21. Super Positive Post

The last blog, Defining Moments, was a bit ‘head tilt-y’, and I know some people read it and were a bit sad about it.  So in the interests of dopamine production, this is a super positive post.

This is a live-ish blog about this morning.  The miracle of tennis happened again.

I got up at 7am, took meds, and struggled around until meds kicked in about 8am.  I went off to tennis at 9am.

I played tennis for an hour with my ‘coach’.  I am not sure why I put coach in inverted commas because that’s what he is.  I suppose it just sounds a bit fancy, saying I have a ‘coach’.   Thinking about it I suppose it is the same as one of my children saying they had maths for an hour with their ‘teacher’.

Over analysing as usual, I’ll start again.  Don’t worry, not the whole 20,000 words.

I played tennis this morning at 9am for an hour with my coach.  When I play tennis it’s as if I don’t have PD.  I can change direction, hand/eye co-ordination is great and I can run.  But I then struggle to get back to the car park after (sorry to put that in, but it’s true).

More about tennis in another blog.

PS A bit of admin.  If you have subscribed and haven’t been receiving emails notifying when a new blog post is up, then please check your junk/trash email.  When you fill in the subscription email/name details and send them off, you will immediately get back an email asking you to confirm you are a person and I have the correct email.  There are some people on the email subscription list (that only I have access) to who are still ‘awaiting confirmation’.  So please check your other inboxes.  Thanking you.


20. Defining Moments

Before I start this blog I need to say something about the last blog.  Blog 19 is the first blog I have published which I haven’t been happy with.

Firstly, apologies for making you even think about novelty records, let alone attempting to do a routine.

Secondly, as you know I started this blog in January 2017, four and a half years after diagnosis.  If I went straight onto blogging about PD today, without giving some background, it could be quite confusing.

So the background is needed so that the present day makes sense.

  • For example:
  • ‘I won Wimbledon today, and you didn’t even know I played BLANK’
  • (sorry, I couldn’t resist another gameshow reference – it is obviously tennis).
  • For the record : ‘I didn’t and I do’.

Blog 19 is how I was in June 2016, however PD has progressed so it is not accurate for today.  It frustrated me when I was writing it, but I needed to describe the build up to my running.

I have nearly finished all the background blogs.  This next blog 20 is about now, April 2017.

On with the blog : ‘Defining moments’

Warning, I go a bit off piste with the next bit, waffling about my life-punctuation theories.  If you don’t like waffle (firstly well done getting to blog 20), please jump half a page when I get ‘back to the point’.

We are all on a road trip (sounds much more exciting than a journey).  I think of life as a book about that road trip.  We are born as a capital letter and end at the full stop.  However, we don’t run headlong to the end, we twist and turn along the way.

Life is punctuated by defining moments, events which require a change of direction, they can be happy or sad, expected or unexpected.  Even if the defining moment is negative, e.g. failing exams, it is still a crossroads that requires action.

I think defining moments are punctuated by commas and semi colons (are you keeping up – there is no prize at the end).

  • Commas, I see as a brief pause before a change of direction.
  • Semi Colons, I see as a longer considered pause before a change of direction.

Personally, I tend not to use the semi colon very often.  Admittedly I am not sure where to use it.  I rarely use it in life as I am too impatient, and would rather use a quick ‘comma’, than a considered ‘semi colon’.

Thankfully the semi colon has reinvented itself as the wsf*, it has never been so busy. *wsf – winkie smilie face.

Back to the point :

As I have said in many blogs it is my walking that is causing the most problems when meds switch off.

Recently, however PD has been stopping my walking in a new way, which is when my feet are almost completely stuck.  To the point that I try and propel myself forward, my body moves but my feet don’t.

The new walking problems had started to make me reticent about going out.  So immediately I have sprung into action.  I have :

  • Contacted a PD nurse and asked for advice.
  • Discussed with my family.
  • Talked through with the Dagenham Dancers.
  • Researched ways to take back control.
  • Updated the ‘panic plan’* on the fridge (first point is ‘don’t panic).
  • Got emergency medication – which should work quickly if I get stuck.
  • Purchased a walking stick.
  • Got a Blue Disability Badge.

