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In Addition to a Cure for Parkinson’s, What Else Do We Really Want?

things

We all want something in life. We want to win the lottery or find our perfect mate. For those of us with a chronic illness, we’d be more than satisfied with a cure for our disease. 

Until we find a cure for Parkinsons’s disease, I’ve compiled a list of things that might help people with the disease to live with greater ease:

1. Some Parkinson’s patients would do anything to regain their sense of smell. It is a brighter day when we get a whiff of a rose’s fragrance or the aroma of garlic bread.

2. We want to feel good. I’m not merely referring to the absence of nausea, although that comes into play with all of the medications that can make us feel sick. We also want to feel positive about ourselves despite this disease taking so much from us.

3. We often feel that we have nothing left to offer, and we would like someone to remind us that we still have a purpose despite Parkinson’s.

4. I’ve heard of people with Parkinson’s whose family members or friends believed they were pretending to have the disease. Here’s what I say to them: “Don’t you think we have better things to do with our time than pretend to have an incurable disease?”

5. We want others to understand that although some of our symptoms can be hard to see, the disease is real. Our tremors, pain, lack of balance, and risk of falls are genuine.

6. Parkinson’s disease can be summed up as a loss of dopamine in the brain.

7. Our constant companion is this little monster, but we would like a reprieve from frequent shaking.

8. It would be fantastic if others were aware of the struggles and invisible symptoms that we live with so that they can fully understand the urgency of a cure.

9. It is common for people with Parkinson’s to experience sleepiness as a symptom and as a medication side effect. As a result, we can spend a good deal of our day sleeping. We also struggle to get a good night’s sleep. It can be a vicious cycle. We would love a treatment that doesn’t knock us out for half of the day but instead knocks out Parkinson’s.

10. Besides having a little plastic bat to bonk others over the head when they make thoughtless comments such as, “You don’t look like you have Parkinson’s disease,” a cure would also be welcome!

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post In Addition to a Cure for Parkinson’s, What Else Do We Really Want? appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Are You the Light in Someone’s Darkness?

Traveling through Parkinson's

I attend my boxing class twice a week. Regardless of whether she is having a good or not-so-good day, Kathy, another woman in my class, will be smiling. Not only will she be smiling, but she will be giving away words of encouragement. I often hear her thanking one of the coaches or the occasional volunteers for something they have done — not for her, necessarily, but for the entire class, like showing up for us.

It’s not that the rest of us aren’t thankful or don’t appreciate what is done for us, but Kathy goes a step further and thanks them — every time. She is illuminating the journey to being found.

What do I mean by that?

Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel introduced its fifth issue, titled “Lost,” by saying, “The word lost originates from the Old English losian, meaning to perish. While this collection features many narratives of loss, it also illuminates the journey to being found.”

Having Parkinson’s disease can feel like being lost. It can sometimes feel as if you are all alone, wandering by yourself on a journey of endless twists and turns, unable to see what is coming around the next bend. You feel like you are slowly fading from who you once were into someone you no longer recognize.

You may have once been calm, while now you are anxious. At one time, you may have been a great orator, whereas now you fret over holding a simple conversation with a friend. You may have won medals for being the fastest runner on your college track team, but now you don’t dare go anywhere without your cane to stabilize you.

It’s hard to come to terms with something like Parkinson’s disease, and it’s easy to feel lost and misplaced. To feel like you’re living someone else’s life and not the one you thought you’d be living. It’s hard to go around greeting people cheerfully while you’re dealing with a disease you’d rather not have. 

Let’s just say it, shall we? Let’s just be honest. Sometimes, we don’t just feel lost, we feel as if we are perishing faster than we’d hoped and in a manner we never dreamed of. But there were people who found us slumped over alongside the path we have found ourselves on with this disease. They sat down beside us, told us they’ve “been there, too,” and helped us get back up. They brought light to our dark world and showed us we can smile and be thankful once again.

Is there someone who is a light in your life? Someone who illuminated your path while you felt lost and alone? Pay it forward. Be a Kathy, a light in their darkness.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Are You the Light in Someone’s Darkness? appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

My Wedding Verse of Courage Can Be Our Parkinson’s Pep Talk

courage

I can’t believe that it’s been almost 39 years since I got married. July 4, 1980, was the day I obtained my independence. Sort of.

