In Newly Diagnosed

I thought Parkinson (Park & Son) was a law firm at first! I was taken back when I was told my diagnosis this year. Fear, denial, disappointment, sadness and guilt wrapped themselves tightly around my mind as I decided to prosecute myself. I had more understanding to work through before I got around to solving “The Case of the Shaky Hand.” It would be a few more months before I would be feeling hope and humor again.

Initially I was told I had essential tremors along with my history of neuropathy and HIV. I got four different doctor’s opinions—all saying the same thing, Parkinson’s. Some of the doctors I liked and some I did not. Doctors have personalities too, so I had to think carefully about which one I felt most comfortable with to trust with my health. I take responsibility for my own decisions. Being in denial too long could result in wasting precious time that I could use on healing—either medically or mentally.

Medicines to me are a necessary evil. They can help but they can also have effects on the body sometimes harsher than the illness itself. At this point Levodopa is worth a try, so I am presently taking it. At the same time, I use the power of my mind and the power of prayer to sit quietly and allow healing to take place. What is this disorder trying to show me and tell me? Well, I have to accept the condition at least for now. Acceptance is huge and also very humbling, making the embarrassment of having the disease more tolerable.

I read what I can and find that one can be Parkinson-like or have Parkinson’s. Parkinsonism is what I have come up with for myself. I believe my “ism” can be dealt with calmly and logically. I’ve had my moments of crying but realized that even that is all part of my healing process. Compare and despair is not a good thing for me to inflict on my consciousness. Therefore, I do not compare myself to the worst case scenarios. I am me and this is my individual journey.

A positive attitude and a determination to overcome all obstacles in my life are well worth a try so I incorporate both until I feel guided to the next step in dealing. I got into action with an exercise class to improve my movements. I also sought out support groups of people dealing with the same thing. That in itself was a blessing. I met such loving, kind, fun and wonderful people to get to know and interact with. I tell them the very best about Parkinson’s is that it brought me to meet these individuals that I probably would never have met. For that reason alone I embrace it and appreciate this as a gift. I work at being authentically positive and take each day as it comes. I will not give in to fear and if I do it is brief so that I can get on with being a success story. We all have a purpose, if I can radiate love and affirmative action in dealing with this I can help others and give them a sense of courage, strength and hope. Nothing in life is by accident. All things are lessons that my understanding of a God would have me learn.

I continue to act and do my best to not feel sorry for myself. I tell my hand to “shake it, shake it baby” as the song goes. I pace myself with patience doing my daily routines which is also helpful. Being an artist, I try to color drawings I have done by forcing my hands to work out but when I am tired I know when to quit. Anything is possible including a miracle of healing. I have overcome much worse things than this. Faith, wisdom and being positive can produce fabulous results. They say I have PD but I say PD DOESN’T HAVE ME your Honor. I rest my case!

Parkinson’s Community LA