Sunday, May 6, 2012

Parkinson's Meltdown

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.


Anonymous said...

If you returned to work today, I hope you were able to soldier on with your head held high. Educating others on how to work with a Parkie is part of our job description, I guess. Hope I'm ready when it becomes an open issue at my job.

Marian said...

I did indeed return to work and "soldier on", as you say. I have had another "meltdown" since then, but I am learning to deal with it. If my project manager can't deal with it, maybe I need a new project. :-)

Unknown said...

I am not going through this as you all are, but I am watching my father who has been strong his whole life dispute having only one leg, watching him slip. He has these meltdowns and other things that have been going with it. He is in the 2nd stage.

About Me

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I'm a lucky lady. I have a wonderful husband of 27 years, a fantastic 25 year old son (I'm so proud of him!) a loving and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a job that I love, and... Parkinson's Disease. I was diagnosed in September 2006. That was a jolt, but I'm learning to deal with it.