not exercising is not exactly an option. You might still exercise for health reasons, even if you don’t have Parkinson’s. But without that incessant little voice in your head merrily thinking up doom scenarios. If you don’t have Parkinson’s, the immediate goal of your exercise might be improving your latest time. When you’ve got Parkinson’s, however, your only goal is prolonging the time that you’re still able to do stuff. Which is another ball game entirely.
Aches and pains
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you suffer from daily aches and pains. There’s no let up. Sometimes it’s exhausting. You only ever share this with your partner. Or occasionally your children. Very rarely do I share pd’s inconveniences with others.
If you don’t have Parkinson’s, you’ll also experience aches and pains. But these are more likely the exception and not the rule.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you have to be patient with yourself. Even when you’re constantly confronted by the fact that you’re slower and more clumsy than before. You hope that others will exercise the same patience.
If you don’t have Parkinson’s, you can be as impatient as you like. But that’s another story.
When you get Parkinson’s, your initial thought is that you’ll no longer count. You’ll suddenly be surplus to requirements. No-one must find out. Because if they do, they’ll certainly no longer want to do business with you. Eventually you realise that this is utter nonsense. Yet you still give everything three hundred percent. You can no longer afford to make mistakes. And if, just like everyone else, you happen to screw up? Well, then you’ve got to remember that it’s just a mistake – Parkinson’s is hardly ever an excuse. Sorry!
You also give everything your all and continue making mistakes, even if you don’t have Parkinson’s. But you don’t beat yourself up quite so much – I know I didn’t. Should you happen to lose that job, well you can always look for another one. When you’ve got Parkinson’s though, you tend to think differently.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, your family keep a much closer eye on you. They watch you like hawks. Constantly making sure that you’re okay, that you’re not too tired, in too much pain or whatever. When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you have to plan family stuff more meticulously than before. And you have to be prepared to cancel last minute, if you suddenly feel tired or unwell. A mother who doesn’t have Parkinson’s might still determine the family mood. But she can’t keep saying: not right now, I’m too tired. You can you get away with this when you’ve got Parkinson’s, because, well, it’s usually true. Fair enough, not always.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, friends suddenly appear from nowhere. They pop by unexpectedly with a box of chocolates or your favourite biscuits. They buy you a cosy blanket for your birthday. In fact, those friends are your blanket. If you didn’t have Parkinson’s, you might never have known true friendship. Funnily enough, Parkinson’s is never an issue between friends. Friends with or without Parkinson’s.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you always have something to blog about. And those blogs extend your reach. From Huizen to New York, Miami, Sydney and beyond. Which is great. Although, I’m pretty certain I’d be blogging about something else if I didn’t have Parkinson’s. I’ve got bloggersblood running in my veins.
Without Parkinson’s I’d imagine you’d still have plenty to blog about. It’s all about choosing your audience.
When you’ve got Parkinson’s, you’re responsible for your own life, choices, behaviour, everything. Whilst your health certainly influences your happiness; your husband, children, family, friends, work and day-to-day activities all play a much greater role. You learn to hold onto your happiness tightly, because Parkinson’s is constantly threatening to steal it away.
It’s exactly the same if you don’t have Parkinson’s. Your happiness might not be threatened by a nasty disease, but you still have to hold onto it tightly nonetheless.
So, there you have it. The 10 differences between having and not having Parkinson’s.
All things considered, I’d much rather not have Parkinson’s. Yet, I quite like the understanding, friendship and all of the other little perks that come with it.