*panic plan : first point is ‘don’t panic’.  This is on the fridge with friends telephone numbers, advice, music playlist and top tips.  This is for me and my family if things go pear shaped.

This constant change in my symptoms and impact on my life is PD attempting to disable me by taking away not only my control, but also my ability.

So I see this as a defining moment, it has made me take action and has introduced some new words : Disability, Blue Badge, Walking Stick

  • The Blue Badge

The first time I associated myself with the word disability is when it was suggested that I apply for a Blue Badge.

I mentioned it to my medical professionals, and rather than saying ‘you’re not disabled’, they thought it was a good idea.  Now, this was a new one, they didn’t bat an eyelid when I mentioned a disabled blue badge.

The first challenge was completing the online application form.

Now, as you will know if you have been paying attention, PD doesn’t tick boxes, it doesn’t conform.  How was I meant to squeeze all of the information about the randomness of PD into the tiny boxes on the form.

For example, ‘How far can you walk ….?’  That needed an essay.  It is not an exact science, every question needed the answer starting, ‘it depends…’.

The council said I should print off a form and add some accompanying information. So they received quite a pack of information, a couple of essays describing some scenarios where my walking was difficult and changed quickly, with meds switching on and off.

I also needed a passport photograph, which had to be countersigned by the library.  I obviously picked an ‘on’ time with the meds to go to the library.  I felt a bit odd getting them to sign a disability form when I looked so well.  I didn’t look disabled. However, if I had waited until meds weren’t working, I would have found it difficult to get there.   I don’t think the librarian even noticed, she checked it was me and signed the photographs – she probably noticed my grey roots more than my apparent lack of disability.

Forms completed, photographs authorised.  All I had to do was post it.

I kept putting off posting it, which was ridiculous.  The envelope was waiting to be posted and the post box was only over the road.

However, when meds were working and walking was okay, I didn’t go and post it, as I thought ‘I don’t need it’.  However, when I was really struggling and could hardly walk, ironically, I couldn’t get over the road to post it.  Finally I sent someone else over the road to post it.

The Blue Badge arrived, and I did cry.  After all it wasn’t a club I was keen to be a member of.

The nature of PD is so changeable.   It means I can park outside places and not worry about whether my meds will hold out.

So I must think of the Blue Badge, as an enabler.  It enables me to park outside places and nearer the entrance to places.

  • The Walking Stick

On Saturday I went to the local mobility store (I didn’t even know we had one), and purchased a walking stick, which was really an emotional moment.  It wasn’t top of my shopping list.

Two ways of thinking about it :

  • ‘Poor thing, now a walking stick’, sympathy, tilting head, touching arm (just bring your own frozen peas).
  • ‘Great, she’s doing something about it, and has purchased something to help her, which happens to be purple’.

The walking stick has really helped:

  • I can lean on it.
  • Clonk it along next to me to give a beat.
  • Kick it to start momentum.
  • People’s attitude towards me changes slightly when they see the stick.

Honestly, it is not just an excuse for another shopping opportunity (but there are so many genres, designs, colours).

So the word Disability is now associated with me in an official capacity.  This is definitely a defining moment.

But rather than making me feel disabled, the Blue Badge and Walking Stick enable me (sorry that is a bit ‘head tilty’).

If it is the difference between doing things, and not doing things.  I’d rather be out with a walking stick, parking close to the venue.  Than staying at home because walking is difficult and I can’t park.

Life is all about balance so I purchased the walking stick and a bass guitar in the same week.



19. Running/Walking

  • Wun (w-un)
  • To move along at the same speed as walking, by taking steps in which one foot is lifted before the other foot touches the ground.
  • W(alk)(r)un
  • A ‘blend’ word formed of two or more words – yes, another made up word.

An advance apology : I apologise if I repeat myself.  I realise I have written about walking and running before.  As I have said this is my most debilitating problem at the moment so it is bound to feature in many blogs.

The not so small print : Please do not start any form of physical exercise without first consulting a medical professional.  Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean squat thrusts and dips a la Superstars.  It can be daily stretches or a dog walk.    Also, if possible please check with a teenager before leaving the house to exercise to ensure you are not committing a fashion crime,

On with the blog :

As I’ve said before, when meds switch off or symptoms break through, PD can make me slow and movements stiff.  This can be anything from slight to severe.  Walking can become anything from difficult to virtually impossible (yes, there are even nuances of symptoms).

