My window of opportunity

By Laura Lewis November 7, 2011

One Saturday in the summer, my husband and I visited a museum in London where there was a range of impressive coats of armour. While we were admiring the condition of these medieval battle-dresses, it occurred to me how wearing a coat of armour must be hard work and similar to my daily experiences when I am “off”. I explained that walking while being “off” (or parky) felt like stumbling through tar on the deck of a cross-channel ferry in a force nine gale wearing a coat of armour. He found that staggering.

“Wearing off” is not entirely predictable, but usually occurs between three and four hours after taking medication. I have a 20-minute warning then gradually the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) creep over me like a vice slowly gripping my shoulders and then working their way down my back. For me, the most exasperating aspect of “wearing off” is being unable to manipulate things; I cannot write, operate my laptop keyboard or manage the simplest tasks like buttoning blouses or cleaning my teeth. It also affects my voice which becomes quieter and my speech less articulate. However, “wearing off” is not inevitable and I [...] continue the story