One In A Million

I knew very little about Parkinson’s disease prior to my diagnoses. Like most people I only knew of the outward signs of the disease, the infamous tremor. And yet that knowledge alone was enough to reduce me to tears, little did I know that was only the tip of the iceberg. After going to a couple lectures, reality set in, the remainder of my life would be spent living in a constantly changing world with only my intestinal fortitude to rely on, this was going to be a challenge. 

My wife and I were talking, I will change that, I was talking and she was listening about my experience living with Parkinson’s. After boring her to death pissing and moaning (I was having a bad day) she asked a simple question, “what’s it like having Parkinson’s?”. In the two years since my diagnoses that was the first time, she had asked me that question.  I explained it this way, my whole life I have been living in a hula hoop world, it was like threading a string through a hula hoop, easy and automatic. As my disease has progressed my hula hoop has become an eye of a needle, nothing is what it once was, easy is no longer in my vocabulary, it has been replaced by “less hard”.

 The key to my success in the future will come down to how well I learn to adapt, as my world changes will I be one step ahead or two steps behind? My history has shown that I am at my best when I am faced with big obstacles. But this is a different beast, at fives old I was too young to know I may never walk again without the support of a leg brace; so, I pushed and clawed my way to a normal life in spite of the doctor’s prediction.  At sixty, I am old enough to know that I can only control what I think and feel and everything else is out of my control. There is still plenty of pushing and clawing left in the old boy that’s for sure, only this time it is in a gym, not a playground. 

 As I continue on this journey, we call life, I tend to do a lot of reflecting on the past. And what I have found is I have threaded many needles throughout my life, I have been poked and scratched but I always found a way to get the thread through the eye, why should this time be any different I thought. But I will be honest, I really miss my hula hoop.

Mark Hitechew



Parkinson's Place