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Stories of Parkinsons # 8

Shobhana Tai

In my previous article I had mentioned how some people hide the fact that they are suffering from Parkinsons. I will share a funny incident regarding the same.


Mr. Ramchandra Karmarkar, who we refer to as the whole and sole of the Parkinson’s Mitr Mandal is an enthusiastic volunteer.  Once when he was at the Chemist’s shop he saw an old man with a trembling hand, Mr.Karmarkar was sure that this gentleman was suffering from Parkinsons. Further the medicines he was buying were also for Parkinsons . Thus, confirming his doubt. He thought of informing the said person about the work being done by the MitraMandal. He called out to him but was ignored. Mr.Karmarkar, was yet to buy his medicines so he could not follow him. He realized that the person seemed to be local. Upon further enquiry he found the said person’s address and visited him. An elderly lady  opened the door. As he introduced himself and told her the reason of his visit, the lady became tensed. She said, “What you are doing is admirable, but my husband doesn’t like anybody knowing that he suffers from Parkinsons. He was in the armed forces and is very stubborn. I am not sure how he will react once he sees you. Hence leave.”  Mr. Karmarkar left from there and when he narrated the incident at the meeting, we could not help laughing.

But, this happens more often than not. Another gentleman, who had access to all medical benefits through his job, did not avail of any. The fear that everyone in the office will become aware that he suffers from Parkinsons , once he begins to take medical advice for the same. Later, after connecting with the Self Help group, he become comfortable in sharing his medical condition with his colleagues and felt quite relaxed with the same.  Life became peaceful.


Another person, who was diagnosed with suffering from Parkinsons at a very young age had hidden the same from his immediate family also.  Well known Hollywood actor, Michael J.Fox went through the same self-doubts when he was diagnosed with suffering from Parkinsons. He was always apprehensive and tensed trying to hide the suffering. But, once he came clear about his ailment he felt relieved and not only this he formed a trust that supports research and other various other Parkinsons related activities.  He is now a role model to many.


Nothing can be achieved by hiding the diagnosis.   On the contrary, you are always at an edge and worried that the secret will be out. Imagine a scenario, you keep your hands in the pocket to hide the fact that your hands tremble. Someone wants to hand over something to you, you are unwilling to take out your hands from the pocket. What will go through the mind of the other person? It will create unwanted ill will and make a dent in relations.  One is aware that Parkinsons is an incurable disease and the tension of hiding the ailment creates unnecessary tension and takes a toll on the body. In fact, if the people around you are aware of your diagnosis, they can be helpful. This is my heartfelt advice to you.


I am well aware that many people who follow me on facebook and read my articles posted there suffer from Parkinsons. But, they want to hide their illness. This is why they don’t even come to the meetings of MitraMandal.  Neither do they want to come for the meetings nor do they want to discuss this, but they want all the information.  Please refrain from doing the same is my humble request to you.


Many a times, it so happens that when one is diagnosed with suffering from Parkinsons at an early age, one may worry that it may have an adverse effect on the job opportunities. Hence the need to hide the disease.   Once you are forthcoming of your disease life becomes a lot easier.  In my next article I will discuss about people who were diagnosed with Parkinsons at an early age and how they have managed to do their jobs and lived a fruitful life. Many of them have retired from their jobs after successfully completing their tenure.


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