I asked my colleagues for some help coming up with a memorable name and hashtag for this blog, we came up with #stirrednotshaking. I like it, catchy and memorable, reminds you of those old James Bond martini moments! But there’s a lot more too it than that. The image most people conjure up in their minds, when they think about Parkinson’s sufferers is of someone shaking uncontrollably, and not able to walk too well. But many of us don’t shake at all.
For sure that is something that happens to many people in the later stages of the disease, but not to everyone. Each patient is subtly different, with their own combination of the 20-30 symptoms that make up the range of symptoms that are a consequence of Parkinson’s. These also change over time, as the disease progresses.
Many people choose to keep the early years of the disease a secret, something not to be shared with friends or colleagues. Therefore the external perception of the disease is only of people that have gone public , who have chosen to do so, once their symptoms are more progressed and it becomes impossible to keep it to themselves. As a consequence, ask almost anyone about Parkinson’s and they will describe the shaking stages. I am “stirred” to try to help change this common misconception, to change the image of Parkinson’s. To get Parkinson’s sufferers to go public earlier, so we can educate the population on what this disease is really about in all its forms, changing the image of the disease. #stirrednotshaking