My failing body.
My brain thinks my body is roughly twenty years old, that is patently untrue. I am 46.5 years old and I have wrecked my body throughout the years by chasing different shaped balls like a golden retriever. I have had my right knee operated on, on four separate occasions, broken my leg, arm, nose, clavicle, ankle, fingers, teeth, ribs, snapped my patella amongst other more minor injuries. So why is it am I surprised that I have a few mild movement issues. People survive car accidents with fewer injuries than I have experienced. Nevertheless I still labour under the misapprehension that I can do the things I could whilst at University twenty five glorious years ago, when sleep and nutrition were optional extras. When I could sprint all day and jump like a salmon, I exaggerate slightly, but not a great deal. Now I can barely jog and you would need an electron microscope to see whether my whole foot had left the floor. I play football with other oldies on a Tuesday night, but we still think “we got the skills” but we play in slow motion. In our heads the game if frenetic, in reality it is pedestrian. Middle aged men need to drop the egotism and bravura, we think we a sagacious and irreplaceable. We mansplain, we patronise and we think too much of ourselves. We ain’t all that, our physical prowess is on the wane and we need to accept this . Time to wise up fellas.
However the real villains here are the forty/ fifty somethings David Beckham and Hugh Jackman who are living in the bodies of twenty year while being middle aged. It is just unrealistic… for the rest of the pudgy middle aged men in the world who watch them flexing and cavorting on the Graham Norton sofa. The must live on quinoa and kale, not red wine and biscuits. So it is reasonable to conclude my movement difficulties are not all Parkinson’s related and in fact unrealistic expectations are the enemy, that middle age and David Beckham.
My solution to PD.
I think Charles Darwin may be the saviour of middle aged males with PD. I know this is from left field and not a theory that has gained traction with the medical research community. However, I expect the telephone to be red hot with calls from Oxford, Cambridge & MIT when this blog is posted. Middle aged men with PD have a deficiency of the chemical dopamine. As we evolve over the next few decades, middle aged men with PD we will develop a process which will shut down the production of unnecessary hair (such as nasal, ear and eye brow), our bodies will then use the unused energy to create more dopamine. Job done. Nobel prize on the way. Simple yet effective.
Suffering from PD.
I have Parkinson’s, I don’t bloody suffer from it. No way. I have Parkinson’s disease but it does not define me, I won’t let it. That is where my raggle taggle group of friends come to the fore. We have history, the knew before and frankly they don’t care about PD. They remember the time when I fell off my stool in a club in Ayia Napa, they remember when my car nearly got hit my a level crossing gate after a Sunday game in Sheen, they know me. The don’t judge me on a little shaking or a shuffle here and there. They even go to the bar for me, which is surprising as it is kind, that level of empathy is rarely seen amongst these fellas. An example of this is when one of our friends asked someone who could have been me to get him breakfast,as he was feeling unwell, the response was short. Subsequently he was tested for vials disease. They are a tough crowd, we are a tough crowd but we look out for each other. We have been there for the weddings, the christenings, the weekends away but we have also been there for the deaths of parents, the spousal illness, the redundancies and difficulties that come with being a parent or even becoming a parent. We are always there for each other. We see each other through the wide angle lens, we have known each other since we were literally in short trousers and PD is only a small part of me and they get that. As a wise Aussie once said:
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get
the more you need the people you knew when you were young- Baz Luhrmann.
These are my problems, you tell me yours.