One moment I could be walking fine and swishing about without a care in the world.  Showing off, weaving between people and taking it all for granted.  This can change in an instant and I stop walking like a switch has been flicked, and vice versa.

I find it difficult to understand and I often think how it must look to other people.  At the moment sometimes if you saw me at 9am you may think all was fine.  If, however, you saw me at 4.30pm ish often you could be forgiven for thinking i was always quite disabled by PD.  (I am sure I’ve said some of this before, but I haven’t got the energy to go back and check, afterall this blog is now around 17,000 words long).

Since I can remember I have walked automatically.  Not in a robotic way, but in a ‘I don’t think about it, I just walk’ way.  However, my brain must be giving out instructions without me being aware, as when meds switch off it’s like I have forgotten how to walk.

Okay, a challenge for me.  To try and find an analogy which people will relate to, involving remembering how to move.

So a selection for your delectation :

For tap dancers (a niche market) : ‘ Do a double timestep with break, right now’.  Now some will do it automatically, but some will have to think it through and break it down.  It goes something like this (although apologies if I have misquoted the steps, and unintentionally invented a new step, maybe a ‘double back flip ostrich step’).

  • Shuffle, hop, tap, step, tap, ball, change, shuffle, hop, tap, step, tap, ball, change, shuffle, hop, tap, step, shuffle, step, shuffle, step, shuffle, ball, change

For the rest of the world :

  • Do the Superman song
  • Do the Birdie song
  • Do the Pizza Hut song
  • Do the Macarena

I am assuming even ardent collectors of novelty records will have to think for a couple of minutes before getting the routines going.  (Obviously these examples don’t cater for the whole world, apologies to non tap dancers and those with more ‘rockin’ taste in musical dance moves).

So when I stop walking, I really have to concentrate to get walking again.   I often listen to music with a beat to get into a regular stride. and think about the way to walk.

  • Swing leg forward, heel toe, big steps, left leg, right leg, swing arms.

Now combine that with Flanrinsto holding me back (see blog 4)

It’s no wonder I shout at people for interrupting, or getting into my peripheral vision,  Walking takes concentration, but for some reason I can break into a run.

I was thinking about the difference between walking and running.  Running is continuous with regular flowing movements, like riding a bike, which some people with PD can do when they can’t walk.  I have yet to try cycling, which I should mention like running, is something I don’t enjoy.

However when I decide to break into a run when walking stops I have to do it instantly.  No good thinking ‘I will run now’, and hesitating, it just doesn’t work for some reason.

I shout ‘I am going to run’ and just go.  I am (sort of) like a sprinter and just go and weave through the crowd.  This has caused quite a few problems with my companions losing me in the crowd.  It has been suggested (you know who you are) that I wear a bright hat, or carry a luminous bag, so that I am a beacon to follow.

To be honest, when I work out what my brain needs to restart communication with my body, it gets it.  So the right music and now the right exercise.

It is similar to giving in to a stroppy child and giving them sweets.

  • When ‘I give in’ to my brain’s requests, I may be able to move better.
  • When ‘I give in’ to a child’s demands for sweets, I may get an overactive child, who may crayon on the walls and not eat their dinner.

I am not, never have been, and never will be, a runner.  I don’t enjoy running, but my brain seems to be able to do it automatically when I can’t walk.

Stop one moment – Ed* (*now this could get confusing, the Editor is talking to me within the blog, and as I am the Editor …)

All of this talk about my brain choosing things I don’t enjoy is negative.  I need a positive thought.  I am relishing the challenge of new activities which I would not have tried pre PD (I still don’t like running though).

On with the blog, and the subject of this post ‘running’ ;

With my new decision to set myself challenges, the need to exercise regularly, and using my new found ability to (sort of) run.  I decided, along with one of my very patient friends, to start running.

Even though I don’t enjoy running, I quite like the idea of running stylishly.

Of impulsively calling out to the family ‘just off for a run’, whilst lightly jogging by the front door, dressed stylishly in ‘Perspiring Jenny’ (you know what I mean). Going for a stylish run.  Arriving back, glowing and eating salad, after having easily done ‘just 15k’.

