06/11/2014 06:00 GMT | Updated 05/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Never Give Up Hope

Are you familiar with the 'missing sock' syndrome, which continues to be baffle me? I'm far from alone experiencing this strange phenomena, as it probably occurs in most households around the world. For those of you who haven't a clue what I'm talking about and are puzzled, shaking your heads; let me explain.

Whenever we put laundry into our washing machine, once the cycle has finished, the wet clothes hung up to dry, there inevitably appears to be one sock missing, and mysteriously that sock is never seen again. It didn't get lost at the bottom of the laundry basket, fall down the side of the washing machine, or eventually found underneath someone's bed. Socks are literally disappearing in our household.

Where do these odd socks disappear to? Do socks go away on holiday? Does our washing machine have a secret penchant for socks and devour them one at a time? Maybe we are unaware of a clandestine sock society with plans of mutiny afoot. Has anyone bothered to find out? I would love to know. Perhaps, as in the wonderful Harry Potter stories, there are house elves who are presented with a single sock, setting them free from their enslavement? But this is now sounding a little too far-fetched.

Whatever the reason, without doubt at the end of each wash, inexplicably a single sad sock remains alone instead of a matching pair. I put these single socks in the drawer, hoping the missing sock will reappear at some stage, be found somewhere in the house, but they never turn up, and so the pile of single socks mounts up.

We moved house some time ago, and trying desperately to be ruthless, getting rid of unnecessary clutter, I collected together all the odd single socks, which had been accumulating over some time, and threw them away. However there was one sock, which used to be my favourite pair, and couldn't bring myself to throw it in the bin. Silly I know, but we all have our quirks and foibles, and according to my husband, I have many, but wouldn't life be boring without them?

Unpacking and putting away our clothes, as I was filling my husband's sock drawer, I suddenly came across a solitary sock, the missing one that made up my favourite pair! I could hardly believe my eyes; where had it been all that time? No other socks resurfaced, just this one, and am now so glad I didn't throw its other half away. So never give up hope - socks can resurface!

Talking of "never giving up hope" (this is one hell of a segue from socks to chronic ill health!) a lot can be said for keeping hopeful, for it is one of the most important factors when living with an on-going chronic long term disease. Family and friends, often worry I am doing too much, keeping so busy with writing, campaigning and public speaking, but all these activities give my life purpose. I refuse to give up hope, and am determined to keep going, for I'd rather go out with a bang making as much noise as I can, than simply fade away into the shadows.

Someone recently asked me why I revealed so many personal stories in my autobiography "A Silver Lining", and I was puzzled by their question, for me it is obvious. Living with Gaucher and Parkinson's, to put it bluntly, is a nightmare. As hopeful and positive as I remain, I am not in denial and know full well the extent of what Parkinson's holds in store, slowly stealing away a little of me each day, until I'm hardly recognizable. This is why I tell it all in 'A Silver Lining', so that my family, friends and even those who have merely been following my story as it plays out through my personal blog and articles in The Huffington Post will know and understand who I once was. I am the eternal optimist who never gives up hope whether it be finding that lost sock or a cure for Parkinson's.