January 5, 2020

Parkinson’s Disease – is it a life sentence or a death sentence?

Alison Blevins

poetryWhen... Now... So..., 2020

When do we start dying? At what point do our bodies move between living and regenerating to degenerating and dying? When you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease medical practitioners take great pains to tell you it is not a death sentence. People do not die from Parkinson’s disease but die with it. The disease itself will not kill you. I think they hope you will find some solace in this. The three poems chart my journey from diagnosis through to my acceptance that one bit of my brain is dying prematurely. It may be helpful to know, aside from the obvious tremors, other symptoms include muscle rigidity and ‘freezing’. This is when the muscles of the body quite literally freeze and render the individual unable to move without stimulous from an external force. One way of aiding movement is simply humming a tune.