However, the reality was very different.  After, finally finding something to wear, including two socks (a pair would be pushing it).  I would knock on my friend’s door.  Once she had found two socks, we would spend the next ten minutes on her doorstep trying to get into the app on our phones.  We finally set off.  After half an hour of my friend jogging off and circling back to make sure I was still going, I would finally arrive home unable to get past the bottom of the stairs, I was so exhausted.

We had ‘help’ from an app on our phone, the weirdly called ‘couch potato to 5km’.  Actually, I added the ‘potato’ bit.  It should have been called ‘sofa to 5km’ in my house.

So as not to bore you with the details (running is very boring).

  • Week one : struggled to run for 30 seconds.
  • Week nine : ran continuously for 30 minutes.

That maybe over simplifies the nine weeks of struggle for my friend and I.

We both found it challenging and we supported each other.  I timed my practice runs for when I thought meds would be at their optimum.  Sometimes though my foot would lock up and my friend would have to go and get her car.  I often used my music to get me running again.

We built it up gradually and miraculously could run for thirty minutes at the end of nine weeks.

That should say ‘wun’ as I was very slow.  So although I was definitely running, I was at walking speed.

The problem is when it says ‘couch to 5km’ in half an hour, they are not taking into account ‘wunners’.  Runners may do 5km in thirty minutes.  Wunners take a lot longer.

Undeterred, after nine weeks of training, one sunny Saturday morning in June, I randomly decided to do the local 5km Park Run.  Just to reiterate,  I had done the ‘couch to 5km’ course and run continuously for thirty minutes, but I had never actually run 5km.

Unannounced at 8am, my friend opened the door to a vision in neon pink (no teenagers to check the outfit, too early).  I thank her for not shutting the door and going back to bed.  She calmly got ready and drove to the venue.

To cut the waffle, I will bullet point the run :

  • 9am, run started
  • Ran 4km like a normal ‘wunner’ (very slow and last but definitely running rather than walking).
  • At 4km the marshal said encouragingly ‘only 1km to go, you’re doing great’.
  • Well ‘flipping’ PD decided to stop me in my tracks.  Foot locked and went into spasm and I started crying*

*after extensive research crying does not help.

A couple of marshals started discussing how to get me back to the start.  At first I stood there, stressed and crying.  Then I thought, ‘right I can do this’.

  • I mentally regrouped (change of mindset).
  • Ate a bar of chocolate (small happy dopamine boost).
  • Put headphones on and selected a track (got into the beat).
  • Somehow this kicked my brain/legs into action.
  • I ran/power walked the last km, leaving everyone behind.

I was last and my friend stayed patiently with me.

My time was a ‘personal best’ 52 minutes and 13 seconds

One day, at the end of last year, an email came through about a 10 km run

I won’t waste your time with a multiple choice

I entered it.

It is now 6 weeks to go … crickey.

A few PSes

  • The Park Run was a year ago in June, quite a lot has happened since then.
  • Symptoms and meds have changed.







18. The Morning After World PD Day

Phew what a day yesterday.  World Parkinson’s Day.

I felt the need to blog this morning, in a similar way to the morning after the night before in the olden days after a few sherbets*.  Although obviously then blogging didn’t exist and I would be ringing people individually from a phone box.

A few explanations. a few thank you’s and a few sorry’s, are needed.

However, no sherbets*, passed my lips yesterday.

*I thought I should clarify I don’t meant the dib dab kind.  Sherbet is slang for alcoholic drink.

My day went something like this :

  • A bit of World Parkinson’s Day promotion on social media (including trying to work out how to put a twibbon on my profile)
  • A dog walk with friends.
  • A wonderful few hours shopping with middle daughter.
  • A wonderful Linner* with good PD friends.

*L(lunch)(d)inner (a bit like brunch but mid afternoon)

Day going well.

Then meds unreliable for the rest of the day.  Fine(ish) if all I had to do was watch a box set.  But I was going to the Parkinson’s UK annual lecture in Cambridge, including the pre drinks.  So swishing definitely required.

I will bullet point for speed and to hopefully cut the waffle and head tilting.

