Have You Seen Your Parkinson’s As a Second Chance?

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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I am reading a book whose story is set in a fictitious town by the name of Second Chance. We all know the phrase “second chance” is more than a made-up town full of cowboys and hoodlums. 

A second chance can be a moment in life when you find out you’ve been given another opportunity, another go-around at something you so desperately wanted but thought had passed you by.

But it didn’t.

You may not have been expecting to get another chance and the opportunity that presented itself may not have appeared to be a second chance. But in hindsight you realize that, yes, you were given another opportunity and (hopefully) you took it.

Most people don’t know how to get the most out of their life, myself included. We wander about our days, doing the ordinary while longing for the extraordinary. We allow fear to hold us back from living our best: fear of failing or fear of being hurt or fear of not measuring up. We experience those fears on a regular basis. I experienced all three in only one day. It is called living in fear.

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can be somewhat like getting a second chance at life, when you think about it. (I realize that it may take a long, hard look for some to come to that conclusion, if ever.) 

My second chance has been about learning how to grab hold of this life I’ve been given and enjoy it for all it’s worth — or at least more than I did before. Because of Parkinson’s disease, I have a greater awareness of life’s value, and a greater understanding of how short life is.

Yes, we were given a cruddy diagnosis, but it is not a death sentence. In do-overs and second chances, there are no pity parties over what you’re unable to do. Instead, gratitude emerges for what you have been able to do thus far: seize that second chance.

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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.

Comments

Michel Planquart avatar

Michel Planquart

I fundamentally agree with the writer but wished she had elaborated a bit more on how she sees that second chance and what it means to her in practice.

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laura seymour avatar

laura seymour

I am so glad to read another way to view our diagnosis! For years, I have had (what I know now as symptoms of PD) all kinds of pain, balance problems, etc. and no one could figure it out. I went to PT many times, with no progress. I've been loaded with different medications in an attempt to help deal with the symptoms for an unknown reason. I've had many medical tests and CAT scans, too. But, once I was referred to a neurologist who prescribed a DAT test, I finally had the name of what was wrong with me. Prior to that test, I was imagining all sorts of things wrong with me. Once I had the diagnosis, it gave me a name for my symptoms, which was a relief to me. Yes, I am grateful to know that I have PD (and not something else or a combination of other diseases) - it's not that I am happy that I have a chronic disease - I at least finally know what it is. And with that information, I am able to live a little more "free" because whenever I stumble or fall, lose my voice, feel tremors internally, etc., I can give it a name and not dwell on what it might be. This is my second chance - to live my life without worrying about what might be hurting me and without caring what others are thinking when they see me walk around like a drunk. My husband and I say, "Well, it's a Parkie thing," and just go on with what we were doing.

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Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Laura - I LOVED your comment - and you’re right - having a name for it does make a HUGE difference!!!

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laura seymour avatar

laura seymour

Thanks so much, Sherri! I know sometimes it's hard for people to understand. take care and stay safe!

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Doug avatar

Doug

I feel the same way! Thanks for your contribution, of sharing this with other PD diagnosed people!

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Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

:)

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Jason avatar

Jason

Sherri,
Don’t stop writing. You are insightful and spot on w your posts. My dad has had PD for 16 years. Your attitude and posts remind me of how he views the world and his PD. He is 79 and it may be a tough year ahead. Make the most of every day (there may be good days and bad) adapt to the new reality - appreciate the small joys around us, keep a sense of humor. Kudos to you and keep the posts coming.

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Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Jason - thanks so much for the much needed encouragement!!! What an uplifting comment! And, you do the same as you walk this journey with your dad...

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