Dear Parkinson’s, take your hands off my cake. Now.

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.

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Stick the World back together Parkinson’s Day 2016

 It fell apart. I truly believed, felt even, that the world had fallen apart. Heard it rumbling throughout the night, louder and louder and then! Then what? Worlds do tend to fall apart from time to time. Ours did when one of our children died. In fact, it was her world that fell apart, her future. But our world and our future were forever tied to hers, so our world fell to pieces too. The word Acceptance is out of the question. Nope. Not me. Picking up the pieces to rebuild a cracked and broken world, absolutely. You have to build a world, in order to be able to face the future, a world for your family of 5 + 1. And somehow you manage, you get back on your feet. Stumbling over the rocks and stones of your previous world, carefully picking them up, carrying them with you wherever…

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How to talk to my doctor. Ten tips

ID card? Where’s my hospital ID card? And socks, am I wearing clean socks? What if I have to undergo an examination for one thing or another, on that paper-covered couch in my whiffy socks. And he’ll naturally assume (I have a he) that I’m not looking after myself properly anymore. You bet he’ll ask: are you having difficulties getting dressed?


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