People making jokes

I don’t know if I’ve done this right or put it in the right place. I’m very new to commenting on the forum, in fact I’ve only replied on one thread so apologies if I’m doing it wrong.
So I had an experience last night where someone was spilling their drink everywhere (I’m all for people having a good time that wasn’t an issue) he then made a comment of “I don’t know what’s wrong with me it’s like I’ve got f@£&ing Parkinsons” this really annoyed me actually more hurt if I’m honest. I’m still early in my diagnosis so maybe that’s why it bothered me more I don’t know. Today I can’t help but feel really sad and upset that people find this sort of comment funny or even acceptable. I’m 39 and still trying to deal with diagnosis. Am I wrong ??

Hello flora19
You could argue that he had at least heard of Parkinson’s and had some notion of what it involved to make that remark but no, I don’t think you were wrong to be upset and hurt by his remark. I do wonder how many people around him apparently joined in the ‘joke’ because they didn’t have the confidence, knowledge or whatever it is that would have made someone challenge him. I suspect if someone had done so others would have come on board. Sadly there will always be people who show their ignorance or crassness by making ‘jokes’ about any number of chronic conditions and disabilities, including Parkinson’s, that are neither jokes nor funny. Depending on the circumstances and how you feel about what has been said you can challenge or maybe make a formal complaint if you feel able or let it pass. I personally think if you are going to let someone know their joke is not funny just hurtful, you need to do so with care because you don’t want to make the situation worse. A less direct challenge is to post on social media the incident and your response - it may not stop that particular person but it may make someone else think before voicing such comments. In the meantime, try not to let it upset you too much, he is the one with the problem not you and at the end of the day I tend to think getting your view known to a wider audience such as on social media is a better way to encourage awareness and change attitudes and that’s really what is needed.


Hi Flora19,
I have a totally different attitude to Tot.
Yes, people do and are going to say things like that, simply because that’s what people do.
I have no doubt he did not mean anything bad by it, he simply thought he was being funny, and I guarantee that 90% of the people there laughed.
If we are going to let ourselves, be ‘hurt’ by comments like that, that are said jokingly, and yes it was, he obviously did not know about your condition, we are going to spend our lives being upset.
If anyone said it, knowing the situation, yes then definitely be annoyed, but it is not his/their fault we have it.
Honestly Flora19, there are so many things to be really annoyed and upset about, please don’t let something so small spoil your day.


Thank you both for your replies. Both make complete sense. I think now I’ve calmed down I’m feeling a little better about it. Once stripped back I think it’s more me not dealing with the diagnosis more than anything and that’s why it bothered me so much.
He absolutely had no idea that I have it I’d never met him before so couldn’t possibly have known. Others didn’t find it funny but also didn’t react to him tbh.
I think I just needed to vent my frustration about it. Thank you :pray:

As it happens I don’t disagree with you Clive V, I think it really depends on the circumstances and how those present feel about what is said or whatever. Also Flora19 may be right and with hindsight can see her own reaction differently,. But she also said others didn’t find it funny and whilst they may not have reacted we don’t know why. :You are right, people do says things everyday that can be misconstrued or unintended and often because they don’t know of someone’s circumstances. The episode that Flora19 witnessed and which caused upset at the time could, depending on your point of view be considered black humour or a joke in bad taste. They all have their place in the world of humour but that doesn’t mean we can’t challenge that which we don’t agree with and send out an alternative message. Why should someone be able to say something that caused upset and be acceptable on the basis that the circumstances weren’t known. Words can be very powerful even when spoken in jest and whilst not being aware of someone’s circumstances could be seen as a reason to ‘take it with a pinch of salt’ equally not knowing their circumstances you don’t know just how vulnerable someone might be = if you had been there on the day you got your diagnosis I wonder if you would have been as tolerant as you are in your reply. On a slightly different but related point, I personally dislike absolutely how anyone with a chronic condition, and the media are particularly guilty of this, are described as suffering with. I have Parkinson’s - fact. I live with Parkinson’s = fact. Do I consider I suffer with it - no I don’t. It is in my opinion a totally unnecessary word unless it is how I see myself, it is not for anyone else to apply to me on the basis of my diagnosis alone.
The issues raised by Flora19’s post are far more complex than first appear and their resolution equally complex. Jokes in apparent poor taste what do you do? Join in the laughter, explain it away by not knowing circumstances, long to say something but bury your head pretending you hadn’t heard, find a way to raise the issue more widely …

1 Like

I am sorry, but these days I would want to take someone on in those circumstances. Probably wrong and inviting trouble, but oh the naughty joy in saying-- oh poor you, obviously you haven’t noticed I’ve got it too because mine is so much weaker than yours, I was just diagnosed recently, have you had it long? I do admire how you are coping.-- Then if possible leave hastily?

1 Like

Just thought I’d throw this in. No need to reply. As one of the verses says, ‘I know we all have a different opinion’. Just thought it might help Flora19.

Laughter, the best medicine.

I heard a story not too long ago
A group of lads were having a drink
There conversation I do not know
What one said next caused an upset.

He’d spilt his drink a couple of times
Then thought I’ll turne it into a joke
Out of his gob came this offencive line
I must have f*****g Parkinson’s Disease.

Not many laughed as he tried to amuse
His joke it did fall upon deaf ears
This whole situation I hope to defuse
I know we all have a different opinion.

Diagnosed for about three years
Retired for only three months now
Jokes about Parky fall on deaf ears
I don’t have the time to listen to fools.

Looking online I saw a tee-shirt
Amusing phrase adorned the front
I’m sure it wasn’t meant to hurt
Just draws attention to your condition.

Some look drunk when out walking
Another symptom it does highlight
Slurring words when you are talking
"I’m not drunk I have Parkinson’s ".

