A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's
Sarah Nock’s “Ponderings on Parkinson’s”
March 5, 2012Posted by on
I’ve been dipping into this delightful volume on and off for a few weeks now. It’s that type of book; you can tell from the title. Sarah Nock may not be a “Young Parkie” (she writes, at one point, of having become “embroiled with PD at the optimum age: l was still needed, perhaps, but I certainly wasn’t indispensable.” I’m not sure that she mentions the age at which she was diagnosed, but one gets the impression that she may have been in her 60s.
Reading this book is a bit like going back in time, to an indeterminate period when everybody was more polite than they are now, and ladies had companions. (Not that there are any ladies’ companions in the book, although the author does have a part time job as a lady’s secretary, which is vaguely similar.) It’s like sitting down and having a delightful conversation with the author, listening as she meanders from one Parkinson’s-related topic to another. She is wryly amused by the bizarre symptoms she encounters, and full of advice for other Parkies. She seems particularly fond of her folding walking-stick-cum-stool, which I think is this model from the National Trust. She’s also a fan of selected alternative therapies, which are best left to her to tell you about, if you are interested enough to get hold of a copy of the book.
It’s by no means a depressing book; Mrs. Nock has either had a reasonably easy ride of it so far (and she’s 20 years or more along her journey) or is remarkably good at ignoring the worst (possibly for her readers’ benefit). It’s a very English book, with the sort of quaint Englishness that Americans admire and which, I think, is gradually slipping from our grasp.