Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
Graphics by Jean Burns
Sometimes we get so caught up in our own daily challenges, that we lose sight of all there is to be thankful for. So, this Thanksgiving I’ve put my own Top 10 list on paper. I hope it will inspire you to count your blessings as well.
I am grateful that:
• If I have to have an incurable neurological disease, at least I have the best one. With its slow progression, effective symptomatic treatments, and active search for a cure, PD is certainly preferable to ALS or an inoperable, malignant brain tumor.
• Researchers believe the cure for PD is likely to be only 5 – 10 years down the road… Of course that’s what I was told when diagnosed almost 15 years ago. Someone’s crystal ball is a bit foggy… nothing that can’t be fixed with a little glass cleaner.
• I have held on to my dream that one day when I greet my neurologist with my usual opening question: “Found a cure for me yet?” she will say yes!
• Any time something bad happens to me I can blame it on Parkinson’s. How else would I account for dropping my i-phone in a pedicure tub?
• My “shakiness” gives me good reason to avoid things I never liked anyway, like buffets, potato sack races, musical chairs, and hula hoop competitions.
• Having Parkinson’s has given new purpose to my life, allowing me to use my writing skills to “give back” to the PD community as a thank you for all I have received on my own journey with this disease.
• I have made so many amazing friends all over the country during my journey with PD… people whose lives would not otherwise have intersected with mine. We may not agree on all the issues of the day, but we’re always there for each other when the going gets tough and when simple daily challenges overwhelm us. In the case of the latter we regularly help each other dress by clasping jewelry, tying shoes, and zipping coats.
• My friends who do not have Parkinson’s are patient when I am slow, shuffle the bridge cards for me without drawing attention to it, offer to drive me wherever we’re going, and never make me feel like I’m a burden
• I have the unwavering support and encouragement of family, who make me feel that there is nothing I cannot overcome.
• I was born in a land of plenty and of tremendous opportunity. It is up to each of us as individuals to use these gifts to leave the world a better place because we “shuffled” around it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!