Monday, March 17, 2008


I realize this is over the top, but even before my diagnosis, the question "How's it going?" used to plunge me into a swirling metaphysical struggle where the imperative to tell the truth collided with the imperative to be polite. Like most people, I went with politeness.

(We'll have a brief pause here while those of you with smart mouths hoot your disbelief. Are we through now? Good.)

This deference to courtesy came at a stiff personal cost. I had to bite back choice lines like "Oh, the usual quiet desperation, you?" Or another favorite, "Filled with fear and loathing." And let's not forget the cheery, optimistic "Clinging to sanity in a world gone mad."

The discovery that I have PD simultaneously validated those unspoken replies, and rendered them obsolete. A whole new army of unvarnished truths have to be beaten back. A few of my current favorites "Suffering an irreversible slow-motion brain injury, what's up with you?" Or, "Working hard, hardly working." Then there is the clinical "Oh, a little dystonic, bradykinetic, and depressed." Or when the meds are working "Adequately medicated, thanks!" Which lead me to what I have settled on as a reply that seems to satisfy both truth and courtesy: "Adequate, thanks."

For some reason, this usually elicits a laugh, but I have decided it's probably best not to ask why.

I know I am not alone in this. Anyone who has come up with an answer that solves this small but persistent problem in a tidy and honest stroke of inspiration is invited to post a reply.



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