Living with young onset Parkinson’s: Loving the lockdown

Friday 8 May 2019

I suspect I’m going to
regret saying this, but right now I’m loving the lockdown.

I do, of course,
acknowledge I’m one of the lucky ones (with the caveat that we often make our
own luck – see previous post Lucky
or unlucky?
). I still have a well-paid white-collar job, a job that I
can perform reasonably well from the comfort of a spacious house, without any
screaming young children running around.

The local Tesco stocks
everything needed to sustain life. (It did run out of fresh raspberries and
strawberries for a couple of weeks, but the grapes were still arriving from
places like South Africa and Chile… phew!)

I live in a suburban
area with wide streets, so going for a Sunday walk is better than it’s ever
been, with barely any traffic either on the roads or overhead, great air
quality, and the lovely scene of contented parents and children sharing family
time together. Even the weather has been pretty good since social distancing
measures were introduced back in March.

The main reason I love
the lockdown is because it makes getting through the work day so much easier
with Parkinson’s. Back in February and March, every day was a desperate battle
with fatigue. The morning commute was exhausting in itself and by the time I
was making the journey home often I could barely stand up. Many times I felt
close to blacking out on the train platform in the evening.

Working from home,
having virtual meetings through a screen all day, is also pretty tiring but I
avoid two hours of travelling and, best of all, I can sneak off to the bedroom
for a five-minute power nap whenever I feel the need, and nobody needs to know.
I do this once or twice (occasionally three times) per day and it makes all the

Obviously, there are
disadvantages to living like this. Eating or drinking with friends has to be
via video link, there are no holidays to look forward to, no shops to browse
in, and I can’t visit my mum to give her a big hug. Home haircuts were a bit scary
at first but are actually quite fun now.

And then there’s the
strange phenomenon that the weeks really fly by when the daily routine is the
same. To understand why, see previous post: The
perception of time

But I can live with all these things for a while. Perversely, my biggest
concern is that this must, somehow, eventually come to an end. At which point
I’ll need to return to the office, at least for two or three days a week. Now
that I’m used the routine of working from home, the prospect of the struggle to
get through days in the office is not one I’m looking forward to.

So, I resolve to make
the most of the lockdown while it lasts. I appreciate many people are having a tough time right now. But, three years and counting since my diagnosis, for me
personally, it was just the tonic I needed.

Oh, and it also helps
avoid dying from covid-19.

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