Can it already be mid-way through January?  With the festive season already behind us, many of us will have made an effort toward our New Year’s Resolutions.  Some may have made a great in-roads, while others may already be lambasting themselves as a failure.  At that point, some may give up, while others may develop a defiance to try again.  This annual process, for most people, mirrors the average day, week and month of a person with Parkinson’s Disease and, no doubt, is what most people with chronic illnesses and disabilities experience.  This is a constant battle that those fortunate to have good health, able bodies and good mental health may be unaware others are coping with.

Our societies, around the world, are starting to talk more about chronic illness and disability.  People are becoming aware of the terms ‘Hidden Disability’ and ‘Hidden Illness’.  We are learning that many symptoms of illness and disability are not immediately visible or apparent.  It is important, therefore, that we also learn to understand that there is, what I shall call, a ‘Hidden Survival Dynamic’ playing out, within each individual coping with chronic illness and disability. 

A battle to get through each minute, hour, day, week, month and year. A battle to survive within the construct of a society designed for the healthy and able.    Welcome to my life with Parkinson’s.

The purpose of this article is simple; to encourage all people to stop and reflect over the challenge a person faces in coping with even the simplest tasks of day to day life when their body and/or mind is incapable of doing what most people take for granted as ‘easy’, ‘typical’, ‘normal’ or ‘possible’.

Please do not leave this page, having read it, to go on to something else.  Please just stop.  Reflect for one minute, on what I describe.  By doing so, you may do/influence something helpful in your work, your social life or in your day that, simply by recognising the immense difficulty so many are living with, may just help effect genuine change in our society.

You can make a difference.

© Dean Parsons.  January 2018.

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