Constant Denial

It’s been a funny old week. I’ve been thrown in at the deep end a little at work, raised a good amount for charity and personally struggled with my own health. I mean, I know that I have something that officially is degenerative, but who wants to really admit that? I prefer to live in constant denial, pretending all is well even when I know it damn well isn’t.

I feel it now, this thing they call ‘Parkinson’s.’ I feel heavier legs, neck and arms. Yes, both sides. My left is worse, but my right side is beginning to show signs of … something. Even writing this makes me feel sad. It’s depressing. Why am I even admitting it? Yet in some small way admitting it happens is also in a strange, perverse way a form of coping. I almost stand outside of myself, like a disinterested bystander, if you will. “Hm, yes, interesting, Miss Chivers is displaying these fascinating symptoms. Well, well, well.” I know I’m displaying them. I know I feel them, yet at the same time I do everything in my power to ignore them. Does that sound strange to you? Perhaps. What else would you do?

woman looking at computer screen thoughtfully

I did a talk this week. I spoke about how I don’t really cope as well as everyone gives me credit for. Of course I don’t, who would? I cry, I curse and I feel desperately, awfully sad. I worry about the future. But worrying will not fix this, it will not help me. I simply have to go on. Forward. I can never give up, because I fear I will be overcome. It will wash over me like a tidal wave, and may be nothing I can do to stop it.

Because oh yes, of course I am scared of it. The future is unknown to us all. I currently have two friends going through the hideous ordeal of breast cancer. A third has recently been told they are finally cancer free. I myself was told I was at a high risk of this awful disease too. I have yearly mammograms. I’m getting older, and for that I am grateful. Yet I wonder if I’m to be cursed with ill health all my life like my mother, or if I’ll have the wonderful long, healthy lives of my paternal side.

a wave in the sea

The irony is of course that I’m already suffering ill health, but it’s invisible still. I’m pleased about that too, but I know. There’s a video game called Skyrim. In it there’s a group called the Dark Brotherhood. They have this calling card, “We Know.” I think the Parkinson’s Community is a bit like that. We know we’re sick. We know it’s here forever. We know all this bad stuff.

We know we must go on.

How we go on is what matters. Positively or not.
I choose positive. I walk. I exercise. My brain may be losing cells I’d rather keep, yet I persevere and keep pushing back. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s all I have. Hopefully a stronger, healthier body will help me overcome some parkinsonian stuff.

Hopefully. There’s always hope.

Until next time.


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