I remember wakening and the first thing I thought of that day was how my little finger was twitching uncontrollably. At the time I didn't think anything of it, well you wouldn't would you. Anyway, I got up and got on with my day.
On several occasions, throughout my life, I'm talking from about the age of about 30 to 39, I have made myself a cup of coffee and stopped. Why did I stop? I had realised that I made the coffee using only one hand. Now, if you don't think there's anything to that, try it. I have then dismissed this. Surely you can't have made a coffee using only one hand when there's nothing wrong with the other hand. Nah, can't have done that.
On other occasions I have walked my sons to school - about 500 yards, there and back, and returned home whilst my left hand has been hugging my body, like it was in a sling. People probably thought I was doing a Napoleon impression! Again, I've dismissed this thinking, nah, I must be imagining it. Wish it was just my imagination.
You see, when I was 38, I was a Police Officer and keen martial arts student so naturally when I had bother with my left elbow. My elbow felt as if It was being dragged down by an extremely heavy weight. Even the smallest movement was becoming hardwork. I put it down to either I hurt it whilst training, or arresting someone even though I couldn't recall feeling any pain whilst training or arresting anyone.
Unfortunately, as the pain/discomfort in my left elbow worsened, I began to think it was something more sinister.
My doctor thought it was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and referred my for tests. Anyway, after undergoing numerous tests and scans, I was summoned to see a Consultant Neurologist.
The first thing she asked me was, do you have a sense of smell? I thought about being funny and saying, why have I just dropped one?, but thought better of it. "No" I replied. She said on the plus side, there was no tumour, I didn't have MS, and I hadn't had a stroke. Unfortunately, though I did have Parkinson's disease.
WTF? I thought only old people who shook all the time had Parkinson's.
Here I was, a fit, young, father of 3 boys, who was a martial arts student and a Police Officer with Parkinson's. WTF?
I can honestly say now, that for the first few years I was in denial. I can handle this, I'm a man, I'm not scared of anything, I uphold the law, NO, I AM THE LAW. (Said with chest puffed out, thinking I'm Judge Dredd) I can defeat anything.
4 years in and I had to be pensioned off the Police as I could no longer work, even in a desk job. I had always wanted to retire young. Guess I got what I wished for. (Note to self) Be careful what you wish for in future, you might get it but you don't know what else this will come with.
A few years down the line (7 to be exact) I realise Im in the fight of my life. Everyday's a battle.
How will I be today, is ALWAYS, the first thing on mind. Will I be well enough to get out of bed, go to the shops, do the housework, tend to the children (although they are 12, 17 and 31 - stepson) so don't depend on me as much as they used to.
Still, I'm fighting hard. Some battles I win, some I lose. Still I'm hoping the cure is just around the corner, until then bring it on Parkinson's, You F@!*&*! A?*!*!@?.
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