Spit or swallow?

Apologies for the deliberately provocative title, and further apologies for the rather dull nature of this post which, I’m afraid, has nothing whatsoever to do with oral sex and how one deals with the emissions which necessarily follow.

Great, we’ve got the sticky business out of the way, and probably one in ten are still reading.

One of the problems with Parkinson’s is that the symptoms come and go – there are good days, bad days. Day when you yourself forget what’s going on, and what’s to come, and other days when it taps you on the shoulder, and reminds you in no uncertain terms what it’s about. On those days, one’s mood moves through several stages, from annoyance, anger, self-disgust, self-pity all the way through to resignation.

Naturally, there are continual reminders, such as, in my particular world, a rather unfortunate combination of the desire to push my body further while I still can, and my body’s gradual stiffening. One of the various affects of this disease is a general stiffening of the muscles and tendons – this not only affects all manner of physical activities, but also makes on somewhat more prone to injury.

Hence the tapping on the shoulder, as my left shoulder is the current recipient of this increased vulnerability combined with my current desire to do. It hurts.

But there are other things. Today’s symptom of choice is something that seems to be becoming more and more common, and is considerably less pleasant. It’s not that it’s painful, or particularly debilitating, yet …

I seem to be having increased trouble swallowing.

This means that I am constantly almost choking on my own saliva, or on food … though not, I hasten to add …

This is not only unpleasant, but embarrassing. More to the point, however, it makes me feel like a fucking … well, cripple.

I envisage drooling uncontrollably, and generally becoming an embarrassment to all around me.

I am not happy.

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