Skip to content

Posts from the ‘family’ Category

22 September 2015

Dad through the bathroom window.

Parkinson’s Awareness Week

This man owns a t-shirt that says #1 dad on the front and Ronald on the back but his name is not Ronald. He doesn’t say a lot, preferring to reserve judgement or a joke until he’s really made up his mind. But that just means that when he says something, you really listen. And when he makes a joke, it’s normally (sometimes) pretty good. He used to race cars and be president of the local historical society and take a windsurfer to the beach on weekends. When he was 71 he bought a little sailing boat and now he’s learning to sail it, much to the chagrin of his wife.  

He falls asleep all the time and wakes up really early. His short term memory isn’t as good as it used to be. Sometimes when he walks he freezes and can’t put one foot in front of the other and he can’t write very well anymore. Sometimes his mouth can’t keep up with his mind and he stumbles over his words. He constantly has to remind himself how to do things that used to be second nature. 

This man’s name is Mike. He is my dad and he has Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is one of those diseases you don’t really think about until you know someone who has it. And then when you know someone who has it, you don’t stop thinking about it. 

So now if you hear someone mention Parkinson’s and you think it doesn’t affect anyone you know, think about Mike and how he really likes marmalade on toast and hates coconut, and think about all the other kind, stubborn, grumpy, wise, funny #1 dads (and mums and brothers and uncles and sisters and husbands and wives) out there for whom this disease changes everything. 

This week is Parkinson’s Awareness Week. You can read more about it here.