Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive disease. The shadow of the prognosis towers over my future like a prison cell; it dictates that my symptoms will get worse and I will gradually lose control of my body until I am locked inside my unresponsive body.
However, predictions of the future need the future to verify them but we are stuck in the present. My future with Parkinson’s is the same as your future without Parkinson’s; namely, it is an unsettled future. Parkinson’s is progressive but so is life. We are all walking in a dark place with a torch that illuminates only a few metres ahead of us; we predict precisely because we cannot see into the distance. It just happens to be that I can anticipate more than others but such anticipation is not actual or currently part of me. I see only vague shapes in the darkness. I want these shapes to be real, even if they devastate me, because it is preferable to not knowing. But no one knows for certain where I am going with my disease. This isn’t wilful blindness on my part; it is acknowledging we are all blind when we “see” the future.