Big yellow … omnibus?

OK, I admit it, I have long believed Ms Mitchell’s line from Big Yellow Taxi. You know the one: ‘Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.’ I fear I may have to perform a volte face.
The thing with Parkinson’s is that it’s progressive. It creeps up on you gradually. You don’t suddenly get a wild tremor (well, I didn’t, or haven’t, anyway), but it starts slowly, almost imperceptibly. What you’ve got doesn’t go. Well, unless you count that violent upheaval of your world system and accompanying loss of a sense of a healthy self which is precipitated by those delightful words, ‘you have Parkinson’s Disease’. You don’t lose stuff so much as it’s gradually whittled away. After a while, it’s hard to keep a handle on what you can and can’t do, unless it’s something you haven’t done for a while. Time, as has been said, is the author of authors. Those people who combine not having seen you for a few months with having the confidence to say what they think often chart your degeneration well.
Recently I switched the timing of my main medication to help counteract the tendency to mid-morning tiredness. I was already having several PD problems, most notably stiffness and slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and sudden movements (dyskinesia). The change in timing really upset my body, and I was, to put it mildly, displeased. I was also non, non, non, non-plussed. A secondary reason for changing times was to help with another therapy, namely Amantadine, an anti-viral that, for some PWP, seems to help with the stiffness and slowness. Considering that I often felt that I was running at half speed, I thought this was no bad thing.
The deal was simple. Take 100mg a day. If that doesn’t work, take 200. If still no joy, shake your head and intone something suitably exasperated and return to business as usual.
The first day I thought things were a little better, but PD gives you good days and bad days, so thought little of it. The second day I was forced to concede that things were better. Smoother. Nicer. Quicker. Fuck me, does this stuff actually work?
Thus far, it’s been a revelation. Don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone? Nonsense. You don’t know what you didn’t have until you unwrap it. Rumsfeld would be proud.

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