Parkinson's Disease and me

My blog about my experience with Parkinson's Disease

Nora Batty


Before Christmas I was getting really worried about the pain in my neck and head but it seems to have gone now. I guess some Parkinson’s symptoms come and go? It has been better since I had a week in the warmth of Nice. Before that I discovered I could get rid of it by stretching and this worked better than paracetamol. I browsed the Internet and read about a woman who recommended stretching on doorways every time you enter a room for this problem. Soon I was doing the same thing. Fortunately we live in an old house with low doorways. It does, of course, look odd so I had to explain to people why I was hanging off the doorway like a bat.

Actually we do have bats here in one of our barns. This prompted me to look up some bat facts and I discovered some comparisons.  Here is a short selection:image

Bats are not blind but they ‘see’ in the dark by listening to very high-pitched echoes of their calls bouncing off objects around them. Completely different here. I can’t see a thing in the dark. Come to think about it I see less and less well in the daylight.

Bats produce the largest babies in the animal kingdom. An 8 gram mother Pipistrelle bat may produce a 2 gram baby which is 25% of its body weight. They can only produce one baby a year.  Imagine that!  I weigh 57 kilos so that would be like giving birth to a baby weighing 14 kilos …. Ouch!

Bat colonies save billions of dollars a year in agricultural pest control. There’s no need to use harmful pesticides when you have a robust colony of bats nearby. A single bat can eat more than 600 bugs an hour — making bats a perfect choice for organic pest control. I wish some of my farmer neighbours were more into this. They spray the crops with all sorts of chemicals and it seems to me there is a high incidence of Parkinson’s disease in our small community.

Many people in the Pacific island of Guam have developed Parkinson’s Disease, due to feasting on flying foxes, a species of bat that can be as big as six feet across. This is because the bats eat cycad seeds which contain a potent neurotoxin ….. Not to worry – I’m not about to start eating them!

Then there are many bat related figures of speech such as “The cat took off like a bat out of hell.” . This isn’t quite how I would describe my speed nowadays.

Or to show no signs of distress even when something bad happens or something shocking is said e.g. Sam didn’t bat an eyelid when the mechanic told him how much the car repairs would cost. This sounds a bit like the Parkinson’s mask.

I don’t think I am very bat like …. more that I am going batty!

I found this exercise leaflet on the Parkinson’s Society Canada website. It shows the stretching on a doorway exercise and many others
To go to pdf click on ‘resource’

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