Dear Parkinsons Disease,
I would like to explain the things that I intensely dislike about you. The first deeply annoying trait you have is the fact that you are completely unpredictable. First of all this shows a distinct lack of class and empathy. If you were decent enough to be consistent, that would give me the opportunity to prepare in advance for the potential pitfalls, even the IRA phoned in coded telephone warning in the 80s before they bombed the UK. Surely its not too much to ask for some constancy or uniformity. It would surely make a difference to me. Do I book to go San Diego or Madrid, will I be a stumbling eejit in the airport, will the security folk presume I am drunk because I am a little shaky,? Can I get up and down the church to get communion? I certainly do not want to inadvertently maori side step the Monsignor into the altar, after all I am solidly built 6ft and 14 stone. One stumble could cause excommunication from the Catholic church.
It is not something I am proud of, but due to you Parkinsons Disease I detest, loathe, abhor and generally hate The London Marathon, even though I raced for a London Borough in the mini marathon in the 80s. I have a profoundly visceral reaction to the pearl in athletic fundraising calendar. I cannot watch it, the same is true of the Helen Rollason award at SPOTY. All I see is people talking with deeply affecting personal stories of loved ones who they are running on behalf of. I do not want,under any circumstances, to be the punchline of the story. Oh too late…I already have been ’ a cause close to my heart’ in a just giving page pitch. The realisation that I am that point is annihilation of the soul or is it the ego. I am not in any way denying the fabulous altruistic nature of the event or the individuals who manage to run 40K, a herculean effort. I do not wish to be reliant on anybody, I am too proud and not too proud to admit it. As Miss Knowles once said ’ I depend on me, I depend on me’.
Sympathy: When someone tilts their head to the side a talks to me in a softer than usual voice, I become volcanic with rage and feel the need to insult their families in a deeply unnecessary way. Enough said. I do not do sympathy. So do not feel sorry for me, I am doing alright thanks, never talk down to me or you may regret how I speak about your momma.
I am also uncomfortable how my children have been changed and lost some of their childhood. They shouldn’t be encumbered by my issue, I can sometimes sense their trepidation when I am not quite as fleet of foot as Fred Astaire, they worry Dad may end up in a heap and they don’t want to see me in pain, perversely this causes me the deepest pain. I want to protect them from all comers and I can no longer do this (I was probably never able to do this. Due to your intervention in my life Parkinsons Disease I missed my beloved sister in law’s wedding, which is a burden I will take to the grave. I can take all the physical pain you can throw at me, no bother. But that was a blow like no other and a low which took a long time to recover from. But its not how many times you get knocked down its how many times you get up. I’m still getting up.
Stand up an’ fight until you hear the bell. Stand toe to toe. Trade blow fer blow. Keep punching till you make yer punches tell. Show that crowd watcher know! Until you hear that bell, that final bell, Stand up an’ fight like hell!”
No more missed weddings and I mean it.