Audrey is my nan, my mum's mum, and she's where we get our feist from. She's brilliant, she's kind, she's rebellious, she has a cheeky streak but looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Only my nan could get away with taking a pen knife through Eurostar security, proving right her defiance that the letters 'W.I' embossed into its leather sheath made it innocent.
I can imagine finding out i had Parkinson's was strange for her because its something more commonplace in her age group. Making that separation in her head between the condition in older people and the condition in me is important as they're almost different diseases, from the progression rate through to symptoms, it effects you differently depending on what stage of your life you are diagnosed.
EMMA: What did you know about Parkinson's before I was diagnosed?
AUDREY: I knew very little, and thought only older people, usually male, were affected. I didn’t think there was anything that could be done to help.
EMMA: What were your first thoughts when you heard my diagnosis?
AUDREY: Oh, poor kid! How will she cope? Especially as you had been unwell for sometime with stomach problems.
EMMA: How, if at all, have your thoughts about Parkinson's changed over the past 3 years?
AUDREY: I now realise that once the right medication ‘clicks in’ you are able to lead a near normal life style and enjoy it all. You mustn’t let Parkinson’s rule your life!
EMMA: If you could give the Nan of a newly diagnosed person one piece of advice or knowledge what would it be?
AUDREY: Don’t despair; but give support and encouragement, not doom and gloom.
EMMA: What one word would you use to describe Parkinson's?
EMMA: Anything else you'd like to add?
AUDREY: Be open about it, It’s not contagious like the plague was.