The people are queuing impatiently at reception where I’m working. They’re all waiting to get in and as the warm sun penetrates the all glass front of the building, they get more restless as they wait for me to sign them in. I can feel the two people in front of me look at each other and then stare at me as I slowly (very slowly) write down their details with a quivering hand. I’ve reached my SOS of Parkinson’s and can’t stop it…
To the untrained eye, my Parkinson’s symptoms are not visible as I don’t have a tremor and appear to walk and function fine. But inside my muscles are working overtime just to try and keep up. I have particular trouble with handwriting in that I find it very tiresome to do and am incredibly slow at it. As a right handed person, I can write just 2 or 3 words before having to take a break, but as a leftie I can write for longer periods of time be it at a much slower speed (I got so frustrated with my right handed writing, that I taught myself to write with my left hand over a period of 7 months).
Normally, work is not that busy but that particular morning, I wasn’t able to write down all the details as fast as I needed to and so I reached my SOS (Stressed Out Shaking) stage. It doesn’t happen very often, but when I get stressed by a particular situation, my right side starts to shake uncontrollably. The more stressed I get, the quicker the shake. So the only way to relieve the shake is to get rid of the stress and fast! I was aware that my SOS stage was starting to happen, and not wanting to draw any more attention to myself, I excused myself to the dismay of the queuing people and made a quick escape. Thankfully, my colleague was able to deal with the remaining people while I found some peace and quiet in a back office. Three minutes of quiet time restored my inner peace and as the stress left my body, the shake subsided and my right side lay still. With the stillness came an influx of confidence and I casually strode back to reception as if nothing happened.
My colleagues don’t know I have Parkinson’s and I wondered if they had noticed. But nobody said a word to me as I sat back down to continue my job. Stress is not good for Parkinson’s so I need to keep myself calm and relaxed. I do this by doing two things which so far seemed to have worked for me.
1. I find a nice quiet place, even for a few minutes with no distractions.
2. I eat an apple
The secret to keeping my symptoms at bay is to have a quiet, relaxing and stress free day!