A distinction must be drawn between temporary and permanent incapacity as a result of ill health.
We cannot afford to ignore the long-term, slow motion public health crisis we know is coming: preventable illness. More of us are living longer. But as the population gets older increasing numbers of people are living with long-term health conditions, like arthritis, chronic lung disease or cardiovascular disease.
Young children don't have the preference for salt unless we train them. By giving them lots of salty food we are training them to need more - and effectively setting them on the road to ill health.
If you have a life insurance policy, don't cash it in no matter what. Listen to good advice when given by your agent, for you have no way of knowing your future health status, and once diagnosed with certain diseases, insurance companies are loathe to insure a person who is considered a bad risk.
Before Internet, e-mails, mobile phones, the technology we enjoy today, and now take for granted, it was far harder to find the latest information, meet with others in the same situation and impossible to correspond with fellow sufferers half way round the world. If there was a support group located near to one's home, then it was a stroke of luck.
magine for one moment, being trapped inside a body that doesn't work properly and no longer responds to your brain signals. There you are, totally lucid, thoughts and wishes intact yet incapable of talking, writing, typing or making any visual signs to converse.
In many ways I depend on people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I'm too sick to go out. Sometimes I need help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, or taken to the doctor. You are my link to normalcy and help me to keep in touch with parts of life I miss.
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 worst nightmare is becoming a burden to my family, which I'm sure is in the back of many people's minds. No one wants to put loved ones through such difficulties and heartbreak. Why is it the people we love the most seem to be the ones who end up suffering? I am painfully aware my family, despite their smiles and good humour, encounter strains and difficulties due to my ill health.
When people ask me "How are you?" I have to think twice, not because I don't know, but often am not sure what they want to hear. Some ask out of common courtesy, simply being polite, but would rather I answer "I'm fine thank you" than hear a long account; perish the thought of hearing the truth and understanding the full picture of living with chronic disease.