Parkinson’s disease: Mike Tindall’s dad on how symptoms appeared ‘I tried to ignore it’

Philip Tindall says he 'tried to ignore' his Parkinson's

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Mike Tindall’s father, Philip, would love to kick a ball around the garden with his grandchildren. But laden with an incurable illness, Philip has had to come to terms with his Parkinson’s diagnosis. It may have been around 20 years since the signs of the disease first emerged, but Philip and his wife, Linda, were made aware of Parkinson’s in 2003. “I ain’t [sic] bothered to read anything about it,” Philip admitted in a candid interview on BBC One. “I tried to ignore it, I think.”

Philip elaborated on his line of thought: “I’ve got an incurable condition, and it’s gradually going to get worse, and worse, and worse.”

The father to the 2003 World Cup champion said he was keen on “fitness and conditioning”.

“I wasn’t the one to drop the ball, I was the one to catch the ball,” he said. “And this was now not happening.”

Parkinson’s disease has caused Philip to “fumble things – and that isn’t me… I didn’t think it was me”.

“It’s me to a T now,” he reflected, comparing his body to a “dead weight”.

When asked about the future, Philip said he want to “feel like [he’s] contributing to something”.

He doesn’t want to viewed as a “lump in the corner, shaking in a chair”.

If there’s one thing he wishes for, it’s to kick a ball around with the grandchildren.

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“I miss the fact that I can’t [play ball] with the grandchildren, like I’d like to do… that’s what I really wish [for],” he said.

Parkinson’s disease

The charity Parkinson’s UK explained: “Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition.

Nerve cells that are responsible for making dopamine are lost over time; this leads to symptoms of the condition to appear.

There are three main symptoms of Parkinson’s: tremor, stiffness, and slowness of movement.

Other common signs of Parkinson’s include:

  • Mild memory and thinking problems
  • Depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Pain.

Linda, Philip’s wife, revealed that her husband normally sleeps during the day and is awake during the night.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are categorised as either motor or non-motor.

Motor symptoms

These symptoms affect movement, including:

  • Tremor
  • Rigidity
  • Slowness of movement
  • Falls and dizziness
  • Freezing
  • Muscle cramps and dystonia.

Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease do not affect movement, but can include issues with:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Skin and sweating
  • Eating, swallowing and saliva control
  • Speech and communication problems
  • Eye problems.

Mental health issues can develop due to Parkinson’s, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations and delusions.

Drug treatments, exercise, and therapies – such as physiotherapy – can help to manage symptoms of the condition.

If you have any questions about Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s UK offers a helpline on 0808 800 0303.

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