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

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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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.

***

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.

Comments

Brenda Godlove avatar

Brenda Godlove

Thank you so much for your encouraging article. This is so true....I want to be a warrior, not a worrier. Right now, I'm a worrier trying to convert to a warrior. With God's help, I will :)

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Brenda - I am so glad you were encouraged! We all fluctuate back and forth. I am certain you have made warrior status!!! :)

Reply
Jill Bennett avatar

Jill Bennett

Found article interesting and helpful. I was diagnosed with
Parkinsons about two years ago. It is important to keep your sense of humour. I go to the gym two or three times a
week which helps. However I fall over sometimes Which knocks my confidence.

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Jill - Keep pressing on! Keep exercising and laughing!

Reply
Eugene Cioschi avatar

Eugene Cioschi

Hello-especially since my Parkinsons symptoms have become more challenging, family worries over my condition have evolved & I’m concerned how it has affected my son (33 years)since
we have always had the greatest of father/son relationships and he’s my primary concern in growing the
back our relationship. Recent major occurrences have greatly contributed to my depression including lose of my job, and girlfriend (10 years in length) the things I loved, such as family, socializing, attending classical music concerts have vanished. I’ve lost interest & confidence in most things.I feel angry to have contracted it- I feel I’ve been denied my life, especially after the initial 20 years of my sons life as I became very depressed. It produces chronic fatigue and the need for lots of sleep.Any suggestions with solving & dealing with the above are welcome. The symptoms are the opposite of the real me.
Thank you!
Gene

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Barbara AK Porter avatar

Barbara AK Porter

My son was showing signs of PD by his mid-twenties. Now diagnosed with PD with dystonia, he often feels that too much has been taken from him. His father, my husband, was in his 30's when PD signs showed. By the time he died of PD with dementia, he had had three decades of trying to be a warrior. He has seen it all and had been a wonderful helper as we cared for my husband at home. My son's disease is now taking his voice, increasing his isolation, deepening his depression, and has become a fading warrior in a well strategized effort.

I was his father's warrior. I am my son's warrior.

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Your son is blessed to have you, Barbara. So very blessed.

Reply
Denise Gibson avatar

Denise Gibson

Thank you for writing the most encouraging words. I am always inspired .

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Denise - thank you for your comment and always reading!

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Cheryl boyd avatar

Cheryl boyd

Wonderful words..my hubby a warrior fights to maintain his quality of life. He literally fights..Rocksteady boxing for folks with Parkinson's. Amazing results!!

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Cheryl - thanks for your input! RSB is amazing!

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Cosette avatar

Cosette

Nice article! I have been living with my PD 2 years ago in my early 40s. I still can drive and walk to mall by myself but I have reluctancy to meet my families. I feel everyone will watch me walking differently and my symptoms getting worse if people notice me. I haven't told my big family members about my condition because I don't want to be the centre of attention . I am open to my close relatives but not to bigger circle of families. I tend to be introvert now . Any advice for me? Thank you.

Reply
Elaine Craig Segal avatar

Elaine Craig Segal

I never considered myself a warrior, but since having Parkinson's for 15 years receiving strong support from the Parkinson's community, I am proud to identify as a warrior. And I will continue to fight for my quality of life and that of other warriors, and even the warriors.

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you, Elaine, for commenting and here’s to another warrior!

Reply
Elly avatar

Elly

Sherri, what an inspiring article. I love the suggestion of exercise and staying active. I'd love to share more with you on a new program for people with Parkinson's to interact with youth in certain cities across the US if interested. Or perhaps you'd be interested in attending and experiencing warriors in action.

Reply
Jo Ann l avatar

Jo Ann l

I agree 100% I feel like I am at war against the disease because with out the battle I lose my life I'm not willing to let go I have too much to live for

Reply
Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you, JoAnn, for taking the time and reading my column and leaving a comment. We do have too much to live for indeed!

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