Chopsticks presented me with an amusing reminder of how Parkinson’s is going to become a significant part of my life this week. Here I was in the swanky new Nobu hotel in London for a work conference. It kicked off with a bento box lunch & miso soup, sat at a fairly tight for space conference table, amongst mostly strangers and armed with chopsticks and loaded with early onset Parkinson’s. Now for the most part my tremor is not visible but with an elevated stress level, it appears from nowhere. I did alright to disguise it and cope with the intricacies of using my chopsticks on a slippery and flaky black cod fillet ( a big hit on Nobu’s menu) – my answer…..down in one! Well that was pretty much my strategy, using the chopsticks as effiently as I could and minimising the number of pick ups I needed to do. I laughed at myself , because obviously I could picture what this may end up looking like …….a long chase for a prawn or piece of tuna sashimi with a overly shaky hand and then missing my mouth. A typical Englishman’s attempt to prove his exotic and well travelled self, insisting on using chopsticks with dogged determination. The obvious answer for me in the future – just ask for a spoon and be proud and done with it!
Chopsticks have been used for over 2000 years, they must be one of the not so clever inventions (or moreover it’s my cultural reliance on knife and fork 🙂) but man has become accomplished and highly adept at using them! Even catching flies with them….if your Mr Miyagi! Back to my point, the brain is an ingenious thing and I wonder if I can train my left hand to use chopsticks or shave or clean my teeth, whilst it is still relatively unimpaired from my Parkinson’s. At least I could then outmanoeuvre the symptoms in my right with medication and being ambidextrous……just a thought!