I don't know you
Where Emma wonders who is that in the mirror?
Thank you for your lovely messages, links and advice last week -you make my inbox happy!
Most of us at some point look in the mirror and shit ourselves at the old/wrinkled/eye-bagged/dragged-through-hedge person staring back. As a 45-year-old menopausal mother of teens, this is my normal morning terror. After buckets of coffee, foundation a plasterer would be proud of and a fair amount of yelling along the lines of; get UP, NO iPhones, what school trip? Today? Arggg… I’m back to my sweet self.
Except that my reflection has changed. The right side of my face is slowly losing some of its mobility. Subtly, imperceptibly to most, but a rigidity and small droop have developed. Thanks, Mr P.
I am told by my loved ones that they can’t see it or that it’s not there. But it IS! I have been applying makeup daily to this face for the best part of 30 years, I know it better than anyone. There is a tendency to deny the impact of the disease by other people. They don’t want us to feel bad, or themselves. Pretend it’s not so bad - fake it ‘til you make it.
Still Parky sniggers in the shadow, he’s still here and won’t be denied. But (and please correct me if I’m wrong) anyone suffering* a degenerative disease knows that it is going to get worse. Denial seems to undermine and belittle the horror. Is it because Parkinson’s is perceived as an 'old persons’ disease? Says a lot about the way we treat our elderly. Is it because it’s incurable? Well, life is pretty incurable, last I looked.
*There is some chat about the use of the term ‘suffer’ in relation to Parkinson’s: it depends on your experience. My take? I suffer but don’t think that’s unreasonable, it’s a disease that makes my life damn hard.
Does it frighten me that Parky may steal my smile from me one day? Of course.
But I am also afraid of more grey hairs, the effect of gravity on my lingerie collection, and an inability for all-day drinking. None of which I can blame on a disease.
It strikes me as a very capitalist view to keep pushing through the pain, deny the shit so you can be king of the world for 5 seconds.
There is no conquering. Only acceptance.
For me at least. I am willing to accept that my lack of dopamine is responsible for my lack of ‘fight’. But equally, it is responsible for my apathy…so I don’t give a fuck.
As always I welcome your comments and thoughts. I plan to pop out a letter covering some of your wonderful ideas - watch this space.
P.S. I really need some more friends who love to
drink wine, swear discuss the Art of Imperial Spain. Take pity and forward to your friends or arch-nemesis.