When award-winning videographer Paul Wing received a life-altering diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, he was forced to stop doing the work that defined and fuelled him.
His life was dramatically altered. The complex brain disease affects every aspect of his life, from his movement and mobility, to his eating and memory. He and Cathy, his wife of 40 years, were accustomed to planning ahead for activities and gatherings. Not any more. Now they live with the unpredictable nature of his symptoms.
“We just have to live moment by moment,” says Paul. “Parkinson’s is an isolating disease. Covid magnifies the isolation, so we make an extra effort to get out and connect with others.”
A big part of that connection involves strengthening his weakened voice. “My voice is deteriorating. I have to learn to shout more. But with Covid, wearing a mask over my mouth doesn’t help communication. The person I’m speaking with can’t see my mouth when my voice is muffled. That’s pretty frustrating,” he explains.
He and Cathy work together consciously, proactively every day. They fill their days with distractions and interactions, including online yoga, virtual dinners and safely distanced patio visits with a close circle of friends.
“We try to have some kind of routine, like regular exercise and working on Paul’s voice. We also try to see people as much as possible. I think the social contact is so important for mental well-being,” Cathy adds.
Paul and Cathy are managing an isolating disease during an isolating time. Their practical strategies can help others cope in their insular bubbles.