When the pastor was preparing for our wedding ceremony with my soon-to-be husband and me, he asked if we would like to include a particular biblical passage as our “life verse.” We chose some verses that were associated with bravery and courage (Deuteronomy 31:6-8). 

I don’t recall why we chose those specific verses over the thousands of others in the Bible instead of something like “love is kind.” Perhaps our youth had something to do with it.

We may not have given much thought to a “life verse” when we said “I do” 39 years ago, but the verse became just that during the many personal trials we went through over the years. One of these is Parkinson’s disease (PD). Certain life events require you to be brave whether you want to be or not.

It’s easy to tell someone to be brave; it’s another thing to have courage. I remember my granddaughter watching a movie with her “Boppa,” and he was pretending to be afraid. She asked him what was wrong and he replied, “I’m just not very brave right now.” She said, “Yes, Boppa, you are brave. You just don’t know it yet.”

Parkinson’s disease is a real enemy. At times we show fear and terror on our masked faces as we continue on our difficult journey. The verses we chose to guide us told us to be strong and courageous. They urged us to be calm and assured us of God’s presence.

Our wedding “life verse” was originally a pep talk given by Moses before going to battle. (Remember him? He was the guy who parted the Red Sea.) It was our pep talk when we got married; it can also be a pep talk for those of us with PD.

I still encounter enemies of various kinds (like Parkinson’s disease), but I’ve learned to be strong and courageous. It’s a lifelong lesson. We need a pep talk now and then to encourage us to face our struggle with courage. We go into battle with PD after defeating fear with the knowledge that we are not alone.

We can find words of wisdom everywhere that we can carry for life. You could even borrow mine — they’ve worked for me.

Following is my pep talk for those with PD:

  • Be strong. Be filled with courage. 
  • Do not be afraid and don’t be terrified.
  • Do not be discouraged.
  • You are never alone.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post My Wedding Verse of Courage Can Be Our Parkinson’s Pep Talk appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

In the Battle Against Parkinson’s Disease, Are You a Warrior or a Worrier?

warrior

A warrior is not a worrier. A worrier has no peace, is filled with anxiety, and frets over the smallest things. Worriers tend to be lacking in courage and a calm spirit. 

Warriors exude courage. They are brave in the midst of the battle. They are fighters determined to not merely survive but to thrive. Warriors choose to march forward despite the war raging around them.

Parkinson’s warriors have been to the battleground many times. 

They have fought grief over losing pieces of themselves to this disease. 

They have battled depression and struggled for their mental well-being. 

Fear is no stranger in their war, but they muster up the courage to overcome it. 

The enemy of control has gathered its forces against their muscles and nerves, causing them to flail about, become weak, and tremble. They do their best to take charge, using the weapons available: physical therapy, medications, exercising, deep brain stimulation, and more.

The skill with which they once used their fingers to write or paint, garden or fix things, and button and zip their clothes is vanishing, and they realize they may not recover their dexterity.

But they must carry on.

I must not allow this disease to steal my hope that drives me to carry on in the midst of pain and grief. And you mustn’t either. Hope allows us to put one foot in front of the other regardless of our fear of falling — it may even put a cane into our hands. It allows us to focus on the positive things that might be and those that could be. It wears blinders to block out fear and prevent it from taking our joy and peace.

We must not allow it to diminish our courage. 

Our battle is tough, and we may feel that we’re fighting this disease alone. Parkinson’s can leave you feeling isolated, which makes it more difficult to fight.

That’s why it is so important to go out and get involved in the Parkinson’s community. Join an exercise class for those with Parkinson’s. You will meet new people and feel better mentally and physically. Support groups online or in-person will help you to feel connected and provide you with a safe place to share your experiences. 

If you feel like you’re fighting a battle with Parkinson’s and could use some reinforcements, let me know. You can never have too many soldiers around you. We’re not supposed to fight this disease alone. I’ll be with you on the battlefield.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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Two Summer Reading Recommendations to Encourage and Inspire

scars

Sometimes we need to be encouraged in our journey with Parkinson’s disease. We become weary and find ourselves at the edge of despair. We feel like we’ve nothing left to give and life is losing its luster. What better way to dispel the gloom than to read an inspiring book?

I have recently read two books, one about chronic illness and another specifically about Parkinson’s. In their own ways, both evoke laughter, echo grief, and inspire that much-welcome, four-letter word, hope. 

