My world got smaller

my handwriting

my voice

my walk

my spirit

my balance

the space in the world I take up

It crept up on me — this slowness did

in micro increments

(those are big words for small and slow)

until it arrived with a name

And then it became BIG

and scary

and I didn’t want it

But now I had a face

a reason for the smallness

and so it became what it is

I may be smaller, slower

but I’m still me



Andy wrote this poem to help his young children understand the visible changes Parkinson’s was making to him. View the animated video of “Smaller” read by Andy’s daughter here:


Used by permission of the author.

Andy McDowell

Andy McDowell was diagnosed with early onset PD in December, 2009, aged 44.  His message is that whilst Parkinson's has ...more