It's happened. What I've been dreading has come to pass. On Friday, things at work became suddenly stressful at just the wrong moment, when I was wearing off. As people started demanding more and more of me and became more and more impatient with my inability to explain the situation clearly, the Parkinson's symptoms became worse and worse, which of course made me less and less coherent. I was shaking uncontrollably, unable to move quickly, almost unable to stand or talk. The guy in charge kept saying things like "that's not a good enough answer", and "that's not acceptable", and I couldn't explain the technical issue I was addressing or the trouble I was having putting words together. There were at least 3 or 4 people firing questions and comments at me simultaneously. It was too much. I started tearing up; I couldn't stop it.
Suddenly, everyone could see my symptoms in all their glory, and became apologetic and embarrassed, offering help and suggestions. I know that everyone meant well, but I don't know which was worse; their obvious downward reassessment of my abilities or their pity.
I can't hide now or pretend that there is nothing wrong. I am now forever "disabled" in the eyes of my colleagues.
I've been crying all weekend, but that has to stop. I just have to figure out how to pick up the pieces and put the puzzle together a different way. I have to go on as long as I can and find a new path and a new direction when this one gives out. When you're walking in the woods, sometimes the path you're on ends and you have to backtrack and find a new way.
That's what I have to do, and that's what I'm going to do.