Right, love, let’s get this brain into the MRI….NOOO! Can’t believe you still know your own name. My goodness, whoever did your veins did not have the first idea what he was doing… Quack! Wow, I’ve seen a lot in my time…but honestly. You came by in the nick of time. Better get this sorted. It might take a few months to get you back on track, but hey, you want to function somewhat reasonably, right, love?
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!
No bombs are pounding your house, no zika virus is threatening your baby, no rebels are kidnapping your daughters, no mafia, no nothing. It’s pretty safe, the Netherlands.
Your children can go to school, and you can work or do whatever else takes your fancy. You can call your GP if that hamstring injury is causing unbeeeeearable pain, you can down a couple of paracetamol and crawl into your safe, warm bed. It’s pretty safe, your own existence. If you’re lucky, that is.
How are you supposed to muddle along with your work and everything? They advise you not to set your bar too high. That, quite frankly, is an insult. You’re talented, you want to have it all, you can do anything you set your mind to, so why on earth should you lower your bar? A different bar or slightly less bars, now that’s another matter. But a lower bar? That’s the same as gunning for gold in the 200m and then going for a cool-down instead. A different bar then. I recently read about a job that I would truly excel in. If, like me, you’ve got Parkinson’s, then I urge you to read on. Because this, dear reader, might just be something for you. (more…)
Torn hamstring, torn calf muscle. Boy did that hurt! Went to the doctor, who duly informed me that it would take 8 to 10 weeks to recover. The pain became unbearable. Went back to the doc, and this time I wanted a new leg. ‘New leg’s not possible, I’m afraid. It’ll take 8 to 10 weeks to fully recover’– yep, you said that last time. So, no new leg? Nope, no new leg.
I’ve seen bigger moons, declared my friend on our girlies’ night out in London. The distance between the earth and the moon was tiny that night. And it was a full moon, so it looked massive. My husband called from the Netherlands, to insist that we pop outside and take a peek. A once in a lifetime event, he said. He was right: it was colossal! Quite intimidating. Spooky, in fact. My friend was less impressed. She glanced at it nonchalantly, and declared: I’ve Seen Bigger Moons Than THAT!
The Dutch ParkinsonNet is an online platform for Parkinson's care providers that evolved from a joint initiative between the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and the Dutch Society of Neurology’s ‘Movement Disorders Working Group’. The concept is simple: build a comprehensive portfolio of healthcare professionals, provide and share knowledge and expertise, and organise events. The primary target audience is health care professionals, the secondary men and women with Parkinson’s. Quality Parkinson's care (regardless of whether that’s fragmented and split between neurologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists etc.) is a prerequisite for such a platform. Yet, even though ParkinsonNet is now relatively well known within the Netherlands, most patients don’t even pay a weekly or monthly visit to the site. If ever. It’s not necessary either. ParkinsonNet costs money ParkinsonNet costs money. Think people, offices, education and congress. For an idea of the associated price tags (the following figures have been extracted…
Okay, fair enough: there is no escape. Or is there? Upon diagnosis a substantial percentage of your dopa producing cells will have already packed in. Irreversibly. By that time dopamine production will have usually reduced to at least 30% or 40% in one of your substantia nigra. Which to me is dark matter in itself. Mind you, I once asked a neurologist what a neurotransmitter looks like. “Well, he said, I’ve never actually seen one.” Right. (more…)
If you’d told me four years ago that we’d be having a new veranda erected in the garden today, I’d never have believed you. Or that we’d both still be working and I’d have put on 8 kilos despite having exercised more over the past 4 years than I ever did in the previous 46. Nope, I’d never have believed you back then. I mean, when the neurologist tells you that you have Parkinson’s disease – a difficult diagnosis to swallow, Mrs Robijn – you’re pretty much certain that your life is over. And yet, here I am tapping away on my keyboard as usual. Now that’s what I call a wonderful anti-climax. Okay… just for a minute or so. (more…)
We all know children, we were all once children ourselves. Perhaps you still are. Or maybe you’ve got one or more children of your own. When you think about it: a large proportion of the world’s population consists of children. Those of us who are no longer children ourselves call those who are: our future.
You might have guessed that I’m not fond of dealing with Parkinson’s a.o.m. (and other misery) in life. Thing is, not-dealing with stuff will most definitely benefit our evolution. Not-dealing means nót settling for second best. Take monkeys. Monkeys are extremely good at settling for second best, which is why they’ve been eating raw leaves for yonks. No monkey has ever come up with the idea of boiling its leaves, thankfully so, as cooking food is the ultimate key to an accelerated evolutionary path. They simply deal with raw leaves, even though it will keep them up in those trees for yet another million years. (more…)
You’ve stuck by me for 50 years now Life. And you’ve given me a lot. A healthy and playful youth, two degrees, a couple of foreign forays in London and Tokyo, a career, the lot. Thank you, Life. You’ve given me 2600 weeks, the last 1200 of which the ‘we’ has embraced the ‘me’. Life - I want to thank you for changing ‘Me’ into ‘We’. For the husband in a thousand, no, a million, the one and only. For the happiness our children bring. Words fail me, Life. You’ve given parents, brothers and sisters, Life. Thank you. And, Life, you’ve given us friends, because you knew only too well how much we, okay, I in particular, love to talk with friends. Ah, remember that imaginary contract of mine? Well, let’s forget all about it. What’s the point of contracts when they don’t even exist. Between you and me, Life: you're a real…