My Parkinson’s journey and art

By Anne Atkin March 16, 2010

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and straight away there was this persistent voice in my head that was saying the same thing over and over, “You’ve got Parkinson’s. You’ve got Parkinson’s”.

So I sat in the neurologist’s room trying to cope with what was happening, still thinking that the diagnosis was wrong. I couldn’t have Parkinson’s. That was something elderly people got, elderly people who shook a lot and I didn’t shake. The diagnosis must be wrong. My frozen shoulder was just that, a frozen shoulder. Admittedly I had had it for years but maybe mine was stubborn. As for the other symptoms – the weakness on my left side, the drooling, the pins and needles, the fatigue, the aches and pains – there was a perfectly logical explanation. “it’s menopause, it’s because I’m middle-aged, it’s anything but Parkinson’s.” I was scared and as far I was concerned, this was the end of my life as I knew it. All my plans had just flown out of the window.

But the voice in my head knew what it was talking about. I did have Parkinson’s. The twenty eight 11 year olds in my [...] continue the story

Mademoiselle and the Doctor

Seventy-nine year old Lisette Nigot wants to die. She is a healthy academic, of sound mind and intellect, but she wants to die “before things get too bad”. Her cut off age is eighty. “I decided that was the age I wanted to die, a long time ago,” says Lisette. “Madamoiselle and the Doctor” follows Lisette as she consults with controversial euthanasia advocate, Dr. Philip Nitschke. Dr. Nitschlke believes everyone has the right to a peaceful death at a time of their own choosing, but Lisette’s quest for help and advice has him concerned. “You don’t want to wait around until Christmas?” he asks as they discuss which drugs will give Lisette a peaceful death. “I loathe Christmas,” is her witty response.