The Hiss of Hope: A Voyage with Parkinson’s Towards an Intimate Autonomy

The diagnosis of a chronic illness can separate a person’s timeline into two spaces: the before and the after of the onset of the disease.

For author Meredith Oenning-Hodgson it is Parkinson’s Disease. The disease has been with her for 20 years. For the first few years the relationship between her and Parkinson’s remains moderate. But the symptoms gradually become worse. And the battle begins. Her psychoanalytic practice has to close. Patients are referred to colleagues. Her days and nights consist of dualistic power battles, of feelings of resignation, or of enduring the hours when her body freezes and she becomes a statue, at the mercy of Parkinson’s Disease.

Even though The Hiss of Hope is about living with a chronic disease, the book does not dwell on a life of suffering and desperation, but rather, it also depicts the adventure leading to places, to encounters and to depths of experience that would not have been possible without first having been ambushed by Parkinson’s.