As My Losses from Parkinson’s Accelerate, It’s Time to Fight Back
“Don’t forget you’re human. It’s OK to have a meltdown, just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.” —Unknown
I tend to have meltdowns more frequently these days.
Why is this happening?
My losses from this disease seem to be accelerating. Following are some examples:
- In boxing class, I sometimes struggle with the punching choreography and can’t seem to coordinate my hands to do the actions required.
- When reaching to place items on a high shelf, I lose my balance and fall backward.
- My speed bag workouts are slowing down, and I lose my rhythm more often.
- I am clumsier and tend to knock things over.
- Typing on a computer keyboard is an exercise in futility. Sometimes my finger holds pressure on a key too much, and at other times, not enough. I can’t tell anymore.
I suspect that you can relate to my experiences only if you also have Parkinson’s disease (PD). While these setbacks may seem inconsequential, when they occur with increased frequency, it becomes frightening and overwhelming.
I must be mindful of what I do now more than ever. Falling and injuring myself a few weeks ago shocked me to the reality and seriousness of this disease. I find myself cursing at PD and yelling expletives at the top of my lungs in my house when my body fails me. My pet bunny doesn’t know what to make of this. I think the poor guy thinks I am yelling at him.
When my body does not move the way my mind is telling it to, my frustration levels accelerate. This may also be a harbinger of things to come.
Running on empty
Some research indicates that over 50 percent (and as much as 60-70 percent) of dopamine-producing neurons are dead by the time Parkinson’s symptoms first appear. I have no doubt that the disease is aging me before my time. A 90-year-old friend is starting to experience symptoms that are due to aging — the same signs that I have at age 66 because of PD.
My neurologist has suggested that sometimes I need to take a step back, refocus, and not be too hard on myself. He knows me well.
I must fight back — and not give in!
“At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.” —Christine Mason Miller
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.