MarietteRobijnI remember it so well – what it was like before, when we were not yet – when I was not yet – and before they, before anyone. Others have long since forgotten what it was like before and might think I’ve always been like this. They’ve got used to it, they hardly ever think of what you were like before.



Before and After

You do. You think in terms of Before and After. Problem is: there’s nothing in between that ‘Before and After.’ It happened just like that, all they said was a hasty: “Here … catch!” and that was that. You suddenly landed into the world of ‘After’, too scared to even open your eyes in that entirely new world, cautiously peeking through one eye, to make sure that your family was still around, a bit later you dare to check who else is there. Huh? It’s so crowded. I thought I was on my tod, but hey, I’m surrounded by all sorts of people. Did they come from a ‘Before’ world, just like me? Do they…? No, they can’t possibly! They still look the same as before.


Now what. Future what?!

And then you think: now what? Now What!? In fact, I’m more inclined to think: Future What?! I’m okay right now, but what about the future? What now or future what.  Healthy and unhealthy. Mobile and immobile. Normal and not so normal. I am not looking forward to those opposites. Young and old. Wait a minute – young and old? Now, there’s a well-known opposite commonly associated with Parkinson’s.  Everyone says it’s much worse getting parkinson’s when you’re young.

Ah. Young and Old.

You’re on the wrong side of the statistical norm if you get parkinson’s at a relatively young age. It’s supposed to be far worse than getting it at the ‘normal’ age of say 65 and over. As if you consider your plight normal just because you fall within the statistical norm. As if everything that falls within the statistical norm should feel ‘normal’. And of course you still have a Before and After. You certainly don’t think: Oh well, my After will only last a few years, so I’m not really bothered by this parkinson’s business, because as bad as it seems, I won’t be around to suffer it long. I don’t believe for one second that Parkinson’s-late-starters actually think this way.


Why versus Why

A strange opposite is: why versus why. The first Why keeps throwing questions at you: why did I ever get this unpleasant disease, why does this kind of thing always happen to me, why? It’s the pessimistic Why Thinking. You hear it far more often than the Optimistic Why Thinking. Why is it such a beautiful day? Why are we so lucky, why do we happen to live in a country that provides such good parkinson’s care?

To Tai Chi or not to Tai Chi

Then there’s angry and not so angry, brave and less brave and (I’m speaking for myself here): To Tai Chi or not to Tai Chi. Another popular opposite is: to talk about things or to act as if nothing’s wrong. I get through my day by viewing things from both sides, and preferably the other way round. Way back in my Before period, I used to love looking at things from the opposite standpoint, quite literally, you may well have done the same, reader. Come, join me, let’s see if we can still do it.

Eht rehto yaw dnuor

Yadot ve’I dediced ot kool ta sgnith morf eht etisoppo evitcepsrep. Today I’ve decided to look at things from the opposite perspective. That yaw ll’uoy esilaer: ereht era on setisoppo. That way you’ll realise: there are no opposites. Fi rouy dnah t’nseod krow yrev llew, neht ti ylpmis t’nseod krow yrev llew. If your hand doesn’t work very well, then it simply doesn’t work very well. Fi ev’uoy tog s’nosnikraP, ev’uoy tog s’nosnikraP. If you’ve got Parkinson’s, you’ve got Parkinson’s. Erofob I devol etalocohc dna gnitirw, dna I llits od retfA. Before I loved chocolate and writing, and I still do After.


Nehw uoy nepo ruoy seye worromot gninrom, eht dlrow lliw llits tsixe.

When you open your eyes tomorrow morning, the world will still exist.