The problem is


#1

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.

Unrealistic expectations.

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.

Michael


#2

Well said, and, well done. How positive you are and how lucky you are to have such a good group of friends.

Like you I have the same theory, you have Parkinson but it doesn’t define me. Every one gets the day or days when they think Parkinson’s is winning but fighting back is the best medicine.

I also think the word SORRY should be banned from dictionary. I find, or shall I say found I was saying that word all day. One day my daughter had a chat with me…… along the lines saying sorry was banned from her company. She asked why I kept saying sorry - I had to admit I hadn’t realised just how often I said it.

I have noticed other Parkinson people say it pretty often too. So my New Year Resolution was and is … don’t say sorry. Why should we apologise and continue to do so. So yes, we are a little slow, we do stumble, we do need help now and again but why apologise? If we need help, just ask and thank the helper but no need to say sorry.

Phew, I feel better for the rant but definitely not sorry.


#3

Such a good story and so beautifull put down in words.
My wife has PD, but for the moment all is under control with once a day mirapexine 1.05mg
Kind regards
and deep respect for what you have put written here
roel


#4

Great writing. I don’t have PD but look after my dad who does. I also used to chase balls in my 20s. My football career pinnacled when I became centre forward for Lancaster Uni ladies team in 1986. Woo hoo! Fast forward to 2018. After months of deliberating, I agreed to play a friend at badminton and I arrived early at the sports centre. To my delight, some guys were kicking a football around in the sports hall and I asked if I could join them. Ooh it felt good to be on a pitch again, albeit indoor, as we kicked the ball to each other. I haven’t lost my touch at all, I thought, as I did five keepy-uppies. Then it was goal shots. My turn. I aimed, kicked, then howled and did a one-legged circular dance called “middle aged body’s revenge”. The tendon in my right thigh felt like it had been used in Robin Hood’s bow. Two players who weren’t even born when I last wore the number 10 shirt escorted me to the benches where I waited for my friend to half carry me home. The 10 inch bruise the next day looked like a Turner painting, swirling clouds and ships on fire.


#5

Mary I think you have started a YOP Hall of fame/ shame.

Mine is professional basketballer, now just about to beat my ten year old son.

BTW the bruise description is genius.


#6

Thanks Roel.


#7

Very well said, refuse to suffer or apologise.

Thanks Eve


#8

mick130 you have posted a great statement on the past injuries. They catch up with us.
Well wait till 64. You heard that one before. Played hurt . Rap it up. Ice it. Put on the icy hot.
Then the past injuries clouds the family practice doctors assessment of why your stiff, have cramps, move slow, and your manual dexterity is that of a duck out of water. He even overlooks the shake.
Take aspirin and see me next year.
As time goes on your old buddies at 45 start to one by one move on. They have grand children. They now as you attend their families football,baseball,basketball, dance, gymnastics and what ever needs supporting.
The one dam problem is parkies symptoms one by one become the friends that visit you.
You still exercise, do household fix it jobs (take it apart then can’t remember how to put it back together) and do ever mental task I can.

The best advise is do what is on your bucket list now. You are not quitting the fight when you have the disease as it progresses. You hit the tipping point. Where you are just are to slow, to tired, and too forgetful for anything that demands a long haul. One must come to grips with the reality with parkinson’s. That putting it off till tomorrow the spirit inside is there. But, the body and mind are full of short comings.
These are my problems and the truth about the tipping point. At 64 you realize your wife or a friend will probably in the not to distant future, will be your caretaker.
SO AGAIN FOR YOUR WIFE AND YOURSELF GO,DO,ENJOY IT NOW!