Kaftans and Evolution

Happy New Year to all of my readers and thank you for following my Blog.

Lolling and Flailing:

The subject of ‘change’ is particularly salient for me right now.  I am unfit.  At 46 years of age, and hampered by having Parkinson’s Disease, I am somewhat unfit and not in my best shape.  I realised this in November, last year, when I found my daily struggle to get dressed was not only due to the manual dexterity problems caused by Parkinson’s.  It was also due to simply being too fat to pull my trousers on without a ridiculous battle that involves lolling and flailing on my bed while sucking in my stomach and fighting to button or zip my trousers!  This comic wrestling with what I had convinced myself were shrinking clothes had to end, or the effort involved each morning would inevitably kill me off before the Parkinson’s does!

Rude Truth:

I’m told my life expectancy, if I’m lucky, will be thirty years from when I was diagnosed last year; so I like to imagine that, without clothing battles, I still have twenty-nine years ahead.  The average life expectancy I can expect, if I’m not quite so lucky, is fifteen years following diagnosis, with the lowest expectancy, if my luck is particularly bad, being just seven years.  So, I need to increase my chance of having twenty-nine more years by removing clothing battles and the associated stress!  I need to improve my chances by having minimal stress and by being as fit as I can be.

I considered this and decided that the solution will either be a) Replace all of my clothes with kaftans ! or b) Lose weight and get fitter.


I’m sure this chap looks great in his kaftan, but it’s not exactly practical in rural, agricultural Suffolk in the cold of winter! (Disclaimer – Photo credited as shown on the picture).

I think my twenty-one year long relationship with my other half, would swiftly end if I start living in kaftans, so I have opted for option ‘b’.  It’s time to get fit and back into good shape.

I received a gift for Christmas; a ‘Fitbit Charge 2’.  This clever little device looks like a wrist-watch but, supported by an App on my iPhone, it keeps records of my progress.  It counts my daily steps, my heart rate, my sleep pattern, my water consumption, my calories, my activity levels and a whole host of motivating prompts and exercises to help me achieve my goals.  What I like, is that it keeps me self-aware and mindful of my daily choices.


The good news; I am now already 9lbs lighter now, than I was in November!  It’s working!

I will post more articles on what I am doing to shed my weight and regain as much health and fitness as I can.  If I can do it, anyone can.  My overall goal is to lose 3 stones in weight (for readers outside the UK, 14 pounds makes a stone).  The tricky part, when you have Parkinson’s, is that you cannot do things the way most people do and that every bit of energy you use, comes at a cost; sometimes severe pain, sometimes severe fatigue and many other consequences that all have to be carefully considered, managed and planned for.  This is exhausting, itself, before you even exercise.

Hairy Not Hipster:

The other recent evolution is my appearance.  I now struggle to shave without cutting myself.  Some days are okay, but some days I cannot raise my arms for long enough to complete a shave without cutting myself several times.  Sometimes, it simply takes me so long, that the fight is then against the clock.  I conceded that this, too, had to change in order to make life less of a stressy battle; so I now have a beard.   I feel liberated from an unnecessary grooming battle that I was losing.

Fashionistas say Hipsters are definitely no longer a cool look, so I will settle for just being hairier.


My advice in life, right now, is remove unnecessary stress.  Make life easier.  There’s already enough to struggle with, whether you have Parkinson’s or not.

Simplify everything.





2 thoughts on “Kaftans and Evolution

  1. makingsenseofthenonsensical

    Love this blog post! As life is ever changing, your subtle and humorous reminder about the ability to accommodate and adapt for overall health, happiness and success is relevant for everyone. Living with a neurodegenerative disease, the idea of sitting idly by waiting for progression and loss wasn’t for me, so I chose the two bird, one stone approach .. a supervised strength training program and ketogenic diet to address brain regeneration (or at least minimize cell death) and lose any excess weight that may hamper mobility. How empowering it is!! If it’s true what they say about a positive outlook not only improving our quality of life but extending longevity than there’s nothing to lose. Maybe you could’ve rocked the Kaftan … but I’m glad you’ll never know. BTW the beard looks great!!


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