My PD 11th Anniversary... Oct 1, 2001
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|Mon, 10-01-2012 - 2:12pm|
11 years ago today I received my life sentence with 3 little words: YOU HAVE PARKINSON”S. It wasn't a surprise; after all, I'd been dealing with a mysterious tremor for nearly 2 years prior to the diagnosis. Finally, I had a response. An answer. An explanation.
"Are you cold?" No, it's just Parkinson's.
"Are you scared?" No, it's just Parkinson's.
"Are you nervous?" No, it's just Parkinson's.
"Is she having withdrawal symptoms?" No, it's just Parkinson's.
"Too much caffeine?" Perhaps, but mostly it's just Parkinson's.
"Is she on drugs?" Yes and lots of them. Lots and lots of Parkinson's Medication. Wait til I tell you the stories about the side effects, but for now I'll just stick with the anniversary of my diagnosis.
In some ways, hearing those 3 little words was a relief. There are far more sinister things than Parkinson's Disease that could cause the symptoms I was experiencing. It wasn't a death sentence, I was assured that people die with rather than from Parkinson's (a fact I still question each time I come across an obituary that says someone died from Parkinson's Disease, those silly reporters need to check their facts). I much prefer living with Parkinson's. Today I can look back over a decade and proclaim that I've been LIVING with Parkinson's and living well. In fact, I feel blessed, as my Parkinson's appears to be progressing very slowly and responds well to medication. Nearly 13 years since my first symptom and 11 years since my diagnosis, I'm doing far better than I ever imagined. I can't complain. Well, I can complain about a lot of things, but not so much about the Parkinson's.
Michael J. Fox, Muhammed Ali, The Pope and a bunch of elderly people… those were the faces of Parkinson's Disease when I was diagnosed. After October 1, 2001, I became the face of Parkinson's Disease in my house. Parkinson's wasn't just a neurological disease, it was the reason Mommy goes a little slower, drops a few more things than usual and sometime appears to be keeping a cool jazz rhythm with her body even though no one else is hearing the music. Parkinson's wasn't just something we'd see during a visit to a nursing home. Parkinson's was there every day in our kitchen, the bedroom, the car... Parkinson's went wherever I would go. I just couldn't shake it. Eleven years later, I still can't shake it but, thanks to the medications, the shake is hardly visible. I don't think most people could even tell, just by looking at me, that I'm living with Parkinson's.
Happy 11 year Anniversary to me. Without Parkinson's, I may have never met some of my dear friends who are also living with this disease. They continue to inspire me daily, especially my iVillage Parkinson's Pals.. This decade has also been made far happier thanks to the love and support from all my friends and family. A special thanks to my beautiful children who were only 12, 11, 8 and 6 months old when I was diagnosed. 11 years later finds them 23, 22, 19 and 11, plus their 6 year old little brother. Those 5 crazy kids, especially that 6 year old, shake up my life far more than any old neurological disease!
I still see my neurologist every 3 months for follow ups. Each time I go I hope I'll hear 3 more words: You are Cured. I hope, for all of us living with Parkinson's Disease, that we'll hear those 3 words soon.
I've missed you guys in recent weeks. I know I keep saying "I'm back" and then I disappear, again. This divorce continues to be a full time job. Things have been very difficult physically and emotionally, but it's a good difficult. I spent 11 years in a very difficult marriage and this pain I am experience now is cathartic, theraputic and so worth it!! Still, it's kept me away from the board. It's all for good. I am growing and healing during my time away and busier than you can ever imagine. Things are truly settling in to a new normal, slowly but surely, so I honestly do think I can visit here more often now.
Thank you all for sharing this past decade of Parkinson's with me. Love you, all!
My Personal Reflections on Living with Parkinson's: http://cl-lsb210-ivil.tripod.com/index.html