Wednesday, 21 August 2013

What is “normal” in Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is a confusing disease to have because it plays around with notions of what is “normal”, which forms the basis of the expectations we have of ourselves. For example, 10 years ago my movement was unaffected by Parkinson’s. This “normal” movement is my baseline recording and expectation. Around 3 years ago my movement began to be infected by Parkinson’s, changing my “normal” pre-Parkinson’s movement into “abnormal” movement. But this affected movement is what I do every day so this has become “normal” for me. In other words, “normal” has become “abnormal” and this abnormality has then become a different type of “normal”.

But I still have expectations based on pre-Parkinson’s movement, even though my Parkinson’s movement is “normal” for me now. I should be basing my expectations on my current range of movement. This disparity between expecting one type of “normal” and then facing another can be very damaging.

There is a further complication. Recently I’ve started new medication and it is helping me move more freely. So, I am now facing a new drug-affected type of “normal”. Which do I choose to form my expectations, the Parkinson-affected “normal” or the new drug-affected “normal”? It feels like my medication is something external covering up the effect of continual nerve cell loss in my brain; the extent of loss and not the cover up is my “normal”. However, I can’t ignore my freer movement; it is part of me. I’m confused!!!

Due to the prognosis of Parkinson’s it is likely that I will face a constantly shifting definition of what “normal” movement is for me. One form of movement will deteriorate from “normal” to “abnormal” and this abnormality will stabilise into my current “normal”. I’m in for a bumpy ride…!

No comments:

Post a Comment