Where Emma discusses food.
Thank you yet again for the lovely supportive responses to the last letter. Your insights, advice and experiences about marriage and relationships have been wonderful.
It seems I am unable to sit down to write to you, dear readers, without a tale of Parky mishap having occurred.
Some time ago I was making soup. Not just any old soup but a lovingly crafted Greek Lemon soup. Stock had been boiled from the remains of a chicken roast, garlic had been crushed, lemons, squeezed, noodles softened, egg yolk beaten. Until I had the perfect soup. Silky, rich and zingy. Even the most exacting nonna would have approved. Carefully, ladled into bowls and transported to the table, nary a drop spilt or sloshed. Crusty bread and delicious anticipation in steaming bowls.
Settling into my chair I do the parky stumble and the whole bowl in front of me jolts, rising like a wave to a surfboard and for a long second it holds suspended only to crash forward and tsunami all over my boobs.
People with Parkinson’s may not be known for our speedy manoeuvring but trust me when I tell you on this occasion I shifted like a bat out of hell. Scalding hot soup over one’s bosom can inspire springbok competency when it comes to leaping.
Seriously, burnt tits!
Whilst the soup was extreme, I have lost count of the amount of spillage I achieve in any given week.
What I really wanted to talk about this week was food. We all know the benefits of good diet (sometimes we even follow the advice) and how it can make us swing from the rafters etc.
In the three years since my diagnosis, I have noticed some foods really help my symptoms. In spite of my tendency to fling soup over myself, it is a brilliant superfood for me. I do need to point out that I have the constitution of a gecko; I thrive in very hot conditions, sunshine* and an excessive amount of spicy food. (Although I draw the line at eating insects 😆) So, hot spicy soup can lift my pains, aches and general disposition, as does curry and chilli. I respond really well to ginger tea and very satisfyingly to cinnamon biscuits, ahem…it is nearly Christmas.
I find that red wine works wonders but any other drink seems to aggravate my symptoms. I do still have a few beers with the football…but that is more a trauma management exercise. (I’m a Spurs fan…‘nuff said.) The red wine is the only moment in my day where for a short time my body feels like my own again. The twisting, shuddering and pain all ebb into the background giving me much-needed respite.
My partner is diabetic and follows (very successfully) the Mediterranean diet to control his condition and I have found it works the best for my Parkinson’s as well. Minimal carbs and sugar seem to keep me on an even keel, mentally as well as physically.
Do you find diet has any impact on your experience? Drop me an email I’d love to hear your stories.
*I have no idea why I live in the freezing north of Scotland.
I will admit that sometimes I’m struggling to eat well though. The effort of navigating a plate of food, coordination and so on. The periodic choking, dribbling and launching of food is exhausting. Part of me finds it hilarious to be innocently forking my food when suddenly Mr P jerks my arm and mash potato is a new wall feature. But part of me just wants it to. Fuck. Right. Off.
On that note, I’d best be off to make dinner. Wish me luck.
P.S. I’m ridiculously grateful for those of you who are so generously subscribed as members of this letter. Thank you.
Ooh! I promised something about dinosaurs this issue:
My 18-year-old daughter has morphed into an 8-year-old boy. She has become dino obsessed. Frankly, it began with my partner buying her a three-foot stuffed dino….yes, 3-bloody-foot!!! And now my house is inundated with green, knobbly dinosaurs of various shapes. I had hoped we were past these days…
No wonder I drink.