I began my journey into the non-motor aspects of Parkinson’s 5 days ago, when I introduced the term Adjustment Disorder. Today, I want to share Cory’s creative anology; comparing Parkinson’s to a fried rat.
From Cory King’s blog The Crooked Path
“I’ve been cherry-picking the good stuff… … … … In part, though, what I’ve been doing is engaging in self-deception and denial, closing my eyes and pretending that Parkinson’s disease cannot see me. In a fit of magical thinking, I convinced myself that if I remained optimistic enough, maybe I could get a pass, or divine dispensation, or just catch a break from reality. It’s just not going to happen, though.”
“Optimism is good, of course; like faith, it can keep you going when otherwise there doesn’t seem to be much point. I’ve always been a little irritated by people who insist on finding a silver lining in every crappy situation they face, though. Those people are noble, inspiring, and worthy of emulation, but also sometimes just a little bit too good to be true. When you get a fried rat in your bucket of chicken and you insist on claiming that it really is the best fried rat you’ve ever had, you just lose credibility and make people want to punch you in the nose. The truth is, fried rat is unpleasant (I’m guessing). To paraphrase Jules (the guy that’s not John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction”), claiming that fried rat tastes like pumpkin pie doesn’t make it so. I suppose my conclusion is that Parkinson’s disease is a fried rat. I sincerely hope that’s an original metaphor; I’d hate to think that someone else has followed the same line of reasoning.”
After listing the four ‘cardinal signs of Parkinson’s TRAP – tremor, rigidity, akinesia/bradykinesia, postural instability – and other possible physical symptoms, Carl continues:
“The physical issues aren’t the whole picture, though. I had an unreasoning hope that I would avoid the cognitive, psychological, and emotional issues that can accompany Parkinson’s, but it’s becoming more and more clear that this is going to be part of the package for me, also. I think more slowly than I used to and I have short-term memory issues, but up until very recently most of my cognitive impacts were actually drug side effects. Since the DBS surgery, I take less medication, so those side effects are also somewhat reduced, but I still have trouble with compulsive spending. Fortunately it’s not out of control, but I fairly often find myself taking things back to the store wondering why I ever bought them in the first place. It’s irritating and potentially problematic, but I’m fortunate that my wife keeps an eye on me from afar and doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
I should make a side note here; Compulsive behaviors are attributed to side effects of medications such as Amantadine, also. (PLUS.. note to self. Explain what DBS is.)
In tomorrow’s post, Cory details how personality changes, including paranoia, rage, and aggression have impacted his life. I think I’d say cognative decline is a fried rat.