Allies Against Parkinson’s

“Resilience is not what happens to you. It’s how you react to, respond to, and recover from what happens to you.” Jeffrey Gitomer

“Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.” Yasmin Mogahed

Introduction: Several years ago, someone gave me or sent me a drawing of an iceberg and what symptoms of Parkinson’s are usually visible to others. Most people see it as simply only tremors and that drawing I re-discovered a few days ago. And I began pondering how to write it, tell the story that I’d own up to with this blog post. The idea of “Allies Against Parkinson’s” just came to my mind. What follows is something simple, short, and directly applicable to all of us with Parkinson’s.

“The best antidote to stress is resilience… having the ability to respond to change or adversity proactively and resourcefully.” Lauren Mackler

Icebergs: The U.S. Geological Survey describes “A glacier is a large, perennial accumulation of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originates on land and moves down slope under the influence of its own weight and gravity.” And an iceberg is “a large floating mass of ice detached from a glacier.”

What makes them so dangerous to ships in the open waters? Over 90% of an iceberg’s volume (and mass) is underwater and is not visible from above water. Why is that? As told by the Physics of Everyday Stuff “What determines whether something sinks or floats, and, if it floats, how much of it remains above the surface? This is the question of buoyancy, which is governed by a simple principle that Archimedes figured out, supposedly while taking a bath, after which he made his famous shout ‘Eureka!’.” You can read all about yourself at “Physics of Everyday Stuff” (just click here).

“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” Helen Keller

Icebergs versus Parkinson’s: The analogy is somewhat simple and hopefully believable. Consider that only a few of the many symptoms of Parkinson’s are typically seen by other people. Looking at you/me is somewhat similar to only 10% of an iceberg is visible and above the water. Furthermore, this suggests that most of the symptoms expressed by a person-with-Parkinson’s are usually not seen by others, but you feel them; likewise, 90% of the iceberg is below water and not easily seen.

“Resilience is based on compassion for ourselves as well as compassion for others” Sharon Salzberg

Allies Against Parkinson’s (PD): Dealing and managing the many different symptoms of Parkinson’s will be a life-long issue. We have all heard it before, but we might have ten different lists if we had 10 PwP together and shared our specific set of symptoms (Motor- and Non-Motor-related). We are united by our Parkinson’s, yet our common bonds weave out differently, and the pattern of weave may even change over time.

We are united because how we respond to our symptoms, how we support one another brings us all together, speaks the same language, and shares our common links because we have Parkinson’s. We can respond the same way because many of these varied symptoms can be made better-stronger by taking action. Well, I think this is true.

What follows are 4 images describing the idea of Allies Against Parkinson’s or AAPD.
Image #1 introduces the concept of the iceberg compared to Parkinson’s;
Image #2 is the requisite brief introduction of Parkinson’s (to anyone new here);
Image #3 (the key picture) shows the iceberg and PD symptoms, and the list of 8 ways (they are our ‘allies’) to fight back and attempt to resist the progression of our PD symptoms. No, it’s neither rocket science nor a cure, it’s just an approach to live your life to help deal with your disorder:
•Image #4 is a repeat of the 8 parts of AAPD accompanied by a supportive quote.

I think every day about Parkinson’s, mine and yours. We are all allies, alone but all-together. May these simple suggestions help you smile tomorrow, think of something fun to do with your children/grandchildren/partner-spouse, and make that tremor stop on command. If any of this helps, I am happy for you. If we need to add to the list of AAPD, send me your suggestions, this is just the start of different ways to help us live better-stronger with our Parkinson’s.

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” Elizabeth Edwards

Cover Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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