At first, all I thought was that Parkison’s Disease was the easiest psychological disorder/disease. It does not affect your cognition, unlike in mental retardation. It does not affect your affection, unlike in autism. It does not hinder you from learning and from communicating. It does not give you hallucination and delusions, unlike in schizophrenia. It does not affect how you see and can perform in this world. It just gives you uncontrollable movements and that’s it.
Then I met Mommy S When we first saw her, I can already clearly visualize everything is that is taught in school and everything I know about Parkinson’s disease. She was shaking so hard that the entire round table is quite shaking too. I saw her having hard time to stay firmly on her sit because of these uncontrollable movements.
Afterward, we started talking. The line which struck me the most is when she answered her initial reaction towards the disease. “Awa sa sarili, kasi di pa ako masaya, kasi di panakukumpleto ang sarili ko.” I was so shocked because she was being funny and has a great sense of humor. She was throwing jokes the entire interview. That line came back to me, all that false thought about Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is just like any other disease and disorder I have mentioned earlier. Parkinson’s limits you. Parkinson’s imprisoned you since it no longer gives you the freedom and chance to do what you used to do, what you love to do. Parkinson’s gives you uncontrollable movements, yet it controls your life forever.
I never expected that these drugs (Sifrol, Madopar, and Madopar HBS) will give hallucinations to Mommy S. When we gave our little token of gratitude, it was an angel figurine, her daughter, Ate C joked to us, “Naku, may bago na namang kakausapin ang nanay ko.” That figurine was cute, indeed, yet we are afraid that this might trigger her hallucinations. We also heard that she is becoming forgetful. I am just praying that this will not lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Psychotropic drugs give you the opportunity to at least help you yet you have to give something for it. Drugs offer you the removal of symptoms but receive sometimes, even harder side effects.
I have learned that every disease or disorder is equally a burden to someone who has it. I mean, to simply think of being so wit with that situation is amazing. When we were talking to her, we forgot all the things we need to do, all the deadlines and all the pressure. It is like we were in another world, a world of happy people, a world wherein you do not have to think about the burdens and pain in life. And the moment we step out of their house, she said, “I love you!” Yes, certainly, a part of my heart is left with her.
These are the irony of psychotropic drugs. This is the irony of life.