I received an email from someone concerned that they may be in the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). I have met others who have PD, but not someone in the throes of wondering if their symptoms indeed result from Parkinson’s disease.
I can’t stop thinking about them because the email takes me back to my diagnosis, to the days of wondering what was going on inside and outside of me. I can relate so well, and I can understand all too well.
They are scared, wondering if they have Parkinson’s. I can look back and see myself where this person is now — scared, uncertain, and desperate. I can now see that although the future is still uncertain, I have been blessed with a wonderful doctor, the support of friends and family, and more than anything, the opportunity to encourage others with empathy.
I was not able to see those things at first. Fear took away everything good in my present and future and left hopelessness.
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Isn’t the future uncertain for each of us, whether we have been diagnosed with a disease or not? None of us know how the end will turn out or if tonight will be the last time we will tuck our babies into bed.
I recall a favorite quote at times like these: “Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listing, and live every day as if it were to be your last.”
That is how I want to live each day, whether I am fighting Parkinson’s or making peace with it. I want to dance without reserve, even if I stumble. I want to sing at the top of my lungs, even if others think I’m still whispering. I want to live each day as if it is my last opportunity for anything, even if I think I’ll be given a tomorrow.
It is a hard thing to do, to live that way. There are so many distractions, so many reminders that we are not “whole,” constant reminders from our bodies that struggle against their own desire to be free from disease. However, we can choose to have the attitude of living life to its fullest and enjoying the journey. It may not be the journey we would have chosen for ourselves, but there is good in it. It is always better to wear a face of hope than one of despair, because sooner or later, whichever face you choose to wear on the outside is the one you will feel like on the inside.
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.