Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

Everyone has a story to tell, a life lesson to teach


By Sheryl Jedlinski

How long must some of us live with Parkinson’s disease before we accept, that for better or worse, the changes it brings to our lives are here to stay? Oh, I know, we think we have accepted the ways of our new lives, but when tested, we often discover that we give ourselves more credit than we deserve.

Take the day my husband and I went shopping for a kitchen set. We knew what we wanted in terms of size, fabric and price, but had not considered additional features necessitated by advancing Parkinson’s disease. Do the chairs have a stable base? Swivel and rocking chairs can trigger loss of balance and falls. Is the seat firm enough that I don’t end up in a sink hole that I can’t get out of on my own? How easy is it for me to push the chair away from the table on a tile floor?

Then our saleswoman hit a nerve. She looked at me and my walking sticks and asked if I might want to try sitting in a chair with arms. Have you ever found it helpful to get up from the table by pushing off the arms of a chair, she asked me. Ordinarily, I would have been put off by this invasion of my privacy, but I sensed her genuine compassion and empathy. As we each revealed a little bit more of ourselves to the other, I learned that she had been a massage therapist for 20 years, until fibromyalgia forced her to find another career. So many of us struggle to find ways of coming to terms with loss, both big and small, regardless of the cause. Each person we meet along our life journey has something to teach us, another puzzle piece to complete the picture, All we have to do is take the time to listen. I left the furniture store with much more than a new table and chairs.

7 comments on “Everyone has a story to tell, a life lesson to teach

  1. Larry Williams
    July 22, 2015

    This is all so true…good experience and positive message to share. So, did you get the chairs with arms? What a good idea! And so much more comfortable anyway!

  2. 100wickedwords
    July 23, 2015

    Another teachable moment for you. Your story is woven so beautifully, it’s an homage to your ability to say so much with so few words! Bravo.

  3. Angela Robb
    July 24, 2015

    Reblogged this on Fairfax City Parkinson's Support Group and commented:
    Great inspiration from Sheryl about how a unique encounter changed her perspective.

  4. nina bilenkin
    July 28, 2015

    Somehow you always manage to say what I think and feel but have hard time to express. Thank you for staying positive and your sense of humor. I am always looking forward to your emails.

    • mydancingintherain
      July 28, 2015

      Thank you for your kind words. Hearing from others that what I write helps them is what keeps Me going.

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2015 by in Coping Strategies, Family Life, Parkinson's Awareness, walking sticks.

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