Every Cloud etc...
29 June 2021 | or It Never Rains But It Pours
I've just made a paradigm-shifting scientific breakthrough, an earth-shattering discovery with implications that could undermine the foundations of the current scientific models underlying fields ranging from medicine to molecular biology by way of psychology, neuroscience, physiology and biochemistry. Homeopathy, Christian Science and Hopi ear-candle therapy remain unaffected.
One of the major problems associated with irreversible progressive degenerative conditions, such as Parkinson's, lies in those very three adjectives, 'irreversible', 'progressive' and 'degenerative'. There's a bit of a tendency to dwell on matters. I normally subscribe to the 'For God's sake just pull yourself together, Man!' school of therapy, but this tough love approach is difficult to justify when dealing with people facing a (hopefully slow) decline into shuffling, drooling incontinence.
Especially when I'm one of them.
The way I see it, it's all a matter of perspective. Or more to the point, it's a matter of distorting perspective. The true situation is so appallingly bleak, the future so unutterably ghastly that the only way to deal with it is to deny it, to ignore all the evidence and to sail blithely into the future in a state of totally unjustified positivity garnished with an inane, unjustified, and irritatingly vacant grin.
Easier said than done...
But I've cracked it.
Herewith, free of charge, is the Newbury patented life hack for those suffering from Parkinson's. Or motor neurone disease. Or Huntingdon's Chorea. Or any other of the myriad dribble related conditions that plague Mankind's lot. Here is a fool-proof method of doctoring your perspective so that you no longer spend most of your waking hours gloomily ruminating on your slow decline into bumbling incompetence.
Here we go...
And the secret to eliminating woeful, Parkinson's-related introspection is:
Go and get yourself diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
That'll do the trick. Well, it did in my case. Parkinson's? Hah! A minor irritation.
MND? I snort derisively in your general direction.
Huntingdon's chorea? - A game for wusses.
Altzheimer's? - little more than a pathetic excuse for coming last in the pub quiz.
But melanoma? Now that's a proper disease, not a piddly little excuse for getting out of PE period three on Tuesdays. For a start, it doesn't drag things out over half a lifetime. It gets stuck straight in and gets the job done. Toute Suite. No buggering about. The median life-expectancy after being diagnosed with metastasized melanoma is 11 ½ months. Such efficient lethality concentrates the mind wonderfully. No synapses are left available for self - indulgent moping about what might happen five or ten years down the road; there's not going to be a five or ten years down the road.
So come on you fellow Parkies, scrub off all that factor 50 and get those pale, flabby, mottled bodies of yours down the beach and start getting yourselves rotisseried. Last one with a neoplasm's a sissy. See you down there. I'll be the one covered in black lumps.
FULL DISCLOSURE - A proper scientist (& literary critic) writes:
Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the author will have worked out by half-way through paragraph 2 that the above account has an even less than passing acquaintance with reality. Far from being a jaunty, insouciant, Devil-may-care diatribe of defiance, it is, in reality, a pathetic and thinly veiled pitch for sympathy.
In accordance with these aims, any arguments and facts that support a less hagiographic approach have been ruthlessly suppressed.
Prime among these is any accurate analysis of the malignancy of melanoma. OK, it's a lethal little bastard once it has metastasised and spread its evil seed throughout the body, but this one was caught fairly early. There's a good chance it was hacked out before it grew thick enough to start shedding offspring. If that's the case we're home and dry, but we won't know for sure either way until the oncology team have poked around a bit more. Once they've interpreted the CT scans, hacked out a precautionary moat around the initial excision, and sliced the armpit open to have a rummage around the lymph nodes, we'll have a better idea of whether it'll be a course of chemo with its associated feeling like shit, or just keeping a watchful eye on things with regular check-ups.
If it's the latter, he can start worrying about the Parkinson's again.
Just remember what was left in the bottom of Pandora's box, after all of the evils, woes and curses had escaped into the world.