“Our illness is often our healing.” Mooji
“Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.” Paulo Coelho
The Beginning of the Thought: I was at the driving range recently hitting golf balls. And this guy walks by wearing a T-shirt that said: “Always on, Never off.” It struck me as something that would fit a thought/description of my Parkinson’s. It came to me that maybe it could be a property of my Carbidopa/Levodopa, but in reality, its notorious for on-off periods. Nonetheless, the phrase was stuck in my brain; a few months later here it is still. Working on organizing my fall semester undergraduate course (actually, trying to solve a University computer-program access issue for the students to download lectures); this 4-word thought returned to the present.
“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” Tom Stoppard
Always, With Parkinson’s: I remain steadfast in trying to resist the stranglehold of this disorder. I keep hopeful and positive, which is definitely preferable to being dismal and negative. I refuse to give up, I may bend in the throes of this battle; however, there is still much to live for, much to work for, much to love for, and so I keep going. These words are simple, they remind me (us) what positive forces we have around us to bolster our effort. Alternatively, these short reinforcing phrases might simply make one smile.
ALWAYS, WITH PARKINSON’S
Always on, Never off.
Always up, Never down.
Always active, Never sedentary.
Always thinking, Never a dullard.
Always loving, Never hateful.
Always positive, Never negative.
Always hopeful, Never discouraged.
Always persistent, Never irresolute.
Always happy for today, Never resentful.
Life with Parkinson’s: Always on, Never off.
Words are made better with an image (click here to view/download picture).
Five Years In: I will celebrate my 65th birthday this week. This means I received my diagnosis 5 years ago, after a 2-year period of Physician-pondering to determine it was Parkinson’s, and the latest research would suggest I’ve had Parkinson’s for 20-something years (It just doesn’t ‘happen’ overnight). What does it mean? Still mad-as-hell, but thankful that it’s not ALS, Alzheimer’s, or Huntington’s; the relatives to Parkinson’s as neurodegenerative disorders. Like you, many new ‘issues’ occur with Parkinson’s, not that I didn’t have ‘issues’ before.
However, a line was drawn between my brain and the unwelcomed guest/pest named Parkinson’s; and like you, it’s a daily contest to see where that line is located. Some days, we’re at peace and at a safe-distance from one another. Other days, I feel like my guest has gained a foothold and is digging in to do some devious feat. While other days, it seems like I’ve got the upperhand [e.g., I played 18 holes of golf yesterday; okay, we called it ‘speed golf’ because we played and walked 18 holes in 3 hr and 20 min (started at 4:30 PM and finished at 7:50 PM)]. Thus, five years in knowing its Parkinson’s, I am trying my hardest to stay me. Grateful for so much, so many people and life-events. Life with Parkinson’s is not trivial; thus, I’m very thankful for all of the help/support by so many because it helps make my life’s journey manageable and very happy. And I hope all of you remain committed against your own unwelcomed guest. We are united by our disorder, stay hopeful, stay persistent, and please stay you.
“We are coming to understand health not as the absence of disease, but rather as the process by which individuals maintain their sense of coherence (i.e., sense that life is comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful) and ability to function in the face of changes in themselves and their relationships with their environment.” Aaron Antonovsky
Cover photo credit: http://www.lodiwine.com/?method=blog.blogDrilldown&blogEntryID=25506AE0-B194-3016-31C4-A0035FC0CE24&originalMarketingURL=blog/lodis-mediterranean-identity-reflected-by-huge-diversity-of-grapes