The Charco Blog

Dave’s blog: To Brum and back again

When we first ordered the tickets for the Commonwealth Games (over a year ago, during Covid – blame it on lockdown boredom) we thought it would be easy…

We entered the ballot for the opening ceremony, closing ceremony, and a whole host of sports. In the end, we got tickets for the Men’s Hockey Final. Yes, you heard me correctly: two tickets to the Men’s Hockey Final! Now, I don’t know how your Parkinson’s copes with crowds, but mine is definitely anti-social, and the tremor I get in my leg when stressed (or excited) is a running reminder of that. I must admit, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Also, just the week before (well, 2 days before), we managed to get tickets for the T20 Women’s cricket tournament at Edgbaston. 

My wife did mention the amount of driving involved, but it didn’t register. We set off on Sunday lunchtime, after having a bit of panic when we read online that you should book parking. Did I mention that our granddaughter, from Lincoln, was spending some of her holiday with us? Well, that was a minor complication. Edgbaston is 202 miles from my house; although it doesn’t sound too far, it feels it, especially as when you have Parkinson’s you tend to avoid long journeys, due to the endless stiffness that ensues. We managed to find a parking space down a residential street and we made it, watching Australia win against India. I would recommend the T20; it gets very tense towards the end, and you don’t have to sit around for too long! We then drove 100 miles to Lincoln, delivered our granddaughter, and stayed overnight, before setting off (another 100 miles trip) to University of Birmingham – all the while getting baked by 26°C sunshine without a breath of wind!

At the hockey match, Australia beat India as well; this time it was 7-0, which I suppose could be described as ‘a good win’ wherever you are from! The crowd started to wake up Mr. P, and I felt my leg starting to wobble but, being a long-time diagnosed person and using my CUE1, I managed every time to put it back to sleep. We managed, after another 200 miler, to get home by 8pm.

I drove down there originally and drove from Lincoln to Birmingham without any problems. Driving is one of those things you shouldn’t take a chance with. You are either still fit to drive, or (unfortunately) you’re not. You have to, by law, notify the DVLA of illnesses that may affect your ability to drive. I did it straight away, almost 18 years ago. They will ask your consultant for a report into whether they consider you to be a danger to others whilst driving. I have a 3yr review where I send a form supplied by the DVLA, usually, to the Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse who sorts it out for me. Take time to meet and get to know your PDSN – mine has been the only constant medical person in a sea of change. She has been there for the past 14 years (after we moved back to Carlisle).

Well, that’s my weekend just gone… Two Gold medal finals, hot sunshine, expensive ice cream, and a monster six hundred mile round trip… I think we’ll stay at home next weekend!

Ciao for now,