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  • What do you think of the term ‘Parkie’?

    Posted by ally on August 26, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Some people with Parkinson’s embrace being called a ‘Parkie’, while others hate the term. How do you feel? Does the meaning of the word change depending on who is using it?

    Check out this flash briefing of a column by Mary Beth Skylis in which she thinks about taking a sensitive, nuanced approach to Parkinson’s-related language and share your perspective in the comments.

    piet replied 2 weeks, 5 days ago 35 Members · 43 Replies
  • 43 Replies
  • marjorie-weiss

    Member
    August 31, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    I used it long before I knew it as calling someone with PD a Parkie. I use Parky to define the character who inhabits him and makes him sick, as opposed to him who is Dave.  I hate Parky, but love Dave.

    • richard-gitschlag

      Member
      March 5, 2024 at 7:04 pm

      I have been using the term “Parkie” to name my disease as my opponent. I have found that personalizing it (and naming it as my enemy) makes it a lot easier to deal with the deterioration and various setbacks that I experience daily. I don’t call a real person enduring their own PD battle as “a Parkie”, unless we’re well acquainted with each other. -Rich G.

      • annekristine-osoffsky

        Member
        March 7, 2024 at 3:29 pm

        I find the term “Parkie” abhorrent. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005. At the time, I was the Executive Assistant & Stock Plan Administrator to the CEO & CFO of WCN. WCN was self insured, & I was immediately terminated upon diagnosis. PD plays a minor role in my life. It is well controlled by Sinemet. My life is a thousand times more than Parkinson’s, & I will not define it, nor limit it, by being called “Parkie”, not now nor in 2005!

  • polkadot

    Member
    August 31, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    When I hear that “quip”, I feel like Parkinson’s has been turned into a joke, something “cutesy “ to laugh about. It makes me uncomfortable. There are many things to laugh about in this world, just not Parkinson’s. FYI: I am a positive, active PD woman who greets each day with a smile, doing what I can for the greater good.

  • alan-tobey

    Member
    August 31, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    If there’s any chance for humor in our part of the universe, we should embrace it.

    Almost  nobody from the “outside”  knows enough about PD to use it as a pejorative. Any attention probably helps.

    We can assist by showing we have a sense of humor. Two of my own contributions:

    Name for a PD theater group: The ShakesPeers

    Short joke. Q: How do two people with Parkinson’s seal an agreement between them? A: They shake on it.

    Those were low-hanging fruit.  A better challenge would be to find humorous handles for some of the less-known symptoms, for example: anosmia, bradykinesia, dyskinesia, constipation, shuffling and getting stuck, and so many  more. I’d like to see a foundation like MJF sponsor a humor night – 5 minute standup routines, even if some of the contestants can’t stand up.

    The serious point is this one: IT AIN’T OUR FAULT. But learning to live with it takes grace and charm, which we should be proud to demonstrate.

     

     

     

    • Dtr

      Member
      March 2, 2024 at 7:52 am

      I couldn’t agree more, Alan. Maybe it’s my Irish ancestry, but humor, light or dark, has kept my family afloat for generations—and oh, how we’ve needed it.

  • toni-shapiro

    Member
    August 31, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    I look for and I need humor in my life.  Calling myself “Parkie” lifts my spirits and oddly  makes me feel more normal……until it doesn’t and I choke when I say it..  I embrace it and I hate it if that is even possible.

    • clive-varejes

      Member
      September 2, 2021 at 10:23 am

      Toni, I think your comment, is brilliant, makes absolute sense.

      B-)

    • richard-gitschlag

      Member
      September 2, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      I have personalized this disease by using the term “Parkie” as my enemy and burden, as when, in a particularly bad day I can blame “the Parkie is riding my back harder today.”  That seems to lighten my attitude at least a bit.

      • marjorie-weiss

        Member
        September 2, 2021 at 2:37 pm

        it helps separate you from the disease. Glad it helps.

    • Karla Burkhart

      Member
      September 2, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      I’m with Alan. I think the term “Parkie” is funny and any chance to laugh is one I’ll take. Besides, it’s a lot easier to type than “Parkinson’s” for my hands that no longer like to type. Mental health is being able to laugh at yourself and, believe me, the last few years have included many moments that made me either laugh or cry. I’d rather laugh.

  • valtiree

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 6:13 am

    Do we now refer to Long Covid sufferers as Covies and those with Cerebral Palsy as Palsies? Hopefully Parkies does not catch on.

    • janet-leblanc

      Member
      March 12, 2024 at 5:52 pm

      I hope not. I find Parkie dismissive and offensive I would not appreciate being called a Parkiie. I do have a sense of humor but I find nothing humorous about PD.

  • gregg-i-daniels

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 6:13 am

    A ridiculous cutesy term that signals weakness.  What about calling people with cancer Cancies?  Degrading in the same way as calling someone Whitey or Blackie.

    • janet-leblanc

      Member
      March 12, 2024 at 5:55 pm

      I agree! I find it offensive and dismissive.

  • clive-varejes

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 10:20 am

    It honestly makes no difference to me whatsoever.

    I’m very relaxed with who I am and the fact that I have PD.

    If someone feels that, in order to give their lives meaning that must use the term parkie, so be it.

