I don’t like to admit it, but Parkinson’s affects pretty much every aspect of my day to day life. It affects my ability to carry out simple tasks such as writing and washing up, as well as my energy levels. Then there’s the fact that I have to take my meds every three hours. Like it or not, I have to accept the effects of Parkinson’s on my everyday life.
I try not to let everything be about Parkinson’s, but how do I strike a balance? I need to be aware of my symptoms, how it affects me and my medication cycle. I need to plan around the peaks and troughs of my medication’s effectiveness. But, I don’t want to be always be thinking about Parkinson’s and I definitely don’t want to be always talking about it.
This does mean that strangers who I interact with, don’t know I have Parkinson’s – which is a good thing – I don’t want to be treated differently or thought of differently because of my condition. However, I’m often slower than the average person or need a bit of help and then I feel pressured to do things faster (packing my bags in a supermarket for example) and I can struggle with this. Sometimes I will explain that I have Parkinson’s and need more time, but sometimes I just don’t feel like having to explain.
What I strive for is a balance between living my life and not letting Parkinson’s get in the way, while recognising that it does affect me and place some limitations on what I can do, or at least how I do them. It’s a balancing act, and sometimes I might fall over (literally as my Parkinson’s sometimes affects my balance), but when that happens I pick myself up, readjust my balance and stand tall with two feet firmly on the ground. I may not be able to balance on one leg like a flamingo, but I am slowly learning to live a more balanced life.