There’s Something Wrong with Your BRAIN

© Sherri Woodbridge 2011

This is for all those people with Parkinson’s disease who can’t seem to make others understand what’s going on in the mind of a PD patient.


I’ve personally heard of people with PD who actually live with others who don’t believe they have PD.  You can call it denial. You can call it ignorance. You can call it whatever you want, but who in their right mind would want to pretend to have Parkinson’s disease?


Pretend to fall.


Pretend to stutter.


Pretend to drool.


Pretend to whisper.


Pretend not to smell the fragrance of a rose.


Pretend to shake so that every eye is on you.


Pretend to look mad.


Pay me thousands of dollars to pretend I have PD in a movie – no millions – and I might consider it, but to pretend day to day to have a debilitating disease? Give me a break. And, wouldn’t someone who’s pretending rather spend thousands of dollars on a vacation, rather than for doctor appointments and drugs you’d rather not have to swallow 3+ times a day?


Here is the latest comment I’ve heard one person say to a friend (quite seriously and sarcastically): “What is wrong with you? It’s like something’s wrong with your brain.”


All I can say is –   Gee… ‘Ya think?


Every morning we PD’ers wake up and gather the strength to get out of bed. We don’t just pop up like a toaster tart and stretch like Jane Fonda or Jillian Michaels. Nope.  We push ourselves up – our stiff, sore selves and we don’t even consider stretching – for fear of our muscles cramping up just by thinking of performing such a task. We shuffle to the bathroom like a weighted penguin and thank God for the person who invented elastic waistbands so we don’t have to fumble with buttons or zippers or strings.  We shower, washing the same frame as always, but taking twice as long as it once did – not so long ago. We brush our teeth with electric toothbrushes so we don’t tear our gums apart should the tremors take over and attempt to complete this task.  We dress, again taking twice as long as it once did and sometimes (often for some) needing assistance, very aware of what being humbled can mean.


If we haven’t already downed our morning’s medicinal cocktail, we choose now. The number of pills varies, however, depending on who you are and the doctor you have and what’s going on with your body.  Me? Nine for breakfast, five for lunch, five for supper and three for bedtime. Mmm, mmm good. And did I mention the side effects that the medicines cause or can cause? You name it.  The possibilities are endless.


You go on with your day. Now – here it must be stressed that everyone’s day (that of a PD patient) is different, as one person may be having a good ‘on’ day (or at least part of one) with their meds working great, while another is having an ‘off’ day, where their meds are in need of adjustment or perhaps they just don’t work too good anymore. You act crazy where once you may have been seen as calm and quiet (at least in public). Perhaps it is the PD. Maybeit’s the realization that today, this day, is the time to enjoy life and laugh and not care what others are thinking.


I’ve heard it said that with Alzheimer’s, the patient doesn’t recognize family or friends after a while, whereas with Parkinson’s disease, family and friends may not recognize the patient. They act different. They think different. Maybe we’re just trying to confuse those we love and see if they notice.  I hardly think this is the case.  But, you know after all – something is wrong with our brains, so the transformation is legitimate and warranted, right?


If you know someone who says they have PD and think they are pretending, please… think again. They’d much rather pretend to be Cinderella or Prince Charming and live happily ever after.

Journeying with you,

3 thoughts on “There’s Something Wrong with Your BRAIN

  1. I also suffered for many months with very severe stomach pain and
    nausea. Thankfully the nausea has lessened but it is still present.

  2. Hi Sherri,
    Your comparison of recognition in people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is poignant: “…with Alzheimer’s, the patient doesn’t recognize family or friends after a while, whereas with Parkinson’s disease, family and friends may not recognize the patient.” So true.

    Thanks for sharing your post on my facebook page. I am going to add you to my blogroll.
    Holly Bonasera

  3. Very well stated! I especially appreciate the mention that the “configuration” of PD is unique to each recipient. I’ve often thought that some may think that I should be shaking more if I really had PD. Probably that’s only in my mind. The clear emphasis for me up to this point has always been…..cognitive side of the house is the most frustrating and dehabilitating while movement side was advancing at a steady pace. When first diagnosed in 2002, the cognitive impact (executive functioning) from PD wasn’t featured as much in all the print/coverage.

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