It’s been a few weeks since my last post and I have continued to have health challenges, physical and otherwise but I’m still standing and that’s a Good Thing. I wanted to take a little time today to try to articulate the non-physical side of PD, the impact it has on personality, mood and behaviour. This is all from my perspective of course. What I do know is that each person’s experience of PD is different, it’s a tricky little beastie like that….
So, for me, PD has a some definite effects including:
• Tiredness – I’ve just returned to work after a few weeks’ absence and its REALLY hit me how, when I overdo things, my PD symptoms increase a lot. Tiredness is one. I’m not talking about feeling sleepy (the drugs do that to you it must be added though) no, I’m talking about a lead curtain of exhaustion that descends and stops you in your tracks. It stops you thinking straight, it stops you articulating thoughts, it stops you even trying sometimes. You just want to crawl into a dark duvet and drift away until it’s over. Except of course, most times you can’t. I liken it to that shaky, sugary feeling you have when you have a bad hangover except you can’t get rid of it with a fry up. Shame.
• Apathy – overlapping with this is a general increase in overall apathy. You know, the tendency to put things off until tomorrow. I have piles of paperwork that while I know isn’t urgent, will become so unless I deal with it. And yet I shuffle it from place to place .Now, partly that’s me, but increasingly it’s the PD playing silly beggars with me. This one annoys others the most I’d say because it looks like you’re just plain lazy. And you’re not, you just feel incapable of dealing with whatever it is, so you postpone it. Again.
• Mood – well, this is a bit circular. What comes first, the PD or the depression? In my book being dx with PD is pretty bad news and you are likely to get a bit narked by it. But I have noticed my mood has darkened on a pretty consistent basis together with an increase in anxiety levels. Hence using the happy pills (still working ok btw, thanks for asking) and trying to address stress levels etc.
• Spatial awareness – what can I say? I have bruises all over my arms from banging into doors.
• Executive function – or the ability to multitask, prioritise and general deal with life’s multiple challenges. What a brilliant skill to have impaired, eh? It’s a doozy – I find this hard to accept too as my job, personal life and nature is founded on the ability to do loads of things all at the same time. I end up getting very frustrated and impatient. Must try harder to deal with this one. I find lists are invaluable here. I write down everything I want to achieve and knock them off one by one. Helps with the apathy too.
Overall, without sounding to down, it’s a very isolating disease mainly because it affects so many aspects of how you not only act but think, interact with others and generally exist. A non-sufferer is onto a sticky wicket trying to empathise with this little lot. I find it hard enough to keep a track on it all. When in doubt of course the trick is to talk about it to your family and friends.
But try not to be a PD bore, life’s too short for monologue after all.
I’m looking not only for physical balance (I keep toppling) but emotional and mental balance. I hope this little run through the more hidden aspects of PD helps you find yours. Let me know!
My other blog btw is here.