Rush of Heaven” author Ema McKinley was doing a normal day’s work when her entire world turned upside down — literally. While climbing a mountain of boxes to replenish merchandise in the department of the store where she worked, she lost her footing. Ema hung upside down for almost three hours before being found.

Her journey is a difficult one, to say the least. It is a journey of endurance in a life filled with horrible pain, but also with joy. Her accident left Ema with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a severe burning pain that is usually brought on by trauma and tends to settle in one of the extremities. In Ema’s case, it affected most of her left side, neck, and back. She required the use of a wheelchair and permanently leaned at a 90-degree angle in an attempt to reduce the severity of the pain she was enduring.

Just when one condition would settle itself and bring some sort of reprieve, another would show itself. It seemed there would be no end to Emma’s suffering. As her situation became somewhat bleaker, Ema knew she had to “shift my focus from my situation to my destination. God didn’t just keep me alive so I could take up space. He had a purpose for me.”

Through her pain, she eventually did find purpose, one that leads her to encourage others because of her accident, her pain, and a miraculous encounter.

At home alone one Christmas Eve, Ema lies on the floor after falling out of her wheelchair. She fears this could be her last Christmas with her family. However, the One who has been faithful to her in the past will prove Himself faithful to her once again. (You’ll have to read the story — no spoilers.)

There are similarities between “Rush of Heaven” and “Dropping the P Bomb,” by Emma Lawton, but the two books are also very different. While Ema chronicles her journey as a narrative story, Emma’s book reads more like a series of short blog posts written over the course of the first year of her Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Whether taken from a diary or straight from her blog, her entries are honest, and she leaves herself vulnerable on the pages shared. The newly diagnosed would benefit greatly from her description of what that first year can really feel like.

With her dark sense of humor, Emma keeps things real, yet light, as she talks about her ups and downs in that first year, about sharing the news of her diagnosis with family and friends, and their reactions. She shares her struggles with acceptance, adjustments, and more. Emma was diagnosed in her late 20s, so this is a rare account of a young person with Parkinson’s. All the more reason to read “Dropping the P Bomb” this summer. 

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Two Summer Reading Recommendations to Encourage and Inspire appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

When Facing Darkness, We Must Fight to See the Light

scars

There are days when it feels like we are surrounded by darkness. We live with so many unanswered questions about this illness that it can frustrate us. We often are surprised by so many twists and turns. Sometimes we forget that we must endure and do battle with the dark before we can see or enjoy the light.

When we get swallowed up in the dark places of our disease — the despair, the hopelessness, discouragement, and the depression — it is crucial that we take an active role in fighting it. Sometimes we must face that darkness, take control, and do battle until we see the light. And the light is there. However, we need to be facing in the right direction. Sometimes plowing through the darkness first is the only way to reach that light, or at least get us going on the right path.

We often can become lost in our thinking.

We have told ourselves lie after lie that in order to have a happily ever after, we must always be heading west into the perfect sunset and riding upon an unblemished, white stallion. However, more than likely, Parkinson’s disease will not have that happy ending (if lived out to its fullest) that we’ve been taught to dream about. There will not be a white stallion to ride upon as we gallop away. More than likely, we’ll be plopped into a wheelchair, and if we’re lucky, raced around the halls of a nursing home by a caring, but fun, nursing attendant who, hopefully, has enough smarts to buckle us in first.

Grief over the loss created by this disease may be where you are dwelling right now. The loss of freedom or the ability to do what you used to be able to do. The loss of a loved one to this illness. The loss of a dream because of Parkinson’s. The loss of something tangible, real, and of value — the loss of life as you knew it before you found out you had Parkinson’s disease.

You may be experiencing denial or bargaining with God over this whole “mess.” Perhaps you’re in the pit of depression or feel angry about your current condition. Maybe you’re beginning to see some light in the form of acceptance. That acceptance can be something as small as agreeing to take a new pill in hopes of it working better than the old one. Perhaps you’ve been given the go-ahead for deep brain stimulation and decided to go for it. Maybe you’ve just bought a new shirt that you don’t have to fight to button. 

Wherever you’re at, don’t be afraid of the darkness that often seems to follow you and others with this disease. Face it fighting. Face it determined to win and expect to see the light. 

