Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013 Sheryl Jedlinski
When one friend confides in another about a problem, the conversation often ends with, “At least you have your health.” But what about those of us who don’t? What is our bottom line when listing all that we are grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Things could be worse.
We don’t have to look long to find someone living with medical issues far worse than our own. Still, human nature being what it is, this doesn’t change how we feel about our own situation. Call it the “My big toe hurts more than your whole leg” syndrome.
Parkinson’s is not a death sentence unless you make it one.
As little as 35 years ago, people with Parkinson’s went downhill quickly and were “warehoused” in nursing homes for years until they died. Today, it is common for us to enjoy a good quality of life 10, 20 or even more years after diagnosis.
We have the power to slow our disease progression.
Parkinson’s is a progressive, incurable disease that, by definition, worsens over time. The good news is that each of us has the power to slow our disease progression with daily exercise, and it is never too late to start.
The cure is within reach.
“We are making progress (towards a cure) and the rate of that progress is accelerating every day,” said Dr. David Standaert, chairman of APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board, and Chair of Neurology at the University of Alabama – Birmingham. “The amount we’ve learned in the last five years about PD exceeds everything we knew from the previous 200 years.”
“Life is about learning to dance in the rain.”
The longer I live well with Parkinson’s disease, the more I find to be thankful for. While I would certainly prefer not to have this condition as my constant companion, I have made peace with it and refused to let it limit or define me. Along the way, I have found an inner strength I never knew I had, done things I never dreamed of doing, and made friends with people I would otherwise not have met. As I enjoy Thanksgiving fixin’s and the company of family and friends, I will celebrate all the good things in my life, which overshadow the fact that I have Parkinson’s.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours