Parkinson's: Not Your Grandfather's Disease
Many people will ask me what Parkinson's disease (PD) feels like. Seeing as there are many variation of symptoms, it is hard to describe. Not to mention that each person will experience Parkinson's in a different way. We are kind of like snowflakes... no two Parkies are alike. Or if you are a fashionable and chic Parkie, you could see it as we all have our own pair of designer jeans that we wear. Although they may look similar, we each wear our jeans differently.
When you think of Parkinson's disease, do you think of an old man with a tremor? Can you imagine a 30-something girl, such as myself, having trouble multi-tasking? The overgeneralization that Parkinson's only impacts elderly people's movements is common today, but PD is not our grandfather's disease anymore. Finally awareness is being raised on the many faces of Parkinson's. That is why I am going to describe some non-motor symptoms that I struggle with on a daily basis.
Struggling with my non-motor symptoms
"Too Much" is the only way I can describe the feeling that I get when my medication is "off" and there is too much noise around me. This can be as simple as the television and dishwasher going at the same time, or my dog crawling on my lap when someone is trying to have a conversation with me. Sometimes, the only thing that I can think of is finding a quiet place, by myself, and try to regain my thoughts.
"The blahs" is what I call it when am lacking motivation to do the things that I once loved. Like going to the gym. I used to love going to the gym, now I just kind of feel "blah", I don't really have the drive to go. I feel impartial. Apathy is the correct term, but my lack of excitement just makes me say "blah".
If there are too many people around me, I almost feel like I cannot breath and that everyone is looking at me. I am in a state of panic, like just getting out of the room or into my car is the only way to stop this sensation. You begin to second guess everything that you say, or any facial expression that you make. Now I can see why they say people with Parkinson's can become recluse and antisocial! Netflix and my couch becomes a safe zone.
My symptoms are always changing
You must understand that this is just a slice of what my Parkinson's feels like and this can change every hour. When people say "You don't look like you have Parkinson's disease", I want to hug them and then at the same time push them in front of a car. Hey, don't judge me! Blogging is about being honest.
The fact that my symptoms are always changing can be a blessing and a curse. It is nice that when my medications are on and my body is balanced. I can appear as if I am just as normal as the next attractive, smart, funny, witty... (sorry, I lost my train of thought) girl. But when I am off, I am not only trying to hide my symptoms, but I am failing miserably. Hope this gave you a small glimpse into a day in the life of a Parkie.
Do you think there is enough awareness of Parkinson's disease?