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post When Facing Darkness, We Must Fight to See the Light appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Shorts or Pants? Learning to Embrace Our Parkinson’s Scars

scars

Last week, I attended my boxing class. Temperatures were in the high 80s, and we knew we’d be sweating profusely by the end of the session. As we prepared for class, one member who wore shorts commented to another wearing pants, “You’re going to be hot with those pants on.”

She wasn’t suggesting that he remove his pants, but rather that he should have worn shorts. His reply, as he pulled up his pant leg to reveal a large Band-Aid, was, “I don’t wear shorts. I’ve got too many scars and bruises on my legs.”

I felt that I should hide behind one of the punching bags so that no one would see my glue gun burn scars, marks on my knees and elbows from falls, bruises from playing with my grandson and running into something, or being bonked by something else — and those were merely the ones I could recall off the top of my head.

Scars can tell a story.

They can tell tales of where you have been, of the things you have done, and of healing. 

Many of us have scars from our past that have healed, but we keep them covered so that we won’t have to explain where we got them. We might have scars from abuse or from battles we were forced to fight. Scars may come from physical injuries or mental or emotional wounds.

Scarring is a part of the natural healing process.

Sores, burns, and wounds leave behind marks of various sizes and shapes. Our scars are evidence of damage that has been repaired either within the skin or the body.

Those of us with Parkinson’s disease have scars inflicted by an illness that is continually attacking our bodies with intense pain and uncontrollable movements. We have struggled with depression, despair, and fear. These wounds run rampant and deep. They may not look as we expect them to appear, but they are still wounds nonetheless. They include signs of damage to our unsuspecting bodies, trauma that causes us to think the worst about our situation, and hurt that needs healing so that we can live well, to allow us to press on amid the fight through hope of better days to come.

Through hope we find healing.

Through hope, we find strength, peace, and contentment within ourselves. We no longer care what our scars look like because they are welcome reminders of the healing we have experienced on the inside. We don’t nurse fear and worry over what the next day may hold. Instead, we get ready in the morning and choose shorts — not because it’s hot, but because we can.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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Restless Legs Syndrome and Restlessness: A Bad Combination

sleep

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is common in Parkinson’s disease (PD). So, too, is restlessness. However, the two symptoms are not the same. When you experience both, and add discomfort to the equation, you have a very uncomfortable person dealing with PD.

I can relate so well.

I have walked the floor many nights trying to get my legs to stop twitching. Once my restless legs begin their midnight dance, there is little else that will calm them down. So, I walk around my living room, sometimes singing softly or praying.

Restlessness and RLS can keep you awake and fidgety, but they don’t affect you in the same way. Restlessness creates anxiousness, and vice versa. It can affect anyone, not just those who are already struggling with Parkinson’s.

Another lesser-known symptom accompanies Parkinson’s: being uncomfortable. I am not referring to a feeling of awkwardness but rather a state of being.

It’s when you’re unable to find a comfortable chair to sit in and then can’t get into a restful position in that chair. The same goes for sleeping. Your bed may be the one Goldilocks would have chosen, but you can’t seem to find that sweet spot for yourself.

My husband has told me that sometimes I look like a puppy dog circling its bed in an attempt to find the most comfortable position. Sometimes I feel like a puppy in that respect! Just when I have lain down and reached the elusive “comfortable” spot of sleep, I think I need to visit the bathroom again. Upon returning, the comfort game begins again, which I usually lose.

What worsens my discomfort? Too much sugar or caffeine close to bedtime is an example. This happened the other night. 

I had a large cup of Diet Coke for lunch that I sipped on the rest of the day. I hadn’t had Diet Coke in what seemed like forever, and that one drink reduced my usual nine hours of sleep to a few more than two. Sugar has been known to keep me awake all night. Having Parkinson’s disease, you try everything you can to ensure the best possible night’s sleep — or you pay for it the next day.

I have noticed that when I am on my computer just before going to bed, it takes me longer to fall asleep. My mind keeps buzzing. So, because I must charge my deep brain stimulator battery each night, I have started reading during that time. Reading tends to quiet my mind and gets me ready to fall asleep sooner and more easily. Going to bed at a regular bedtime also seems to help.

Several things can hinder our attempts to sleep well. We can change some of these things. If you’re having a tough time getting a good night’s sleep, talk to your doctor about it and try some of my tips. It’s worth a shot.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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Finding the Little Surprises in Life

Sherri Journeying Through Parkinson's

My youngest grandson is 4. He loves to do whatever we’re doing, whether it’s cooking with Grandpa, changing the oil in his dad’s truck, or planting seeds in the garden with me, Grammy. 

