Sunday, April 1, 2012

Do NOT Shave Your Nose (Especially If You Have Parkinson's Disease)!

It was only 1/8 of an inch long. A couple of millimeters at best. The single, tiny blond hair perched like a sentry defiantly guarding the outside of the right nostril. It might have remained unnoticed except for the microscopic glint that signaled its presence as I looked in the mirror on this unusually sunny April 1st morning. Not a major facial flaw, I concluded, but annoying nonetheless.

Even then, I would have ignored it were it not for the Gillette double-bladed razor I held in my never steady hand. I had just finished my weekly shave with a real blade (as opposed to my daily shave with the safer but inevitably inadequate and unwieldy electric shaver).  "Why not?", I said to myself as impulsiveness took over. So, in a moment of April fool wizardry, I sliced it off, condemning the objectionable little hair to join the rest of its lower facial comrades on their long journey down the drain, ultimately finding their common resting place in the septic field behind our home.

I had no intention of leaving a reminder of my impetuous little stroke, but the sharp little pain on the side of my nose gave testimony otherwise. Soon a pinhead-sized bubble of blood stood as a bold cenotaph to the fallen follicle-dweller. Significantly more noticeable, I was reminded that shaving can be a dangerous pursuit for people with Parkinson's.
For just a split second I had the brilliant idea of leaving the crimson reminder of my folly so that I might explain that April is Parkinson's Awareness month. It was only for a split second mind you, before I blotted away the tiny clot, concluding that no one who noticed it would recognize its connection with Parkinson's disease. Instead, most observers would likely feel sorry for me and wonder how in heaven’s name I had not noticed such obvious but inexplicable spot.

I will have to think of other less embarrassing methods for drawing attention to the challenges of Parkinson's disease. Maybe an around the world trip would do it!


  1. This made me laugh aloud. Injuries like that are common with my Parkinson's patient. The electric razor I bought him to avoid bloodshed has instead been taken apart and reassembly is now impossible. His face is often clownishly covered in bandaids after a session in front of the mirror.

  2. Claire;

    It makes me smile to know that you laughed. You made my day. Thanks.


  3. Dear Bob,

    Do you have a recommendation for a not-so-inadequate and more easily wielded electric razor for my husband, who also has PD?


    (I also giggled)