Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Neurological Lifestyle; The subtle implications of living with Neurological disorders
Intellectually, we all agree, there is an integral intimacy between body and mind. Yet facing this interplay, between the psychological and the physiological, is an annoying prescribed sensibility I'd sooner not have. Every damn chore, from putting on my pants to using the stairs, is a demanding challenge.. A task of survival.

Generally I look normal. I do curve forward, needing to remind myself to stand tall. I do shuffle not step, so need to map out my footpath long in advance. My left hand shakes and fails to grip, needing foresight with each simple task life throws at me.

I need to remember I am no longer the same. I need to recognise what I am doing and relearning how I need to do it. A lifetime of coordination training has to be remapped and practiced, with a child's beginner-mind simplicity.

But I am not a child, shielded by a loving mother monitoring my missteps. I'm an old man, with manly responsibilities and a vulnerable self image. I have lost spontaneity, no longer can I dive in the water in a ballsy dramatic gesture of romantic silliness. Instead I consider how the heck I could get out of the water once in. I am not sure if I can even still swim.

I can no longer say to a lover in an act of fury 'Let me out here...' because I'd be stuck far from the security of my room. I'd be in a world I once wandered freely, but now dread as an exhausting pain riddled incline... Home has become my hiding place.

I am forced to remain fully conscious in a world where body meets a sharp edged normalcy, a small world of endless discomforts, a call to be brave, steadfast, and happy, even when I am not. I am surrounded by heroes of labor, a hard working nation. I ask myself if I can persevere, as my body seeks the support of a chair and my mind hungers for sedation and distraction.

The only exit from brain disease is second guessing experience, a kind of metaphysical mix of hope, faith, and charity of expectations. To switch from the youthful quest for the perfection of existence, to the avoidance of discomfort and the eventuality of a slow degrading death.

Medical science yet on the horizon becomes my image of heaven. I lean on my cane, glaring at the sunset, hoping news will come of cure, a friendly face in a white coat, saying 'Try this pill.' Then I snap out of the dream and resume my existential test... my wilful war-dance of mind and body. I swallow the reality pill of living with a neurological disease called Parkinson's.

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