THE BLOG

Parkinson's Waits For No Man

30/01/2014 10:05 GMT | Updated 31/03/2014 10:59 BST

As the weeks and months pass by, it's becoming increasingly difficult to write. Not that I'm short of what to write about, I've always got something to say, coming from a long line of chatter boxes. My long suffering husband has a job shutting me up sometimes, and one has to feel sorry for the poor chap, as he has endured my constant talking over the last 25 years. There has been the rare occasion when I've lost my voice, and like receiving sudden reprieve an unfamiliar silence envelops the house temporarily. Thanks to hot lemon and honey, bowls of piping hot chicken noodle soup and a hot toddy before slipping into bed at night, my voice soon returns and the household is restored to my incessant chatter.

You may be asking if it's not writer's block, what is so hard in writing about a subject I know inside out for I live it every day? Chronic disease and I go way back, like old school chums, only I dislike this so called "chum" with great loathing. Typing has become extremely time consuming, for I no longer type at the speed I used to, my fingers with little dexterity, either hit a key too many times by mistake or the wrong key entirely. There is just so much the auto-correct and spell checker on a computer can do to rectify my mistakes. My mind still sharp, when an idea for an article hits me, it's like receiving dictation and words run fast like an unstoppable river from my brain to my fingers that used to move deftly over the keyboard at a very fast pace. Years ago my dear late father-in-law, for the first time started to tell us his entire story from World War II. I quickly went to the computer and was able to type every word as he was re-telling from beginning to end his courageous experience, which was just as well, for he never repeated it again in its entirety. I doubt very much I could type fast enough to keep up with someone talking today.

Parkinson's waits for no man, and certainly not this woman, as I can't type at the same speed as my thoughts any more, and if I don't get them down straight away, they are lost. Writing with pen and paper is of no help at all, in fact it makes matters even worse. My writing has become small thanks to micrographia (a symptom of Parkinson's) making ones writing so tiny that it's no longer legible. A friend kindly offered to type for me, but I don't think she'd appreciate me calling her up at 02:00 when often I'm wide awake due to Parkinson's gift of insomnia, and oddly the time of day when some of my best ideas occur. To set a specific time and date for her to come and type for me, wouldn't work, it's just not how I write. Instead we'd get little or no work done, but have a wonderful long companionable chat about everything from A-Z including solving the world's problems over a cup of coffee.

Another good friend who happens to be a fellow Parkinson sufferer, often comes out with some comments that are spot on and hit the nail on the head. We've all heard the saying "Time flies when you're having fun", but my friend who has a wonderful sharp sense of humour changed it to "Time flies when everything you do takes ten times longer"! How very true, for every simple chore or activity takes so long when suffering Parkinson's, including typing a simple article. Frustration doesn't even begin to describe what it feels like to slowly lose the ability to do simple daily chores or activities and remain independent.

My mother-in-law used to tell me about her mother who came to visit for the weekend, and ended up staying seventeen years! I always laughed at this old family story, and in case you are wondering, yes it's really true! Fifty years ago in England, things were very different. The older generations were respected and it was taken for granted they'd be cared for and looked after by the family. Often several generations would live under one roof, but today this is becoming a rare occurrence.

Slowly and repetitively like the ticking of the wall clock, Parkinson's inches its way forward, and once its foot is in the door, there's no retreating. Parkinson's isn't an unwelcome salesman you can tell to leave slamming the door shut in his face, and it's certainly not a darling grey haired grandma who thinks she's come to stay just for the weekend. Once Parkinson's arrives, it's here to stay.

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