30 Days of Parkinson’s: ‘A Parkinson’s Poem’

30 Days of Parkinson’s: ‘A Parkinson’s Poem’
Alan Ascher
Photo courtesy of Alan Ascher

Day 19 of 30

Alan Ascher is a pianist-turned-poet. This is his story:

A Parkinson’s Poem

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s
At the age of sixty-five.
I was told — “a pill and exercise”
Would get me out alive.

I was told that my arms weren’t swinging,
And that I had an improper gait.
My body wanted to walk ahead,
— my FEET said, “this can wait.”

Putting on a bathrobe,
Has become a royal pain.
Buttoning a long sleeve dress shirt,
Has become a project I disdain.

Don’t be surprised if I shake a bit,
Completely out of the blue.
It’s called essential tremor,
I may spill coffee all over YOU.

Putting on socks and tying shoes,
Have suddenly caused me trouble.
Not much use for the phrase anymore:
I’ll be there “on the double.”

They tell you “get some exercise,”
Do some stretches, ride a bike.
If only I wouldn’t get dizzy,
On a short walk or a hike.

We often have trouble swallowing,
Pills and capsules make us cough.
Riding a bike is no problem,
It’s the getting on or off!

I’ve taken for granted my balance,
It was never an issue before.
I must take a shower more cautiously,
Or I’ll end up on the floor!

Life is a constant search now,
For just some stabilization.
And I haven’t even touched on,
Accompanying constipation!

I must resort to pills now,
At specific times of day,
To try and slow the Parkinson’s,
In every possible way.

So yes, those are the symptoms,
Of which we must endure.
Until the blessed day comes,
When they announce: they found a cure.


Parkinson’s News Today’s 30 Days of Parkinson’s campaign will publish one story per day for Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPAR, or go here to see the full series. 

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