Although I never wanted Parkinson’s, I am thankful for some of the things it has taught me.
I have learned to enjoy everyday, mundane activities. Those things in everyone’s day that they don’t think about, often stand out to me. I am able to rise easily from a chair, do laundry and cook dinner. I can drive to the grocery store when needed. Although household chores are not fun, I find joy in the fact that I can do them. I know all too well now that not everyone can do these things.
I have learned to take advantage of the times when I feel my best. Parkinson’s can be so unpredictable throughout the day that there are times when simple tasks become hard. You might find me chopping vegetables for dinner in the middle of the morning because I am feeling good in the morning and never know what the afternoon will bring. (It often brings tremors and fatigue). If it ends up being a good afternoon, then dinner is already prepped and I have extra time to enjoy something else.
I am learning to be a planner. I set early deadlines for myself. This can be puzzling to others…”why are you working on that now? You’ve got three weeks to get it done.” I don’t know how I am going to feel in three weeks, or even one week or even in one hour so if I can, I seize the moment and try to squeeze in as much as I can while the going is good.
I have learned to be more patient with myself. When the off times hit and I can’t type as fast as I want or get up the energy to clean the house, I allow myself the time to rest (something I have never been good at). I try not to feel guilty when someone else picks up the slack (usually this falls to my wonderful hubby). I try to wait patiently for my meds to kick in and for some sense of normalcy to return so that I can get back to life.
I have learned that I am strong. Adversity can knock you down and it can make you stronger. PD is a big adversity. It does knock me down sometimes but I get back up. Although I know that my future is likely full of knock downs, I pray that it is also full of getting back up.