Don’t. Patientise. Me.

So, we’re finally ready to start boxing, and then they go and patientise it. I am fully capable of discussing boxing with my neurologist myself and sorting out a medical release. I may be losing my health, but I am not losing my mind.

No need for a therapist to watch me exercise, checking if I can handle it or heaven forbid, do myself a mischief. As if a therapist has more idea about boxing or Parkinson’s than I do. Or, more importantly, myself. I mean, I don’t call a physio, neuro, or any other medical professional for that matter, before starting my daily exercise regime, to check whether they think it’s a good idea or not. Today I planned to mow the lawn, vacuum the house, do the laundry… all before heading to the office for a full day’s work. But now I’m starting to doubt whether I should. After all, I’m not entirely sure what the physio would make of it. I have got Parkinson’s after all so obviously I can’t just steam ahead regardless. Even if I’ve always tended to do so. Especially since it’s ‘Parkinson’s awareness month’ and almost World Parkinson’s Day so there’s absolutely no escaping it: I’m a patient. And not just any old patient, I’ll have you know. If only it were that simple. Nope, what I’ve got warrants organising an entire congress and sticking all kinds of hashtags on my timeline for a month. We’re not talking about a simple flu here, people. People with Parkinson’s never patientise each other. No, it’s Parkinson’s organisation therapists and even their communications specialists who do that. Patientise. Equality is out the window. And I reckon that equality would only ever return if I were to start making some serious money from having Parkinson’s. I bet you didn’t see that coming, eh? But the gloves are off! And I truly believe that bizarre patientisation would only stop if I were to get paid for my presence, my experience, my blogs, my efforts to set up a professional Parkinson’s boxing club etc. I’ve yet to meet a physio who’d treat me for free, a pharmacist who’d give me free dopa. And you know what? That’s probably a good thing too. I mean, how could they ever expect me to take them seriously if they were to provide their services for free. Come on, these are not silly old patients we’re talking about here!