For whom?

Walking with Bart Derkx makes me strong!

Ferdinand (79)

‘The moment I heard that I suffer Parkinson disease was a real shock to me. It happened to me ten years ago and I was relatively young. I needed allies and that’s why Derkx’ Parkinson group at Tuesday is so important to me since that day. We face the same disease and we have common exercises. Those are people that really care for each other. Real allies. And no one is ashamed’, Ferdinand tells. He attends the group especially for the walking exercises that keep him independent at home.

For the appointment with Derkx he comes into the garden with his walking stick. Step by step, little by little. He looks fragile, but resolute: he must succeed! That drive will keep him away from a wheel chair. Being able to walk as long as possible fits to his way of life and keeps up his self esteem. His partner feels the same way too. But Ferdinand is ambitious, sometimes too ambitious. He seeks the boundaries of his possibilities, but at the same time he risks falling down, because he fatigues himself. Derkx asks him as a critical friend: ‘Is doing everything you want worth the risk?’ In the conversation Derkx tries to help Ferdinand estimate the physical (im)possiblities. ‘Derkx is important to me’, Ferdinand says, ‘In the first place just by being there! Walking with Bart Derkx makes me strong! Then I can do anything, it seems. He gives me tips how to walk the best way for me. Sometimes he thinks I walk too fast. He advises me to focus my attention first and to wait moving till I have focused. He also says to hold on at transitions in the path. Off course I take his advise for granted, but it’s fatigueing for me to have these advises permanently in mind. I continuously remind myself: ‘Don’t fall! Don’t fall! That makes me tired.’ 

In his treatment Bart Derkx helps Ferdinand to keep him on the move and to find solutions for the situations Fedinand stucks. He advises to wait with the aids of a walker and a wheel chair as long as possible. Being on the move will strengthen Ferdinand also mentally. But if necessary Ferdinand takes his bicycle or his car. At the end of the walk through the huge garden Ferdinand turns carefully the way Derkx learnt him, to say goodbye. Derkx looks satisfied. His lessons are applied.