If you happen to come across someone with Parkinson’s (we are out there!) you are likely to notice the tremor and the shuffling, unsteady walk. The symptoms you won’t see are the feelings of restricted movement, the frustrating disobedience the body has for sufferers’ conscious will and the subsequent feeling that you are a puppet whose strings are controlled by Parkinson’s. You will miss the sheer mind numbing exhaustion, the feelings of helplessness and depression, the urge to urinate every 5 minutes, the food that gets stuck in your throat because swallowing is affected, the irresistible sleepiness and the battle not to close yourself down in the face of all this.
What is visible is the physical impact of the disease. What is hidden is the one-to-one dialogue a sufferer has with their Parkinson’s. The disease can dictate the conversation or you can reassert yourself and get your voice heard. This internal dialogue is the battleground on which the defeats and victories against Parkinson’s are played out; it is where you can choose your reaction, see space for yourself and live alongside your disease.