  • kevin-mcguinness

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    I am a human being with PD and a great sense of humor.  Calling me a “parkie” would be both offensive degrading.
    Just one persons opinion.
     

  • phinala

    Member
    September 3, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Doesn’t bother me at all, at least it signifies your body has something wrong with it and may be people will have more understanding.

  • richb99

    Member
    March 5, 2024 at 4:27 pm

    Doesn’t bother me. haven’t heard anyone using it except by someone with PD. I can’t imagine anyone using it pejoratively but I’m typically optimistic to a fault.

  • Waldo

    Member
    March 5, 2024 at 8:04 pm

    Parky is highly dismissive. We live in an age when seniors are expected to accept “Ok Boomer” as a response. As I have aged I’ve tried to respond like my father did. He was kind and generous to everyone. I have no idea how this happened. He sure wasn’t like this when I was an adolescent. It’s time for all of us to model respectability to everyone. If you call me Parky I may fail my father and go full Boomer on you.

  • tony-de-moree

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 11:13 am

    “Parky”, I hate it. Wouldn’t even call my worst enemy “parky”. It is PARKINSON’s disease.

    “Parky” seems to make it something friendly, a nice episode in life. Well…it isn’t. If you didn’t find out yet, you will in the coming years. You can’t run (anymore), you can’t hide.

    Same way some people are said to have “C” instead of CANCER, doesn’t make it go away.

    Accept what you have and deal with it. One day at a time. Enjoy today’s happy moments. Do not expect anything tomorrow and you might even be surprised!!

    Take care!

  • paul-higgins

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t get hugely “upset” when I read it, but I’m not a fan. Put me in the camp that thinks it’s too cutesy a term for a disease that altered the course of my life not in a good way. Sounds more like a name for a small dog, not a debilitating neurological disease.

  • spinyhead

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    I love it actually! I thought it came initially from the Brits, who have a good sense of humor (humour?) about everything, pretty much. I consider a good sense of humor the #1 requirement for a happy life.

  • Rick Tabakin

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 2:33 pm

    I never heard the term “Parkie” used before. I don’t think it’s meant to be derogatory. It “lightens” up the seriousness of the disease and it’s progression.

  • bill-patterson

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 2:44 pm

    http://www.parkies.org/

    I had embraced the term a few years ago when I bought the domain. I have had PD for 17 years now and did not intend to offend. I take PD seriously but think that I don’t want to let go of any humor or good things still in my life.

    Bill

  • JackieHC

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    I LOVE being called a Parkie (Parky)! It shows that I have a sense of humor about this blasted disease! It’s also the name of the raccoon mascot of the World Parkinson’s Congress (they spell it with the -y ending).Besides, I have enough problems talking already! Saying one less syllable is much easier for me than “PwP”.Besides, when someone uses PWP for the first time, then you have to define it: “person with Parkinson’s.” And please don’t even talk to me about using “Parkinsonian;” that just sounds pretentious! However, if I know that someone finds it disrespectful, I’ll honor their wishes and not use it in their presence.

  • DrMoonpie

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    I do not care for this term. I dislike diminutive terms. I grew up in the South. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this question was the vulgar racist term, “darkie.”

    • ally

      Moderator
      March 7, 2024 at 8:25 pm

      That’s an interesting association and I agree, not a good one!!

  • twok

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 7:14 pm

    NOT A FAN!

    • ally

      Moderator
      March 7, 2024 at 8:25 pm

      Why is that?

  • Kimpr

    Member
    March 7, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Talking with my husband -I have used it when referring to a fellow ” Parkie”- I really thought nothing of it- My husband cringed.

    Yet if someone called me a Parkie who didn’t have Parkinson’s, I would not appreciate it.

  • suzanne-lang

    Member
    March 8, 2024 at 11:09 am

    Neither my husband, who has Parkinson’s, nor I (his caregiver), like the term “Parkie.” To me, especially, it feels demeaning and immediately puts people into a perceived classification. Since no two people experience Parkinson’s disease in the same way, one term does not and should not fit all. We try our very best to keep things as normal as possible and not fall into a particular category. Having said this, if you are comfortable using the term, I think that is fine…once again, it’s all about individualism!

  • kathleen-ernst

    Member
    March 12, 2024 at 9:18 pm

    It is not my favorite term because PD does not define. At the same time I can understand someone using the term for themselves or as a support group but definitely not for an outsider to label us. I find that Humor can be a tool in dealing with PD and it helps me and my family and friends to not be so serious, I still need to joke and have fun. My niece made me a nightshirt that says Always on the Move and my nephew will ask if I want a martini Shaken not Stirred. I realize that may change as my PD advances but for now it helps me to laugh.

    • ally

      Moderator
      March 13, 2024 at 8:24 am

      Kathleen, your family has a very good sense of humour and so do you! Thanks for sharing. Your post made me laugh this morning. 🙂

  • kathleen-ernst

    Member
    March 13, 2024 at 7:42 pm

    Laughter is good for the soul and a distraction from anxiety and depression🙂🙃

    • ally

      Moderator
      March 14, 2024 at 9:23 am

      I agree. 🙂

  • ted-wilton

    Member
    March 14, 2024 at 2:34 pm

    I do not like the term “Parkie”. It seems to convey a light-hearted reflection on Parkinson’s Disease, and from my experiences, Parkinson’s is not a lot of fun.

    Ted Wilton

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