The Owner is angry today, not with me or his family, not even with himself… He is angry for someone else, a friend of his, and although I have never met her I am angry for her too!!
The Owner was diagnosed 11 years ago, so he has gotten used to the awkwardness of telling people about his diagnosis.. “I have Parkinson’s Disease.” It took him a while (like 6-7 years!!) but he got there eventually, but only with the help of family, friends and colleagues. More often than not now, when he tells people it is done with humour and sensitivity (yes I did say sensitivity!!) He knows how to explain the basics of Parkinson’s Disease and how it applies to him. Upon hearing the diagnosis the response is invariably “But you are so young, and intelligent and handsome and you can put up shelves..” Well maybe not the put up shelves bit… But their initial reaction is based upon what they see, a younger person with Parkinson’s Disease, which is generally perceived to be associated with older people.
“It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it that counts….” You will have heard this before, well it goes both ways. It’s tough enough for the person who has Parkinson’s Disease to live with the disease, never mind a person who is recently diagnosed, add-on top of that early onset… you get the picture. Or maybe you don’t, so to be clear.. It’s shit. So if you ask the question “What’s wrong with you?” be sure you can handle the answer, because if you can’t you are not helping. If the person thinks you need to know they will tell you, when and how they think best, because in this circumstance they do know best.
Coming back to the anger, when a friend of yours, diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease less than a year ago says and I quote:
“I am sick and tired of people saying Oh so and so died from Parkinson’s, can’t you just keep that to yourself !!!!!!! Please”
That makes me as angry as the owner. Ignorance is not bliss…. It hurts.
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PS. If you want to hear The Owners response let me know and I will seek his permission (There are a lot of * in the ******* response, but you get the idea!!)