The Frozen Man- Go to the Mirror

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
-Eckhart Tolle

When I wrote ‘Private Tremors of the Frozen Man’, I introduced a litany of symptoms prevalent to Parkinson’s disease that most people didn’t know or realized were just as prominent as a tremor in the hand. As time goes on, I discover new symptoms, some I experience and other I may or may not ever play host to. All in all, it’s an education for me and a vicarious one for you, the reader. As I’ve often said, when I was diagnosed back in October of 2012, I didn’t know anything about Parkinson’s except for the handshakes. Now I can see someone on the street and pretty much can tell if they have Parkinson’s or not.

A question I’ve been asked is why do I use the term the Frozen Man? One reason is all these symptoms in Parkinson’s cause a slowing down in the movements of the body, a subtle lowering in temperature you can say. Second, there is a symptom called Freezing in PD where I could be walking and my feet all of a sudden seem to freeze in place as though they were being held down, causing me to fall over.

But what I’m referring to, to a greater extent is a lack of any facial expressions which include body movements with regards to being happy or sad, showing excitement of any kind. Just a blank look. It’s hard to convey that on the outside but on the inside I run the whole gamut of emotions as anyone else, they just don’t appear or show signs of assimilation to my physical self.

So I look in the mirror at this blank face, trying to learn emotions, figuring out who’s in there that can’t seem to project outward in any form, not for lack of trying. In lieu of this silence, it is my words that scream out, joined together to create a narrative of me. Maybe this silence of physical expression is a good thing, a humbling act, a gift from Odin at the Halls of Valhalla in the frozen north.

So it is my words, rich or poor as they may seem, that is the only thing that breaks through the ice of the Frozen Man.


*Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Author: JC

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in October of 2012. These are my writings of life and love after the fall but during a time of deep creativity either because or in spite of my illness... Peace and Love... JC

21 thoughts on “The Frozen Man- Go to the Mirror”

  1. I always learn so much from your posts.
    I suppose it’s from my family upbringing, but also my personality, I have a hard time expressing my emotions to others. People describe me as calm, level-headed, even stoic. And they have no idea how turbulent things might be inside me.
    But this is by choice, of course. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be physically unable to show emotion, even so much as a smile.
    Thank you for giving me so much to think about.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you know of what I speak. I’ve always been an introvert but this just amplified it. And yes the turbulence going on inside while the waters are calm outside. The funny thing is if I raise my voice, everyone wonders what is wrong with him. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In touching other peoples souls you get touched by them, and this is like a net of wishing well all over the world, and our souls can heal and eventually become again what they are really meant to be … thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff, your post goes straight to the heart, how can it not. You are so quietly open with us and give a look into your division between burning inside and still outside. A daily conflict to accept.
    What about your voice, your eyes – they must be able to carry the message of humour, love and a range of other emotions?

    The blessing of being given the gift to communicate in writing gives you a chance to express all that facial expressions might not. And surely you can manage a sweet smile. 😊 . Surely old Odin can’t be responsible? I will have a word with him as I go overr there in a few days.
    I saw there was music back, thank you. Went in to read also the lyrics. A very strong song. As to Eckhardt Tolle, he writes with such clarity and stillness, I always find comfort in his books.
    Bless and practice a wink 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam, don’t be too alarmed about Odin, he just showed me it was cool to be cold, even though I’d rather the beach. Every day I’m thankful for my love of words for they will always provide for me as they have introduced me to so many people I know call friends. I’ve never been much of a winker but I’ll try. Thank you for your good wishes and kind words.


  4. JC, through your posts I am learning a bit more about Parkinson’s but I still feel humbled by your courage, every day, every step and the courage to write openly here. Your words will touch everyone who reads your post, we all learn a bit more, yes, about the this terrible illness but also so much more about you the man, your spirit, gentle humour…as always your words have me thinking, reflecting deeply and profoundly. How much of us is our outer facial expressions…yes, a lot but then I read again and what moves me, gets me to know more about you are your words! A gift indeed – thank you for sharing here! As you look in that mirror I bet your forgot to mention the glint in your eye…it sure comes across in your writing! 😀😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Annika. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my post and am glad it leaves you with something to take home. Now, i don’t know about the glint in my eye, never been told that. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You may feel like a frozen man on the outside, but reading your philosophical and tender posts, I sense someone who isn’t frozen on the inside. There’s an abundance of warmth and sensitivity which I’ve experienced through your articles and comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for writing honestly about what you are experiencing. It has helped me relate to and understand my patients with Parkinson’s on a different level. Textbook is one thing. It is completely different to see it through the eyes of someone living it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, for, in the end, I write this for other Parkies and doctors so they will know more about symptoms. For all our communications, there still is a lack of it in Parkinson’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I watched a video back in the 80s about a drug addict who injected himself with a designer drug that caused instant Parkinson’s. It was called The Frozen Addict. Very informative for someone like myself who knew nothing about the condition. It affected me deeply because I was living in a desert farming community that used extensive crop dusting. My wife and I were having neurological complaints and suspected it was caused by the pesticides. The video was the first solid piece of info we had about the damage that exposure to modern pollutants can cause. We left the area too late. My kids developed seizures and my wife and I came down with chronic autoimmune disorders. We’ve suffered with it for nearly 30 years. I can honestly say I feel for you.

    I found links to the video and the paper the it was based on, but only a reference, not the actual material. If you get a chance to track them down, I wonder if they might be of interest? video on PBS WGBH Nova Book on Google Books


    1. Thanks, I will definitely look into this. When I was diagnosed in 2012 with Parkinson’s, one of the first things my neurologist asked was if I’d been around pesticides. He said the evidence is pretty substantial that pesticides do cause Parkinson’s and other cognitive diseases. I feel for you and your family, it’s tough enough to have Parkinson’s and cognitive issues but it’s something when it’s because of negligence on the part of companies and factories letting pesticides into the water and air. This whole thing is why I write, it helps me make sense of it all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find your writing inspirational. Chronic conditions create a place where we need to fight the helplessness with strength. Parkinson’s is debilitating. I met one person in advanced stage who could barely talk or move. In his eyes I could see he was totally aware and we had a good conversation. It changed how I look at life.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it’s weird because you don’t think about it until someone says something then you realize you’re freezing up. It takes a lot of awareness.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for helping me discover this space…full of self-healing ( loved that song..touch me heal me..) Words do have that amazing power of healing. Keep sharing your thoughts and emotions dear friend, it is so cathartic! Stay blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

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