Being diagnosed with a chronic, progressive disease that has no cure is not something that anyone wishes for. I used to think (rather smugly) that I would live a long and ailment-free life because I had practiced a healthy lifestyle for so long. But, sometimes life can throw us curve balls. My Parkinson’s diagnosis was one of the curve balls.
I have bad days and good days. At times, I can be in a great deal of pain due to the dyskinesia and dystonia. I have fallen because my balance has been affected. I have to deal with insomnia, incontinence, constipation, anxiety and bouts of fatigue. I have to use a walker and/or a wheelchair at times because my mobility has been compromised.
However, there are times when my Parkinson’s symptoms are quieter. During those times, I can socialize with friends, go for walks, exercise, play with my grandchildren and do almost everything I would normally do. Those are the times to savour and focus on.
When I received my diagnosis, I could have curled into a ball, pulled a blanket over my head and fallen into depression, and played the “woe is me” card. I chose not to. I have decided to fight for my quality of life. I have too much to live for and look forward to. I have 3 young grandchildren and one more on the way that I want to watch grow up. I want to be involved in their lives, not as a passive observer, but as an engaged and active Nana. I want my grandchildren to remember me as a warrior who did not give up when the going got tough.
Every night, when I go to bed, I take stock of my day and make a mental list of all the things that I’m grateful for. Without fail, my gratitude list is always longer than I thought it would be. I have learned that by focusing on the positives in my life, my days become more manageable.
My message to you is simple. I may be powerless over what Parkinson’s is doing to me. However, I have the power to choose how I live with my Parkinson’s. I choose to fight and focus on all the blessings that come my way each day.
With the holiday season upon us, I’d like to thank you for your continued support and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2024!