  • Walk from Linner to pre drinks.  Running, walking backwards and generally staggering with music on – I used all the tricks.  Arrive at the pre drinks walking backwards.
  • Thank you to my friends who helped me and ensured that today’s headline wasn’t ‘PD person injured whilst getting to a PD lecture on PD day’.
  • Pre drinks – standing and chatting was something I could do, my left arm was having it’s own separate party, but I ignored it.
  • Walk from pre drinks to lecture.  Backwards walking and running worked for a short while.  Then dystonia started in left foot.  I was so close the building was ‘just there’.
  • Thank you to all those who stopped to offer support and the lovely ladies at Parkinson’s UK who rustled up a wheelchair.  First wheelchair ride woohoo (not).
  • Staggered into lecture theatre.  I was exhausted and could walk no further and was told to sit in the nearest seat.  They were reserved, but I was assured that these people would be seated elsewhere.
  • So a million apologies and thank you to those two people who I never saw.  I hope you understand that I really couldn’t walk any further.
  • The lecture was extremely good, clever people talking about research.
  • Lecture finished, foot unlocked, but meds still not working properly.  I needed to get to the station.
  • Thank you to the lovely lady and gentleman for allowing this very chatty lady, who walked backwards, to share your taxi to the station.  It really was appreciated. Thank you so much.

Yesterday reinforced what I have said before about good friends and the kindness of strangers.  Thank you so much.

Phew – what a day.



17. A Thank You on World Parkinson’s Day

Firstly, thank you thank you to everyone for all your support.  For ‘being there’, for supporting in every way.  I have amazing friends and family (and those in the intersection of this Venn Diagram, you know who you are) – thank you.

It is World Parkinson’s Day, Tuesday 11 April 2017 and it is 200 years since it was identified as a condition by James Parkinson.

200 years, still no cure, and only one UNreliable medication.

On Tuesday 11 April 2017 the WORLD is uniting (if that doesn’t warrant a placard nothing will).

PD is twaddle, but there has been one positive, which has come out of having PD.

It is properly positive (no spinning involved)

Bear with me, I will give you some clues.

  • They pick me up when I am down
  • They listen
  • They eat cake
  • They chat about everything
  • They waffle and faff (in a good way)
  • They are always there
  • I mean literally every single minute of every single day
  • Always there to Skype/message
  • For crying, laughing, speating

But who is it … it is not the even tempered caretaker.

  • They understand everything
  • Repeat nothing
  • Experts in everything
  • Never judge
  • Always empathise
  • Never sympathise
  • And definitely never tilt their head and touch my arm

They are the Dagenham Dancers*

*so far none are from Dagenham, but we are eclectically interesting dancers

As soon as I was diagnosed, I wanted (I needed) to meet other people in a similar situation.  A tall order as we, early onset, are like rubbish undercover agents, moving in the community.

We are holding down jobs, volunteering in the community, running homes, bringing up children. Trying to conform to ‘normality’ and fit in and carry on undaunted.

We don’t have time to have PD.

I can honestly say that the friends I have made with PD are friends for life.  Although PD was the first catalyst for us making contact, it is not all we talk about.  But to have ordinary chit chats about ordinary situations (with a PD understanding) is worth a million sherbet dib dabs.

The Dagenham Dancers are friends for life.

(Just to clarify in case I have confused you (again).  The Dagenham Dancers are a mini support group of friends with PD – I named them, ‘Dancers’ as dancing is good for PD, and ‘Dagenham’ just because it scans well.)

Once we are all cured we will still be smashing friends.   We will eat spaghetti stylishly, stay up late, sleep well, and we will actually be drunk when walking wonkily.



16. First Impressions

The not so small print :

Warning : This blog has the potential to unlock unacceptable sympathy.

Strictly no :

  • Arm touching
  • Head tilting
  • Diving
  • Petting

Another day, another gameshow.

  • ‘What you see is what you get’
  • ‘First impressions count’
  • ‘Mirrors never lie’
  • ‘The camera never lies’

PD redefines all these phrases.