I myself find this slogan funny
Others no doubt will take offence
Laughter turns a black day sunny
Helps me put Parky away in a box.

Reading too much to what idiots say
Is not any help for me or for you
Karma will reward their actions one day
Forget about it and have a good laugh.

Martin Doyle © 2023.

1 Like

HI Flora
Just a little story that may help, I went with my two sons to play snooker when it was my turn on the table I picked up the Que went down to hit the white ball but my left hand was shaking so much so had to really take my time I started to giggle that started my to sons of in the end I had to stand up and we all had a really good laugh, by the way my sons are 48 and 50, I managed to finish the came but was funny the longer I took to hit the ball the more my hand shook but we had a really good day, some time you just have to see the funny side side as long as its not meant to hurt or make you feel bad, take care


At least this thread has made some of us think and that’s the main thing. What we do or don’t do is for the individual to decide and that depends on a whole lot of things. This thread may have ended up being different to what you thought when you posted your question Flora19 but I hope one-way or another you are ok with what you experienced now. I’m glad you posted, you raised a valid and important point that prompted debate and made us think and that’s no bad thing.


Hi Tot,

Yea, there are a lot of differing reactions what and when people say things.
I’m really glad that as Flora19 says, no one else laughed that is wonderful.
However that being said, and all your points are spot on, we live in a world where people do say things either on purpose or simply without thinking, and we simply cannot let ourselves be ruled by what other people say or think.
The vast majority of people actually have no idea what PD is, other than the basic ‘vision’ out there, as with a myriad other “diseases” and as such will not actually realize they are saying something that may be hurtful to others.
Regarding the word ‘suffering’ and your attitude to it, I do agree. I have it and that’s it there is actually bugger all I can do about except to control it as best I can.
However, I do not agree with your last paragraph, the issue is not that complicated.
When someone says something, and here, you are obviously referring to a person who does not know your situation, I immediately say something to the effect of:
Wow, I didn’t know you knew so much about PD, by the way I have PD, so if I can give you any more information on the matter, please ask.
But I do it with a smile.
They did not know you have it, and 9 times out of 10 did not mean anything by it.
I find I have a few differing reactions:
An intake of breath and they look at you to see if you are joking.
A total disbelief in what you have just said, and they just laugh and ignore what you have said at first, then realize the situation.
Or a look of total shock. and a stumbling apology.
There is no need to make them feel worse than they do.
However you should never ignore it, that is the worst thing you can do

Hi Peterb1951,

I agree with you totally, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you will end up going nuts.
In my case even more than I am already.

It’s all healthy debate, it raises questions that have no real answers because it will depend on individual response and even that can change depending on your mood or whatever at that particular time. As I said, it can make you think and maybe consider someone else’s perspective that is equally valid to your own. Perhaps we will all then be a little more tolerant of each other. I don’t propose to add any more to this thread other than what people say, the words they use, the time and place and who is present etc do matter and although you can’t realistically go through life monitoring anything and everything we need to be aware of the power they weald and the possible consequences whatever your view or perspective

Its great that a sense of humor has open such a debate, and agree do depends on a lot of when to use it, but I am sure most who have PD can take it with a pinch of salt I think the thing is when it comes from someone who do not have PD and how well you know that person, and I must say that any debate is good as long as it taking with in content , good to say what is on your mind, how you feel about things, I for one don’t think there is enough light heated debate on here, you do get a feeling what others think and are going through, just my thoughts, dome and gloom is not good for anyone all the time, at the moment music is my life safer and keeps me thinking positive most of the time, wishing you all well


Thank you Martin for your great songs! :grinning::+1:

1 Like

i think it depends who makes the joke. One of my best mates is a GP and I am more than happy to have him take the piss. Other people I’ll be annoyed about the smallest comment


strong text


Hello Flora19
Your post is just fine don’t worry about doing it wrong it will get picked up by someone somewhere whatever you do, but there’s nothing wrong with this one.
Unfortunately I don’t think there are any easy answers to this. Some will say if they knew you had Parkinson’s they probably wouldn’t make the comment but if you are in a public place like a pub and the remark is made by an adjacent group for example what do you do - march over and say your piece, have a quiet word, say nothing… Some will say life’s too short, no harm was probably meant laugh it off and/or forget it, although that’s not always easy to do. Some would say he has at least heard of Parkinson’s and knows it affects movement which is more than many do and some will say it’s the drink talking. Sometimes it depends on the context and how you feel and yes perhaps some would say you are being supersensitive but if you are newly diagnosed why shouldn’t you be a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not an easy thing to get your head around. As you can probably tell there are any number of reasons, explanations or excuses (the choice is yours) which can be applied to the experience you had. The fact that it upset you is a significant factor but I think the best thing you can do is chalk it up to experience and move on, don’t overthink it, these things happen and if it happens again, maybe your reaction will be quite different.

*Hi Flora tot has given you some good adivce, I have had PD 20 years and it’s just starting to show me whos boss. Back to your post this is just me, take a look at the person how much drink has he had? just one pint or nearly legless, if he has only had one drink (This is me again) I would wait till he was on his own and then all I would say is Parkinson’s is not all about Shaking/Tremor you know, if you have a computer then just look it up, then the bomb shell “” I have Parkinson’s " When you say you are still coming to terms with it you are not along, Myself I just look (now) and think WOW!!! I am now in the elite club only because well known artist like M J Fox Billy Connolly Alan Alda and many more are admiting that they have PD. Just remember when thing get a little out of hand think of these songs lines My mamma told me to look the world right in the eye, and that little green art who tried to move the rubber tree plant he never gave up because he had High in the apple pie hopes, I know this sound like rubbish but it worked for me.