The following is mainly true.
I’ve got Parkinson’s Disease, in case you didn’t know. Things could be worse, of course, because I could have contracted Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or any of a variety of cancers, or anything else just too horrible to countenance. An old friend, Stewart, made me think about it after he told me he’d read my last blog about the impact of PD on my physical movement and that it had made him think that it could have been about growing old in a normal way. In other words, about him or just about any of our 60/70 year old drinking friends.
With or without PD, as you get older you get more tired, more stiff, more cranky (I think). It happens to all of us if we live long enough. Perhaps like Kris Kristofferson and Joan Baez sing in the song Hello in There we should talk to older people, spare them time and enquire whether someone really is at home in there.
But thanks for taking a look at my blog and maybe reading it. I hope you are enjoying it, even learning a bit, but even if you aren’t enjoying it or find it self-serving or moaning drivel, I’m getting a lot out of it and thought it time to explain why:
1. It is my way of getting back at PD; having a joke and a bit of a poke at its expense
2. I enjoy the creative act of writing it
3. I enjoy reading it at the draft stage, and at the finished stuff on the net stage where I coax it into shape
4. I try to entertain and inform
5. It makes me want to learn about PD so I can pass on some of the more relevant messages
6. And I use up time (because I have more spare time to waste, thanks to PD and early retirement
GETTING BACK AT PD
I see PD as the insidious enemy, to be attacked at every opportunity, like Harry Potter and the enemy Dementors (incidentally, if you aren’t familiar with the songs of Iris Dement try ‘Our Town’ – makes me cry anyway).
PD doesn’t announce itself but creeps in uninvited through the back door when you don’t expect it and because of the simple tests for it you have no idea of how serious it is. It’s probable too that you have no idea what it means to do to you in the future. The medical profession could be much more up front at the outset about what it means to live with PD and what the future holds. I’d rather know the worst and find out what I’m dealing with than the alternative.
THE CREATIVE ACT
I worked in market research all my life, so I wrote many reports about consumers, products and advertising for over 40 years. Serious subjects demanded serious reporting, but I’d try to put in little stories, anecdotes, things real people said to enliven matters. Like the black 20 something year old who went round tasting the test alcohol products more than once and who was accused by our supervisor of trying the drink more than once said ‘that’s the trouble with you honkies, you think we all look alike’.
Or the student who claimed that a certain spirit drink was so beneficial that he drank it ‘before dinner, after dinner and when I’m sexing the woman’. I wrote in the report that the product is very versatile.
Having been so dry in writing my daily research reports, I now loosen my collars and cuffs and try to write a riff on PD without treating bloody PD as seriously as it expects to be treated.
I work by shoving stuff down in small notebooks, then creating a topic heading, followed by a draft of a paragraph or two, which eventually, matures into a draft of the full blog.
This isn’t a job it’s a hobby and fun, where I can polish my efforts till the cows come home; a blog can always be improved.
INFORM AND ENTERTAIN
This is where I can be serious and / or silly. Using often feeble links to PD to launch a précis of a report on a new technical development, or about moving closer to a possible cure; using feeble excuses to introduce a joke stretches my material (sometimes beyond the limit!).
LEARNING ABOUT PD
People now send me articles and links to PD-related topics which I can screen and pass on, which helps us all, I hope.
EDUCATED PEOPLE LIVE LONGER
I just heard someone say it on the radio so it must be true. Now I’ve been forced to retire I have no excuses but to read, listen, watch and learn.
A FOOTNOTE ON LIFE AND DEATH
I saw the Speech Therapist for the final time just before Christmas and mentioned that I’d already been into the hospital once earlier in the day. She asked what for and I answered ‘for my skin cancer autopsy’….I meant biopsy. And apparently I haven’t got skin cancer.
AT THE PUB
At the pub we discussed Donald Trump, the disappeared, Afghanistan, Louis Van Gaal, beer quality, Xmas, partridges, steak prices, sentencing policy, Star Wars, surgery receptionists. Most scary? Surgery receptionists by a country mile.
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