Three years ago today I heard those words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease.” If you had told me then that in three years I would be healthier, stronger, and more confident, I would not have believed you. That day, I believed it was all going to be downhill from there. There have definitely been some challenges but everyone has challenges and I have to remember that sometimes, life’s challenges are just a normal part of life and getting older. After all, I’m not 20 anymore.
PD or Normal Life?
If you have been diagnosed with something serious like PD, you may tend to blame everything on your disease. I know that I do this on a regular basis.
My stiff and achy joints must be a result of PD and not the fact that I just spent hours at the gym working really hard… and I’m not 20 anymore.
My need to grab glasses to read on a regular basis must be PD affecting my eyes and not the fact that all my friends without PD are doing the same thing…and I’m not 20 anymore.
My croaky voice must be my dopamine stores depleting and not the fact that I just spent the last hour or so coaching a Rock Steady class trying to make my voice heard above the music and other shenanigans.
My forgetting why I walked into the kitchen must be Parkinson’s cognitive decline rearing its ugly head and not the fact that I’m not 20 anymore…or 30…or 40… or even 50.
I notice when my non-PD friends and family have these same issues and I have to remember, this is just part of life and not necessarily PD. I can remember this better when I am well rested. This year, I have learned the importance of rest. I work really hard at staying healthy. Life can fill up fast with hours at the gym, multiple doctor’s appointments, studying the latest research, trying to eat healthy. When I go at full speed and don’t take down time, I feel it in my body, mind and soul. I hear the whisper of PD telling me that it is still there and it has me and I better not get too confident because if I do, it will blindside me at its first opportunity. When I am well rested, I can face the real PD challenges easier. They are not as daunting. And that makes life easier.
Now, I think I’ll go put my feet up and maybe take a nap…oh no, is my PD making me tired or is it that I’m not 20 anymore?