Imagine Yourself Then, Imagine Yourself Now With Parkinson’s

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Winston S. Churchill

Imagine yourself then, imagine yourself now. What are the differences?
I remember more energy,  better agility, less stiffness, more resilience.
I used to love to take naps, now I need to take naps more frequently.
Sleep used to be a luxury, now it’s an absolute necessity.

The way it was, the way it is, do they feel the same?
The changes have been subtle, but progressively subtle.
Little things happen/evolve from your fingertips and spread to your hand, your arm.
Life movements are slower now, not that they were ever fast.
The tremor I have is essential, it’s still a tremor.

The way life was yesterday and the way life is today, can you remember yesterday?
Life was and still is an aggregate composite of events.
Cognitive function remains strong, for what that’s worth.
Life still functions; a certain familial stubbornness sustains me and drives me forward.

Exercise and the warmth have always been crucial to my life, now they are absolute necessities for survival.
Today it was 80°, and I felt younger and more fluid in movement.

Research and teaching have always been my wonderful work rewards, now they are essential to my longevity.

I now take about 22 pills a day, I used to take ibuprofen when needed.
There used to be days when I could easily run 5 miles, now when I play golf I ride in a golf cart to conserve energy and dopamine, but it lets me enjoy the golf game.

Imagine yourself then, imagine yourself now with Parkinson’s. What are the differences?
Life was good back then, life is still good.
The strength and resilience of friendships then was ever present, and now this is even more important.
The bonds in love before were strong but now even more crucial to augment survival.

The life goal has always been simple: thrive not survive; work hard and don’t complain; strive to excel and learn from your failures; compete hard and fair but have fun; when you fall down get back up; love your friends and family and always support them; stay positive and don’t dwell on the negative; and never give up, never ever give up.

Today those simple phrases mean staying alive, staying focused and working hard to resist the progressive nature of Parkinson’s.
If you have Parkinson’s or any disorder that’s chronic and progressive by nature, then you know how I feel.
Life is still good, life is still strong, but you can feel the accumulating change.
You can detect the subtle nuance of disorder approaching.

Yet, life remains good and strong.
I am still here, and you’re still here.
We both have a lot yet to offer.
Stay strong, stay hopeful, and stay you.
Stay active, stay alive, and stay positive.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr. Seuss

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss

*Cover photo credit:

10 Replies to “Imagine Yourself Then, Imagine Yourself Now With Parkinson’s”

  1. That was beautiful. So thoughtful and inspired. Thank you!!!!!! I do hope to get to NC in the next couple of months. And please keep writing!
    Much love, Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember waaaay back when I first came to NC. You and I walked from lab down to Franklin street one day. I guess I was walking like a Yankee… too fast!! You taught me the fine art of “sauntering” on that steamy Carolina day. This post it brought me right back to that stroll and it seems your advice is still beneficial today. Keep sauntering!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was so wonderfully written! Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your journey. My former partner and present great friend was also diagnosed with PD, 2 years ago at age 55 so I’ve seen it from two perspectives. Funny, I was just talking about you yesterday – I found myself in a basic science research lab and it took me back! Turns out, the guy whose lab I was in also did neutrophil chemotaxis research back in the day. Small world!


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