Friend who has Parkinson's

Hi there,

This is the first time I’ve used anything like this but just want some advice on the situation or for someone to understand. I am scared for my teacher, for what he is going through and what could happen to him. He’s not just my teacher, but my friend too and I’ve known him for many years. He has Parkinson’s and has done for about 6 years now, and I worry about him every single day. I worry about his mental state, I worry about his physical state and also about things like him driving. I don’t want him to suffer or be in pain, he says that he’s not but he might just be saying that to not worry me. I want to help him but there’s not much I can do. I feel useless, there’s no cure for it, he takes pills to try and control it, I raised over £1000 for Parkinson’s UK but I still don’t feel any good because I know it’s not helping the one person I care most about who suffers with it. I know it sounds selfish as it is helping others, and I am proud of that, but I want to help him. He’s done so much for me, and I don’t want to lose him. He’s gone through a lot in his life, and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s has just blown his world apart again. I want to ask him how he is truthfully, and whether he is coping with it. Because I have seen what people have gone through with Parkinson’s. Robin Williams made a career out of making people laugh, yet he could never make himself happy and he also had Parkinson’ alongside depression. I couldn’t stand seeing him being like Robin Williams, I wouldn’t want anyone feeling as low and as sad as he did. I get really angry too, as I see people making fun of him as they don’t understand what he has, and at one point I nearly started a fight over it, which obviously doesn’t help him in anyway shape or form! I want to help my teacher so much, but I have no idea how. Please help.

First and foremost, your freind s the same person, they may answer slower, shake a bit or stand still more, but the person inside will be the same. Try to be the same, as far as possible, the things that cemented your friendship are still valid. You are clearly a caring person, but PD is a fate thing… there is nothing you could have done to stop it.