A Public Service Announcement for people who like people with movement disorders.
—We become more symptomatic as the day/evening wears on, or with stress, or heat, or just 'cause. We're not getting "worse" or "better" "these days."
—We don’t like being "noticed," a burden, or “taken care of.” It tends to make us shut-ins. We should get over it, and trust people more. We already know that, though.
—We look worse than we are, usually. Ask once, but don't feel awkward about “taxing us.” We'll say when.
—We speak in low, raspy voices and have odd pauses. So we become stoic, and selective about joining in. We're not withdrawn or morose or fetchy. We're realistic. Don’t know how to include us in banter? Here's how: just do. Missed our response? Say 'what?" as per usual. We can see you pretending to hear us.
—You know that awkward feeling of not knowing how to join in? Imagine trying it with half your breath and a mouthful of sand. In a natural way, make a little space for us in the conversation at least once. Ask us a question or sumpin'. Otherwise, grin back when we grin. Etc.
—See, we are still HERE. Our minds work at normal speed, and we're probably keeping up with everything you say and do. We don't want extraordinary attention or effort, just the artful 5% adjustment, and only if necessary. If what we say isn't funny or interesting, all the usual applies. We want NORMALCY.
—We love to listen to you. With PD and MovDis, we became better listeners, better at feeling and thinking about you. Every moment is work, but we are also more alive to each moment. It's not sad, what we are now. It's a gift.