Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Denial

November 2008.  This is when I first heard the words “Parkinson’s disease” and “you might have it” in the same sentence.  Thanks to this pronouncement, (from an orthopedist, no less) I had to kick Denial up to a whole new level.  Sure, I called my primary physician and asked his advice on who should evaluate me.  I booked the visit to the neurologist who, I figured, would test me and declare that I was fine.
I knew very little about PD and had no interest in making it a research project.  Yes, Michael J. Fox had it, it had something to do with tremors and gait problems, old people got it (which made the Fox thing unusual), but I wasn’t going to run to the library and read his book.  I certainly had no intention of looking at Google results.  I was convinced that new knowledge would turn into new symptoms. I would read myself into a shaking palsy, drooling mess.  I had to be clear headed (i.e. uninformed) and on my best behavior when I saw Dr. F.
Yes, sometimes I did experience an odd, detached heaviness with my feet. That was easily ignored.  I had trouble keeping up with my wife when I joined her on her bird watching marches through hell.  That was logical.  My right hand trembled (only a few memorable times) when I got stressed and upset.  Don’t you get it?  I was stressed and upset.
 Denial was my friend and I had no interest in changing the relationship.  Not now, not ever.

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