Someone asked me recently what it’s like living with Parkinson’s, particularly given that I’m not taking any medication. After thinking about it for a moment, one word popped into my mind. Unsettling!
Living with Parkinson’s is unsettling. Given the almost nonstop trembling, loss of balance and loss of dexterity in my left hand, not to mention both the awareness and realization that this is a progressive condition, it’s definitely unsettling. But then I have to remind myself that rather than being symptoms of a so called ‘disease without cure,’ they are all just manifestations of an internal body chemistry that is out of order … and this can be corrected.
It’s also at times frustrating, tiresome and scary, which is why it’s so important to accept the situation and live in the present moment. I don’t ask, “Why me?” or spend time fretting over what I might have done differently … like not drink so much. Rather, I devote my time and energy trying to figure out how to heal myself and help others.
Having said that, it can definitely be frustrating doing up zippers, typing or doing anything that involves my left hand. Even taking my wallet out of my pants can be a chore. And it’s not because I’m cheap!
Out in public, I feel a little bit conscious of the trembling, so I’ll hold my hands in such a way as to minimize it. It’s also a challenge standing in line … like at the bank … with my balance, or imbalance as it were, being what it is. I also worry that one day the gas station attendant is going to call the police on me when he sees me fumbling around with my wallet, while staggering all over the place trying to fill up the tank (I exaggerate!).
It’s little bit sad that I had to sell my motorcycle and I can no longer play the guitar or mandolin, but in the meantime, I still get to do lots of things I love, like teach martial arts, blog, go for my morning walks, hang out with my kids and spend time with Mari. Besides, I hold the belief that I will be able to play the guitar again some day!
I also hold the belief that all experiences, good or unpleasant, are simply part of the flow of life and the best way to deal with any situation is with a good attitude (somebody remind me of this the next time I’m stuck in traffic!) and a healthy dose of optimism. And if ever I feel myself getting down, I’ll just watch an episode of Modern Family. Nothing so healing as a half an hour of laughter.
Have an awesomely settling day!