  • ‘What you see is what you get’
  • Obviously, if I am being pursued by a sabre toothed tiger you can probably assume that the panic on the outside is continuing on the inside.
  • However, if you see me answering survey questions in the high street about the price of hummus, and I’m shaking with a stern, cross face.  Please don’t assume I am a rude, hummus phobe.
  • ‘Mirrors never lie’
  • I caught sight of  a grumpy looking woman walking past a shop window.
  • It genuinely caught me off guard.
  • Especially when I realised the grumpy looking woman was me.
  • Now bearing in mind I am ‘me’ and I knew I was happy, calm and relaxed, I was genuinely shocked by the grumpy, unapproachable look on my face.
  • This was a couple of months before I was diagnosed.
  • ‘First impressions count’
  • I went for an interview.
  • I spent the interview trying to hide my tremoring hand.
  • I didn’t get the job.
  • The feedback was I came across as very nervous.
  • Which I did, as I didn’t tell her about the PD.
  • This was when I was first diagnosed.  Today I would have told the interviewer straight away (and probably given her the link to my blog).
  • ‘The camera never lies’
  • When a photograph is taken, I am worried about how my smile is going to turn out.
  • It usually looks a bit wonkily odd to me.
  • I am smiling evenly on the inside.
  • This was just scarily odd :
  • I was sitting on my own, just sitting.
  • I heard an odd noise, got a bit scared as I was the only person in the room.
  • I thought it was a mouse.
  • Then I realised it was me.
  • It was my arm tremoring, rubbing against the chair.

Actually, in PD terms all of these statements could equally be true.  So if motor symptoms are under control, then my calm sophistication will radiate from the inside to the outside.

I can actually have some insight into the mixed messages that I give out, as in two of the examples I have confused myself.  As I mentioned ‘I am me’.

I have written about how PD affects my whole body movement, through tremor, bad walking, etc, but not about facial expression.  These to be honest, at the moment, I find most distressing.

So although I could easily write another 1,000 word narrative about how PD affects my face, I thought you deserved a break for good behaviour.  Bullet points will suffice.  (Hopefully not all of these at once – that would be a sight)

  • Face muscles become stiff (blank expression)
  • Face contorts with dystonia (think unintentional ’70s gurning competition)
  • Voice goes quiet and whispery as it affects vocal chords
  • Face muscles twitch
  • Staring eyes
  • Multiple blinking
  • Looking grumpy
  • Small facial nuances difficult, a cheeky wink doesn’t happen
  • Nodding in acknowledgement difficult

I have been accused of being :

  • Scared
  • Cross
  • Stressed
  • Worried
  • Cold
  • Drunk
  • Injured
  • Needing the toilet urgently

(but not all at once)

Of course, you may bump into a rude, cross person in the queue for the loo in Casualty wearing shorts and a t-shirt in mid November.  This is not me.

When I was first diagnosed I would sit on my hand to disguise the tremor, I would look at the ground embarrassed to make eye contact.  I was worried that people would think I was incapable if I told them about the PD.

But now I realise this was down to lack of awareness on my part.

So now, you may have noticed, I believe that communication is key.  Breaking the ice with a quip about the symptoms means that I can relax a bit more, and makes me less anxious.  Even if it sometimes confuses the person I have just announced to that I have a disease.

So now I probably mention it too much.  For example.

  • I was trying on some shoes and was fiddling with laces.  I became very aware that I thought I was lacing oddly (however that might be?!)  So I said to the shop assistant randomly ‘I have Parkinson’s’.  The poor person jumped and said ‘I haven’t heard of that brand’.  I replied curtly ‘It’s a disease!’.  My daughter embarrassedly suggested we leave the shop.
  • When I sit in the theatre/cinema I try and ensure I am sitting next to someone I know on my tremor side.  Otherwise I usually turn to the stranger next to me and tell them about the tremor – again they often look confused.   They may inch a bit further away from me as they are now sitting next to an over familiar lady who has a ‘disease’ for the next two hours*

*  Actually this is important.  If I knew how to use the extra facilities on this blog I would do this bit in an interesting bold flashing font.  Obviously not comic sans (far too jokey), but maybe helvetica.  However you will have to make do with capitals.


You can now stop virtually hand sanitising after every blog view.

I am very aware of my symptoms and actually, it may surprise you, that (maybe) I have become a bit self obsessed (you are only reading it, feel sorry for those living with me).  Apparently everyone is wrapped up in their own odd bits and pieces, and so apparently it is quite likely that they won’t notice the tremor, unless I hit them with it.

