Fun with hallucinations and other weird Parkinson’s symptoms


I’ll go first.

I recently read an article on hallucinations in Parkinson’s patients, prompting me to revisit that strange and unanticipated phenomenon, which I discussed in my very first blogpost, titled Creepy-crawlies Under My Skin and published on April 23, 2022.

Here’s what I said then:

Imagine there are bugs under your skin and they’re crawling around ALL THE TIME. Another way to think of it is it’s as if someone is tickling you beneath the skin.”  

Starting a few years ago, I would see things when I went into the bathroom during the night  And the things were…insects, crawling all over my bras, which were swaying on the towel  rack.  The bows on the bras transformed into grasshopper-like critters,  or sometimes I thought of them as tiny fairies, celebrating some special occasion as they cavorted through my undergarments. No other objects in the bathroom moved of their own accord, but I must have been convinced of the insects’ existence because one particularly buggy night, I found some insect spray and gave them a good soaking, I awoke the next morning no closer to the truth, finding only my damp lingerie.  

Then I decided to document the wildlife that had invaded my bathroom, and attempted to film their little ballet.  I’d set up my phone’s camera and tear into the room but as soon as I drew close to the action, it stopped.  So, believe it or not, I never did get a decent snap of my entomological visitors partying the night away.

You’re no doubt wondering why I didn’t check myself into a psychiatric hospital after the spraying and documenting.  Wasn’t I worried about the fact that I’D DOUSED MY UNDERWEAR IN BUG SPRAY?  OR TRIED TO FILM MY DANCING BRAS?  I think about that too.  What was going through my mind as I accepted as real these chimera that had “invaded” my home?  Your guess is as good as mine.

In case you’re wondering, now that I’m on carbi-dopa leva-dopa,  I’m no longer entertained by those nocturnal creepy invaders, though the bras do seem to continue their swaying movements on occasion. 

I told my hairdresser about the insects I was certain I’d laid my very own eyes on, and she responded with the tale of her uncle with Parkinson’s who had, against his family’s wishes, insisted on calling the exterminator to rid his home of an insect infestation. Of course, neither in my case nor his, had the creatures been living beings. But to both of us, they were a pestilence that needed to be eliminated.

And now I’m seeing “ghosts” on a fairly regular basis, as if M. Night Shyamalan were seated in a director’s chair in my brain, except he never yells “Cut!” These phantasms are mere suggestions of people and animals, a hazy Dickens-era schoolboy here (yes, they’re often in period costume), an adorable cocker spaniel there. Unlike my first visitation ( see bugs on bras, above), I’ve never, ever thought them real. They provoke neither laughter nor fright. They’re just, for a fleeting moment…benignly there.

There’s also the movement of inanimate objects. The carpet appears to rise off the floor, the bath mat ripples into waves. The most dramatic and seemingly real vision was the twisting of a doorknob, accompanied by the sound of metal( doorknob) on metal (closet door). It was so real I got up to check if perhaps the cat had gotten into the closet and managed to twist the knob from behind. True fact: I have seen the actual cat come pretty close to turning the actual doorknob.

Another Parkinson’s symptom to which I fell prey, and that would be a premier contender for weirdest symptom of this very weird disease is the acting out of events that occur In dreams. Why else would I “dive” into a swimming pool -actually off the bed and onto the floor. Or leap for an invisible basketball and again end up next to my bed, this time laughing as if this were a perfectly-timed joke by (insert name of favorite comedian here). I’ll leave to your imagination the details surrounding the toilet dream.

Last but not least was “the poke!” I was reading on the couch when I felt a finger poke me on the arm. I looked to that side and saw … nothing. No ghostly apparition. No doorknob, no dream-like basketball. Just… the poke.

I imagine further Parkinsonian adventures await.  I won’t say I’m eager to encounter them, because I’m not.  But if they’re neither painful, frightening or otherwise unpleasant, I don’t think I’ll mind.

Now it’s your turn! Send me your weird, little-known, unexpected symptoms, of Parkinson’s or some other condition/ disease, and I’ll include them in a future post (anonymously unless you tell me otherwise). You can post your story directly in the blog or email me at

Sweet dreams!


The Mindy Project

By far my new favorite show. Mindy Kaling and company lead me off to dreamland every night with a smile on my face and a hug in my heart. I don’t really know what that means, except it is definitely feel-good TV. Mindy is confident, competent where she needs to be, charming and downright adorable.

And don’t get me started on Chris Messina.

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