Parkinson’s and Eyes

Parkinson’s is certainly an interesting disease to have, there is plenty to research and people all progress in different ways. It is nearly two and a half years since my diagnosis and I have been pretty lucky so far. I have this month become aware that there is a slight problem with my eyes and they can sometimes become dry and itchy. After a bit of Googling I realise it is a fairly common problem and often brought about by reduced blinking. I was having coffee with a friend and said to her:-“nothing wrong with my blink”. To my surprise she said that I hadn’t blinked for ages! Discussions with pharmacists and opticians have led me to purchase some eye drops which seem to help considerably.

I recently saw my wonderful Parkinson’s Nurse and we agreed that I would continue to use Rasagiline only, helped along by lots of exercise which I find beneficial. We also talked about the newly formed Parkinson’s choir and I was delighted to hear that she would be attending the world premier of “Good Vibrations!” which is in less than two weeks!

One of Good Vibrations songs

One of Good Vibrations songs

I am practising hard and trying to remember all the words. We come on for a short performance before supper and can then relax and listen to the live jazz group – the performance is a sell out! Singing can help symptoms of Parkinson’s such as stiff neck muscles, swallowing and vocal chord issues and we can enjoy ourselves too.

Regarding my last blog – sadly I won’t become a Parkinson’s ballerina as all the classes begun by the English National Ballet are completely full! They have promised to let me know of any related activities that may occur such as taster sessions. I shall have to content myself with going to watch dance, Onegin and Swan Lake at Covent Garden were both fabulous this month.

Only two weeks until we set off for a month to Australia. This year’s challenge, set by the lovely daughter, is a trek across Wilsons Promontory National Park to the lighthouse at the end – over 12 miles each way.

Lighthouse at Wilsons Prom

Lighthouse at Wilsons Prom

We stay overnight before making our way back, there are no roads so we will have to keep going, we need to carry food and bedding too so hope the weather is not too hot!

The next blog will be from Melbourne.

Parkinson’s and ballet

Over Christmas there was a programme on the television about the street dancing group Diversity which included a visit to a class, in London, held by the English National Ballet for those with Parkinson’s. I am trying to find out more as I think it is a wonderful idea, unfortunately I have had no response from the email address given so will need to think of another way of finding information. My love of ballet started when, as a child, I had a Girl’s Annual with a picture of Moira Shearer in the film Red Shoes.

Red Shoes

Red Shoes


The dashing son and gorgeous daughter-in-law gave me an updated DVD version of the film which I have very much enjoyed watching. This month I am going to see Onegin and Swan Lake at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden; always a magical experience. As I will be in Australia again soon I am pleased to find that there is great interest in providing dance experience there too. Knowing Parkinson’s will only get worse makes you want to make the most of everyday!

The Parkinson’s choir “Good Vibrations” is preparing for their world premier as part of a local jazz evening. We will be singing three songs including “Sway” and “Cry me a River” – work in progress rather than a polished performance! I visited an elderly friend recently and we sang some of the songs together. She put me to shame knowing all the words and keeping to the tune!

We have had two more meetings of the Parkinson’s Service Users Panel for Sussex and thought hard about how we can make the information available through the “Parkinson’s UK” charity accessible to more people; no-one needs to be alone. This is particularly important when diagnosis is first given.

Lunching with friends has started well in 2015 with a visit to a castle and an English tapas restaurant. So many great venues in Sussex! I have realised that the latest trend to use a kind of soup/pasta plate for main courses is not very easy; I find the angle of the fork tricky so prefer a flat plate! The amiable husband and I went to a local Michelin starred restaurant for our wedding anniversary recently, lots of exercise needed to compensate for all that eating!

The first walk of the year was to London with the Theme of The Great Fire of London which of course started in 1666 near to what is now The Monument.

The Monument

The Monument


I don’t know that part of the city very well, such fabulous old buildings including churches such as St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside (according to tradition a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells) and St Magnus the Martyr. Most city churches were rebuilt after the fire by Sir Christopher Wren, what an amazing architect! So many churches now seem to be offering cafes and free music concerts, I can’t wait to visit again.

As winter greyness continues in England I am beginning to look forward to a month in the warmth of Australia in March…..