Parkinson's Movement
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Just wondering if anyone else has had a problem when shopping.My husband has Parkinsons and he likes to have a glass of whiskey.When we went to the shops the other day I forgot to buy the whiskey so my hubbie went to the shelf and got it,went to the assistant to buy it and she refused to sell it to him until he showed her his PD card ,she thought he was drunk, as his speech is hard to understand and he has poor balance.He was very embarrassed and I went back to the store to complain as I felt he was treated unfairly,they didn't check first to see if he had a medical condition they,just assumed he was drunk.

16 Replies


it si v difficutl i knwo

i do not care if people think i am drunk

but my partner does!!

lol JIll



Hi Debbie,

This also happened to me a while back. I was on a train and the woman opposite told her young daughter not to speak to me as I was a drunk.


I must admit to thinking people drunk before thinking about other possible reasons for symptoms. I wonder if this would have happened if he had been tryng to buy eggs?

Parkinson's UK has a education team and they might be of help if you could engage the store in a conversation about Parkinson's. We had a driver with Parkinson's down here who was stopped by the police and breathalised after being reported by a store security man. We were able to get the education team in and forever after the store was happy to host collections for Parkinson's UK.

I also heard about a man who made a badge saying "Parkinson's not pissed!" after he'd got into a fight in a pub after a 'lurch' had caused him to spill somebody's beer. He wore it to the pub regularly (not in public).

I am sure many a diabetic has gome into a coma because of our assumptions.

I throw it open to the group, how can we help people realise that not all staggering, slurrng people are drunk?


Yes know what you mean get some peculiar looks from members of the public, thankfully I do not think my husband notices but I do and want to tell them what is wrong with him, but do not bring my husbands attention to it. It is so frustrating sometimes. But thats PD for you. Take care and try not to care what others think.


Ignorance borne out of a lack of knowledge


it is ignorance and sadly i admit i was until i was dx. i found myself explaining my shaking left hand when buying a bottle of wine to take to a friends for an early lunch. even went as far as explaining i would be driving so would not be drinking, this was when newly dx. now if i see anyone look at me i just explain i have pd.

why do we care what others think, the people i love and matter to me know and we laugh it off.


Carry a card reading:

"Slurred speech, postural instability, unseady gait and slow response are symptoms of alcohol impairment. They are also symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, which I have. You hear the hoofbeats and think it is the horse, but it is the zebra."


love it! I think I'll make me one of those signs!


I always tell people on bus etc I have PD & that meds made me kick them etc. Usually nice about it. Also PDF issues a card 'I am not intoxicated I have a PD etc" but haven't had to use it. Yet:D. Let you know if I do.


Personally speaking I dont give a Bugger what anyone thinks, and if they'd have refused to serve me I would have told them where to put it and gone somewhere else.

I have never heard of a PD card to show anyone proof of my PD.

I feel certain I dont have to prove anything to anyone.


If alcohol was not such an integral part of today's 'culture' perhaps there would not be so many drunks about - then if someone were to slur or stagger people might, rightly or wrongly, assume that they were ill! - unfair to drunks maybe? :-)


It could also be a symptom of low blood sugar in a diabetic. People usually assume it is an alcohol issue unfortunately.


Love the poem that Espo has for a card to carry, too bad it will not fit on a tee shirt. Because it says it all.

Personally I don't give hoot what other people think it just shows their ignorance. PD needs more press time, because most people do not know all the symptoms other than tremors. Education is the key.


I have thought about this when I have to drive some where, if a cop saw me when I get out of my truck or worse my wifes car he would have to stop me. I know I can't pass a field sobority test, then comes the question about driving. I do feel a bit self conscience when stumble and get off kilter. People do think of this as the "shaking" disease, how to explain there is so much more, so much worse.


I still drive and live down a tiny road where parking is tricky. I warned everyone that I am crap at parking when I moved in and they leave me quite a big space now!!!


I keep saying that humour is the only way to deal with PD. I live very near a supermarket but hate shopping when it is busy. The other night i decided to walk over; and on the way back at the crossing lights i stumbled a little. A passing drunk asked me if I needed help across the road! might have been convinced because I had a six pack under my arm!

I always tell the person at the checkout I have PD so they help packing and don't rush me when I am fumbling for change. Then I always thank them for their patience.

There is always on line shopping but I usually fall asleep doing that. I am cultivating being one of the town's eccentrics. There are may of us.


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