I am a Writer for ‘Parkinson’s Road’ global support community.
What follows is a form of activism. A poem to our Prime Minister, here in the UK, about ‘Personal Independence Psyments’ (PIP) for those with disabilities.
Dear Theresa May
This message is for you, Mrs. May.
I find myself wracked with disgust.
Your team’s letter arrived here today.
The contents are simply unjust.
Your Government must simply not know
Parkinson’s so far has no cure.
Many symptoms are hidden from show.
Each day is a trial to endure.
My Neurologist saw me last week.
He assessed my symptoms with skill.
Of sorrow and symptoms I did speak.
Examples of me being ill.
My partner joined the consultation.
Suffering to hear my despair.
Recounting with great trepidation
Of the night I fell down the stairs.
Your PIP team requires me to attend
An assessment where I must prove
That my symptoms are real, not pretend.
I struggle to function and move.
I may dribble and slur when I speak.
Sometimes I shake, tremor or freeze.
I may need an unexpected leak!
I may fall on my bum or knees.
I can sleep at the drop of a hat.
Yet not when I’m tucked in my bed.
Hellish migraines that hit like a bat.
Tears and vomit follow, plus meds.
I scuff my boots then I must buy more.
No longer can I prepare food.
Cups and plates that I drop on the floor.
Falls from bath and shower, while nude!
Confusion with my medication.
Unable to easily dress.
Repeated bouts of constipation.
My social life becoming less.
My backache and pains are relentless.
Now a beard for I cannot shave.
Reduced working, so now I earn less.
Occasional thoughts of my grave.
The shopping is too heavy to lift.
My clothes rip when I bump a wall.
Some relationships now have a rift.
Self-confidence becoming small.
When I write with a pen it’s unclear.
My voice often mumbles quiet.
Muscle tension and cramping severe.
Reflux no matter the diet.
I can’t drive far and I have to rest.
Restless legs incessant with shocks.
Use a grabber when reaching is best.
Sweating just while I put on socks.
This list is not exhaustive, by far.
Yet I’m finding myself perplexed.
For I find your PIP service bizarre.
Their need to see me leaves me vexed.
You see Parkinson’s only declines.
Each year I become less able.
PIP assessments waste resource and time.
This disease is real, not fable.
Degraded and judged is how I feel.
Forced to recount my ills once more.
Mrs. May won’t you tell them it’s real.
‘Your knowledge of Parkinson’s poor?
Known as ‘the nasty party’ you are.
In defence you’ll say “We spend more.”
PIP is how low you have set the bar
The disabled have to endure.
I will now close this poem of strife.
Within you, does a heart reside?
For those who in distress took their life.
End PIP re-assessment. Decide.
© Dean Parsons. February 2018.