The Winter Years
New Music Soon Come
Geoffrey Armes
About Parkinson’s
Geoffrey Armes - 2021-11-30 12:11:48+01:00

I was diagnosed in August 2020, although I’d been experiencing symptoms for a few years anterior, possibly as far back as my stroke in 2015…. At some point I found that I couldn’t play my own music (I just hadn’t practiced, surely) and riding the bike became noticeably more difficult (I was training wrong and getting older no big deal right? A sudden significant drop in form was normal, no? Train harder, harden up, don’t be comfortable, work).

Playing instruments became close to impossible as I lost control over very specific movements and capabilities born of and created by long hours of practice over many years.

By the time I needed to act Covid was a real issue in Berlin, a definite contributor to my hesitancy to get going. Eventually the mother of one of my students, a neurologist herself, after some observation of my movement packed me off to a practice that knew what it was doing, that in turn packed me off to a summer at various locations for appointments, tests, examinations and scans.

So there I was riding around on my green (single speed) bike like I owned the road and all my fitness thereof, fast and furious to every appointment like I was a fit cat, a cat who didn't really need to be visiting doctors with scanning machines and the like.

If I rode fast enough I'd beat them all into second place.

By August clearly it wasn’t to be, but relief in diagnosis was. I was validated. I wasn’t a whiner, I wasn’t fussing about unnecessary details or seeking to endorse some unknown laziness - I had - have - a real problem. And on offer were solutions that I greedily took. To date, drugs and physiotherapy.

A few months later, on a rainy day on a cold corner my physio told me “You have two super heroes on your side. The first is the drugs you take, the second is your will to exercise”. So I still ride the bike 100k weekly, even when it hurts and feels awkward. And I have been practicing daily, moving between piano and the guitars with the occasional visit to the percussion stand. I have created a lot of music, but more of that later.