So think about this, on first impressions, erasing (briefly) all your new found knowledge about PD, would you pick someone looking nervous, cross and unapproachable as a :

  • Prospective employee
  • Running buddy
  • Tennis partner
  • Piano player at your wedding
  • Your friend

(actually I am capable of all of the above apart from piano player at your wedding, unless you just want grade 1 pieces)

I have found this blog a bit difficult to write.  I have had a few face ‘bits and pieces’ over the years, but nothing major.  However, just recently I have had a couple of very upsetting times when my face has gone into complete spasm.  I have been quite panicky and upset.

I was panicky about the walking problems when this symptom first reared its head.  But now I have figured out some coping strategies, I am not so stressed.

I need to do the same about the ‘face thing’ (including, learning the medical term).  I need to learn coping strategies and try not to let it drag me down.

Easier said then done.

Parkinson’s is (insert expletive)

A couple of random odes :

An oddly factual ode (which will test your head tilting/arm touching – sorry)

  • On the periphery
  • Yet still in the room
  • On the outside
  • Filled with gloom
  • Please don’t avoid, don’t assume
  • Do please, just cross the room

A (slightly rushed) (slightly humorous) ode (to leave you on a maybe confused, but happy note)

  • I was born to dance
  • And if given half a chance
  • I’ll shake my bootie
  • Whilst eating tuttie frutties
  • Sorry rhymes are deserting me
  • I think I need some chocolate




15. Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April 2017 is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

I thought it was worth writing a blog about how I believe awareness could help speed a cure for PD.

Awareness, I believe, is key to supporting those living with PD and encouraging pharmaceutical companies to work even harder to find a cure.

Firstly, I believe that awareness will help make Parkinson’s a ‘fashionable’ condition.

Let me clarify what I mean by ‘fashionable’.  I don’t mean ‘fashionable’ like massive eighties shoulder pads.  That is, shoulder pads were at the height of fashion for a few years, and then they disappeared from the fashion scene.  Two decades later they were back en vogue.

I would like PD to be only briefly ‘fashionable’ until a cure is found. It will then be eradicated from the face of the earth never to return (which, to be honest, I think should have happened to massive shoulder pads).

I want it to be ‘fashionable’ now, so that :

  • People want to fundraise and donate towards research for a cure.
  • Pharmaceutical companies will plough all their money and expertise into PD, as they want the kudos of finding a cure for the ‘fashionable’ condition.
  • People will have more understanding of PD to help their friend/neighbour who lives with PD.

Once a cure is found :

  • I can stop writing my blog (phew).
  • PD related organisations will have farewell closing down parties (and all employees will immediately get really good new jobs).
  • Lionel and Lavinia (see blog 14) will have job security for life.
  • The thousands living with PD, can get on with their lives.

A scenario :

Imagine you move into a new street and pop into a neighbour’s house to borrow a cup of sugar.  You notice the house is in disrepair and needs decorating.

Once home, you sprinkle the sugar on your Cornflakes (as you have run out of Frosties), and you have several options :

  • You don’t give any more thought to the neighbour and their home’s disrepair.
  • You pop back to your neighbour a few days later with some paint samples and help them choose colours over a cup of tea.
  • You turn up at their house with a roller and paint a few days later and roll up your sleeves to do their decorating.

Hopefully after reading my blog you will not just ‘notice the disrepair next door, then immediately forget about it’.

Hopefully you will become aware of friends/neighbours living with PD.  And offer much needed support and empathy.  This obviously applies to the population of the whole wide world.  (Although please call first so that I can organise extra crockery).

Unless you are a neuroscientist, I don’t mean for you to work on a cure. Or, wait a minute, maybe I do.  After all PD has been a named ‘condition’ for 200 years and still no cure.  Perhaps it could be found by an ordinary individual.  For example, Derek, a Palaeontologist from Frimley, may be the one to find a cure when inadvertently searching for fossils on the coast of the Hebrides.

I have lots more to write about; interesting situations, positive spins on difficult things, top tips, and may be more (very odd) odes.

So, thank you for reading my blog.  Please subscribe if you like what you read, by filling in the details on the front page.  You will then get an email when a new blog is posted.   You can unsubscribe at any time.

Please forward my blog, and share and like on Facebook to raise awareness, make PD ‘fashionable’, and ultimately find a cure.