The Charco Blog

Dave’s blog: At last…

Dave in Kew Gardens

Being one of the newer members of Team Charco, I thought it would take a while to gel and be included in the group dynamic. I needn’t have worried so much. Everyone has a genuine wish to do the ‘right thing’. They all want to simply be good people, and I think they are definitely some of the nicest, friendliest individuals you could possibly wish to meet. That being said, what a month it’s been today! It’s officially been three months since I started… Kendal Calling music festival is just a distant memory. Parkinson’s hasn’t really managed to derail anything, but wasn’t it warm?

 I suffer, as I’m sure some of you do, with very stiff muscles and joints at times. It’s  particularly bad around the time I get up. My wife says I should perhaps go for a run first thing in the morning; my excuse is ‘my meds take time to kick in’. I used to get up really early and run four to five miles before getting ready for work and having breakfast. I feel those days are behind me, but there’s always progress. I now get up and do a quick twenty to twenty-five minutes of yoga to ease everything off (you know it makes sense). Whilst chatting to a physiotherapist, they told me that this stiffness is a symptom; in my mind, that means that it’s still possible to do something about it. All of this maintenance is all well and good, I find, until something changes…

We knew there was something afoot when we received two emails from the train operator (I won’t name them, just in case). One said our train home was not running because it would no longer stop at an undisclosed location. The second email said it was simply “cancelled”. No explanation except for the one we heard on the evening news. The lady from the train company, who  I called to try and book tickets on a different train, was adamant I would have to get a refund, and then buy new tickets which were £60 more expensive! I was having none of it, and despite the speech problems that Parkinson’s can sometimes throw into the mix (in my case especially when tired, nervous, anxious, or in any way stressed) I managed, after speaking to four different people, to get what I wanted: seat reservations! 

Well done, you may say. I thought so too, until I found myself balancing on my suitcase on the train down to London because the train had been double-booked, and the lady sitting in my seat wasn’t moving. I almost had to resort to my ultimate sanction – the Parkinson’s card. It tells those reading it that you have Parkinson’s and that you may look unsteady on your feet, slur your words, and even fall over. This may look, to those who don’t know about it, like you have had one too many free drinks in first class! We eventually got a seat (though only for forty-five minutes), before we had to change trains to get to London. The trip back wasn’t without drama either, despite previously making sure we had booked seats – they had still been double booked, and both had someone else sitting in them.

The weekend in London was as fabulous as always; we went to Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Food Festival, where we had Sunday lunch with both my son and daughter (‘London prices Dad’ emerged after I nearly went into shock after receiving the bill). We did, however, win the pub quiz on Sunday evening, so it wasn’t all that bad.

I went to see my consultant too. It was my first time post-COVID, making it the first time I’ve seen him in a hospital setting for at least two years, I think. As he told me, ‘if it’s not broken, why try and fix it’? I’m supposed to go every six months (because of my age), but as I exercise regularly we don’t often have any changes to make .

Well , that’s everything up to date – events are starting to be organised and set up for the next couple of months at least . 

I’ll see you around, catch you later….