Parkinson’s manifests in a sort of delayed delivery of messages, from the brain to the hands for example. I go to pick up the toothpaste, but it takes just that little bit longer than normal. You walk down the stairs and your leg is a faltering cogwheel. Your foot lands differently than expected. Not quite so smoothly. You want to walk, but your feet don’t seem to know it yet.
That’s the outbound journey of the message. I decide to do something else, such as putting the toothpaste back. I manage it all right, but again a tiny bit too slowly. Hardly noticeable. My hand is doing something that’s not quite in line with the very precise, nano requirements of my Command Centre. The Command Centre keeps on trying. But, strangely, it doesn’t seem to learn. And that, THAT, is confusing. The Command Centre is learning nothing from the return message. It doesn’t pick up the slightly panicky ‘Mission Not Accomplished’ – repeat – Mission Not Accomplished’. My Command Centre simply doesn’t get it. Confusion sets in. Which means that, I too, am a little confused. My Missions are increasingly not quite Accomplished according to the nano instructions of my brave brain. It’s a to and fro thing. Both the outbound and the inbound messaging journey of the message are not quite up to scratch anymore.
Here to W(h)ereWolf
Which is why I borrowed a brilliant pun from the great Dutch author Annie M. G. Schmidt – at the risk of losing the power of the pun in translation. I’m trying anyway, so please stay with me.
Schmidt gave us a surprisingly sweet children’s tale about the ‘Heen- en Weerwolf’, best translated as the Here to W(h)ereWolf. A friendly old W(h)ereWolf, passing his days rowing people back and forth, to and fro across a little river. Sometimes a growl, never a bite. The famous little boy starring in the story is called Tow Truck Pluck*, bravely facing the Here to W(h)ereWolf. Pluck even befriends the W(h)ereWolf, as he needs the old wolf to row him across the river.
Parkinson’s is not unlike Schmidt’s Here To W(h)ereWolf, with its back and forth, to and fro, hit and miss messaging system. Parkinson’s is my personal Here to W(h)ereWolf. Sometimes a growl, never a bite.
I wonder: might there be a clever clogs in the parkinson world that’s already unraveled the tale of the Here to W(h)ereWolf?
* Note from my Scottish friend, who makes sure my Dutchy-English becomes English-English: “Pluck is an apt description for the author of this blog too.”