I have been trying to think of an appropriate symbol for Parkinson’s and finally I have found what I think is the perfect representation: a snail. People with Parkinson’s move slowly, as does the disease itself, but often we are persistent and get where we want in the end, very much like our little mollusc friend.
This is my fourth day at CNS, the neurological rehabilitation centre in Torres Vedras, close to Lisbon and if you haven’t read my first post of this week, you can find it here. My favourite Portugese, the extremely competent physiotherapist Josefa is observing my every move, but in a good way. We discuss everything relating to Parkinson’s, freezing-of-gait, chocolate, life as a PhD student, shoes, South Africa, and more. We were discussing behaviour change and motivation, since in Parkinson’s, motivation can be very hard to find. The reduced levels of dopamine in our brains does not only make moving extremely challenging, it also has a direct effect on our motivation. This means that although we know that we need to stay active to be able to stay as well as possible, we just cannot be bothered…
This is where using camera can be very valuable, like in this case, where I was filmed after walking on the treadmill. For me to see that my gait can be so different after only 15-20 minutes walking on a treadmill, makes me extremely motivated to continue fighting Parkinson’s!
The second rule of Fight club is: use it or loose it!