A major turning point in my life came in 2007 when, at the age of 48, I was diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.
As anyone who suffers from this degenerating disease,or has a family member who does, will know and understand that it brings about drastic changes,both physically and mentally.
It can be very difficult for people with Parkinson’s to express their emotions, feelings and to cope with their loss of power and independence.
One of the many physical conditions is called “The MASK “.
This is when the face muscles become stiff and rigid and expressionless. The eyes appear to lose their sparkle and the mouth seems to be permanently in a “sad” position
To the outside world this appears as if the person with Parkinson’s Disease ( or PWPD for short) is uninterested, bored and apathetic.
But behind this stern facade lies a sea of feelings and emotions
Another symptom of Parkinson’s is a problem with vocal expression.
The voice becomes weak and we lose our strength and with this we begin to lose confidence in ourselves.
We find it more difficult to express our opinions and ideas in public as we struggle to be heard.
So between difficulties with facial and vocal expression we can withdraw into ourselves and stifle our emotions.
All the more need for an outlet to express these emotions, feelings and fears.
So many PWPD find this through art, be it painting or crafts or writing.
While Parkinson’s Disease severely restricts our physical and mental activities, there is one advantage.
Whether it is the disease itself or the side effects of the medication but it seems to stimulate the creative areas of the mind.
So it is only in the last two years I have begun to compose and express my feelings through my poetry.
The main themes of my poems are about coping with Parkinson’s Disease or any disability and the fears and hopes and also about our relationship with Nature and with ourselves.
So enough about me, I hope that you will enjoy the rantings and ravings of a mad Cork man and that my words may stimulate your mind and make you think about life, changes, and above all, appreciate this wonderful gift we have been given.