When he comes into the house, he almost immediately climbs onto the bar stool, ready to “mix stuff.” He mixes up anything he can get his hands on: flour, sugar, salt, oil, milk, or eggs. When he goes home, a sign of the day’s activities usually is stashed somewhere in our house. For example, after he left today, I was getting something out of the cupboard and found his cooking tongs sitting on a shelf in the pantry.

I love finding little surprises like that. They are little surprises that remind me where he had been or what he was doing. It made me think of how God leaves little surprises — little reminders — of what He is doing in our lives. 

For those of us living with a chronic illness, sometimes it can be difficult to see anything good happening in our lives.

We can often dread each day instead of looking forward to it with anticipation. When our day consists of trying to stay upright and being clearly understood, or dealing with relentless pain, it’s hard to find nice surprises awaiting us.

Living with Parkinson’s disease, sometimes it’s hard to see reminders of where God is working in our lives because often it can feel as though He isn’t working — the way we want Him too, anyhow.

We want to be nicely surprised that our medications are lasting longer and are working better. We want to be surprised that the exercises we just started are making a noticeable difference and are proving to be beneficial. We want the nutritional changes we have made to make us feel better. We want a cure. We want to be surprised with a miracle of being healed. 

When we fail to see anything much changing for the better in our lives, we eventually stop looking for anything better.

We tend to lose hope. And then one day, we open a cupboard door and see a yellow bottle of pills on the shelf and realize we forgot to take the last dose, which in turn makes us realize we went longer than usual before needing the next dose.

A nice surprise.

Another day, we notice we are jumping farther than we have ever jumped before in exercise class, and that is another nice surprise. We notice that the pain we were fighting last week has eased up some, and that is another very nice surprise. And suddenly, where we were once starting to feel defeated, we again have hope. All because our day was sprinkled with unexpected surprises. Surprises that God hid in the little places of our lives, in order to remind us that He’s still working — and He’s full of surprises.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Finding the Little Surprises in Life appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

You’re Not a Pack Mule: Release Your Burdens

Sherri Journeying Through Parkinson's

I was reading through some forums for Parkinson’s disease recently and came across one that was talking about stress. I am a fairly calm, even-keeled person who handles stress pretty well.

I thought so anyhow.

The woman who brought up the topic of stress said she had felt like her “meds were not working.” 

Check. That has been my story for the past week.

Then she had her regular Parkinson’s exam and found out she was actually doing quite well. Her movement disorder specialist, after further testing, said that this woman’s anxiety was what was making her feel “like crap.”

The other night, I had my boxing class. What started out well ended up badly — in my mind, anyhow. My meds wore off much too soon. They’ve been fizzling out at about the three-hour mark lately, but I was lacking coordination at only an hour and a half into my last dose. 

This isn’t good, I thought to myself, while punching out my frustrations on one of the jelly bags.

That night, I cried myself to sleep over all the things I had been worrying about lately. Most of these things will probably never happen, but try telling that to someone who is stuck in her head, and her head keeps telling her that they might happen. As I lay there, it became harder to breathe. My legs began to ache, and rigidity set in. It was a long night.

The next morning, my husband and I went for a walk at the mall. We stopped for coffee and had a heart-to-heart talk. All my worries began to pour out of me. And just when he and I thought that was it — that there was nothing more to say — there was plenty more. But you know how much better you can feel after a good cry, even if everyone sitting around you wonders why you’re blubbering at the table? You feel as if your burdens have been lifted.

Lifting something is raising it to a higher level, and the only higher level I know or put my hope in is God. I believe my burdens are raised to someone who can actually help. I pictured my husband unlocking the clasps that had held those burdens tightly to my back and saw God lift up and off what was weighing me down recently. The minute I felt my worries and cares leave, peace and calm settled back within me.

A woman who responded to the original forum post said something like, “Stress is our enemy [of Parkinson’s disease] and hope is our ally.”

How very true. 

Hope is here for today. For you. For me.

That heavy pack of burdens that is strapped to your back is not a permanent accessory for your journey with this disease.

Let it go. You were never meant to carry it alone. Let it be lifted up and off of you. 

Now, doesn’t that feel better?

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post You’re Not a Pack Mule: Release Your Burdens appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.