Parkinson's Disease and me

My blog about my experience with Parkinson's Disease

Searching for sunshine

After the neurologist gave me the Parkinsons Disease diagnosis he said I could and should just carry on with my life as normal but things might take me a bit longer and I would be a bit more tired. How right he was! It’s nearly three years on from that day now and I am still pretty much doing the same things plus some new ones too. It’s true my back aches (thoracic pain according to the neurologist) and I cannot do gardening for hours as I used to do. However I can still do some gardening and when I look around at my neighbours who are similar ages to me I note that they have aches and pains and can’t keep going as they used to either so I’m not sure how much of the slowdown is due to increasing age.

One of the benefits from getting tired and having to stop is that I now sit in the garden and enjoy it without a frantic urge to dig or weed or whatever. I try to keep positive despite PD and I thought to write about some small compensations when I saw that  Twitchywoman had already and more eloquently beaten me to it in a recent blog.


I find exercise makes me feel so much better and strangely less tired. If I am suffering from any of the irritating PD symptoms which seem to come and go I find going out and doing something makes me feel better. I love to walk or ride my bike (OK it’s electric!) on our quiet country roads in the sunshine. I love to swim and now we have our own pool I swim several times a day. I know we would have not have invested in the pool had I not had PD and now it is a great joy and a magnet to the grandchildren. Apart from this I spend hours sewing, painting or ‘playing’ on the internet. I pretty much do what I want and what’s more I do it guilt-free.

Don’t get me wrong. I can and do frequently feel sorry for myself for having Parkinsons along with the best of them but right now I am feeling how lucky I am. I am sitting in the sunshine in beautiful countryside in the south of France. We have just spent several hours lingering over lunch with very good friends and listening to an excellent musical trio. Last night we went to a wonderful open air concert and picnicked under the stars. It was only the heavily armed police amongst the crowds and the alarm in nearby faces when the fireworks began that indicated we are not too far from Nice and this weeks shocking massacre when 84 people of all ages and ethnicities were randomly murdered. Happy, well and healthy one minute … then the next …


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In stitches

I don’t know if it’s the Parkinson’s medicine or not but of late I do have strong urges to make things. Most lately I’ve started making my own clothes. Over the years I have always made things like curtains and cushion covers but this is a new departure. I own two sewing machines – beautiful 1910 hand-cranked Frister & Rossmann which I used in preference to what I always thought of as my “new” Jones electric machine because the latter has no speed control on the foot pedal and is far too fast for me. I add the inverted commas because I realise that the Jones too is actually pretty old and bought in the 1960s. Where has the time gone?!

I am also a sucker for gadgets so, with my new found hobby in mind, I sent off to China for a ten euro eBay bargain – 32 sewing machine snap on feet. They duly arrived but I didn’t know what any of them were as it was all written in Chinese! I spent hours identifying them from the Internet and putting them back into the box they arrived in and then of course duly dropped the box and mixed them all up again! Additionally I discovered they would not fit the Jones without an adapter so as Lidl’s conveniently had a special offer on sewing machines I have become the proud owner of a new Pfaff. It’s like a revelation. I didn’t realise how much sewing machines have advanced over the years.

A friend and I have discovered a local fabric mill which sells by weight every type of fabric you can imagine and is so cheap too. It was fabric heaven and she shook as much as me with excitement! I have also inherited two plastic bins of fabric which belonged to the mother of another neighbour. It comprises mainly skirt and dress lengths. They are all new but exceedingly smelly with age. I have downloaded free patterns from the Internet. They arrive as many pages which I spend ages assembling like a giant jigsaw puzzle and the glue together. I have managed to get glue on the new kitchen floor tiles but I haven’t yet admitted to that one!

I sit in my little work room which is a converted chicken house sewing happily and completely forget the Parkinson’s. Strangely my left hand tremor seems to go away. The Pfaff even has an automatic needle threader …. Bliss! I used to spend ages trying to thread the needles because of ageing eyesight more than any other reason. I’ve been pleased and even complemented on my finished projects.

I looked up Parkinson’s and creativity and found this article which I thought was interesting: