Parkinson’s disease: Three steps forwards and two steps back

Parkinson’s disease: Three steps forwards and two steps back

man in white shirt and black pants standing on gray concrete pathway
Walking (Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com)

When I was a student, I met a male nurse walking a patient with Parkinson’s disease to the toilet.

“He is taking ages at the rate he is walking! It’s like taking three steps forward and two steps backward! I told him it would be faster for him to use a urinal on his bed!” Mr. Lee kept quiet at that remark. His mask-like face showed no expression. With a flexed body, he shuffled in a frustratingly slow, yet festinating gait. His thumb and forefinger rubbed in a pin-rolling tremor.

He never wet because he would request to go to the toilet earlier to avoid losing control of his bladder.

A senior walking pass, “Mr. Lee, I see you are walking and exercising. Very good, keep it up!”

Later the senior called a few of us aside, “be careful what you say! For a headmaster, to lose control over his movements can be a depressing condition. He may keep quiet, but he is sharp. He understood what you said! We need to treat patients with dignity and respect!”

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Not long ago, I met a male retired banker in a pottery class with me.

“I have Parkinson’s disease. That’s why I am here!” He was trying to slow down the progression of motor disability. And he was very creative and tidy in his pottery work!

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Research and management of people with Parkinson’s disease have improved a lot since.

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woman making clay pot
pottery work (Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com)

Published by Chen S. P. @ TPTan

Serena Chen @TPTan, Master degree in nursing (Monash) . Serena teaches local and overseas nurses in a stomaltherapy program. She had presented papers internationally. Serena is a member of the ‘Golden Key International Society (Monash). She was an editor of a mental health bulletin and she enjoys pottery works, cartoons, painting and poems. She shares insightful experiences about being a carer for people with mental illness and cancer in this defining society.

4 thoughts on “Parkinson’s disease: Three steps forwards and two steps back

  1. We need to recognize that usually the people that are slowing us down may be doing the best that they can. People ambling across the street perusing their cell phones don’t fall into that category.

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