I was telling a friend, or rather I should say, I was having a good gripe about the "masking" effect of Parkinson's, and how at a dinner party recently, my face froze half way through the evening. I find it embarrassing, especially when I'm with people I don't know terribly well, who are unaware of this peculiar symptom. Once it happens there is little I can do to bring my face back to life.
My dear friend has a wonderful sense of humour, began to think of all sorts of ingenious, not to mention rather novel ways to solve this problem and cheer me up. We ended up laughing so much, my sides were aching from her very imaginative suggestions. One idea sounded like something from a masquerade ball; as she explained in great detail how to take a life size photo of myself smiling, affixing it to an elastic band making it into a mask, and hey presto you've covered the frozen expressionless face with a paper mask! A rather creative notion, but one that would probably leave me looking even more conspicuous, unless I was actually attending a masked ball, but then I would want to wear one of those fabulous beautiful sequinned masks, and no one would recognise me at all. Maybe there should be a masked ball for Parkinson's patients! When things are not going so well, and symptoms are getting worse, a sense of humour is the best way to deal with a situation that one can do little to change.If you have Parkinson's and know of a way to solve this problem, understandably only temporarily, please do write in. I'm sure there must be a facial exercise one can do when this happens to loosen up the frozen muscles, and likely I'm not the only one who has this problem and doesn't know if there's something one can do, to put on a happy face.
Keeping one's voice is another issue, and one which I am dealing with at present. I have written about this topic and what one can do in this week's article on The Huffington Post.