Just some words for the newly diagnosed.
This ain’t no picnic in the Parkinson’s
So you’ve had a diagnosis? Parkinson’s ?
What now ?
Welcome to the club of over 145,000 in the UK and 6 million around the world.
There is no cure, it;'s progressive and degenerative…
Five years after diagnosis, my aim is to offer some simple words of comfort and encouragement. These were gratefully received by myself and came from a seasoned warrior…
That’s what you have become. You are a warrior because the requirement to find some inner strength has been thrust upon you. You do not have a choice.
The question is when I find that inner strength,how will I put it to work?
Let me set the scene.
I was a 55 year old sales manager, married with family, grandkids etc.
I liked a beer down the pub at the weekend, smoked the odd cigar when the misses weren’t looking . A man;s man if you like.
Upon diagnosis I did what most guys of my type would do, I tried to ignore it, drown it in alcohol,.Drinking to in-coherency to make it go away.
This only served to put extra pressure on my life, my marriage and my health.
A by chance meeting with a personal trainer, who himself was a “ Mover and shaker “ reassembled my life.
At this juncture, I’m not going to preach about the benefits of exercise. Some, like myself, don’t enjoy such activities but I would encourage you to try it.
I was in my second or third weekly session with this guy and we were doing the beep test.
Running up and down the gym, changing direction and pace, to the beep sound.
I was not enjoying this at all and eventually the feeling of apathy, and the realisation that this was pointless consumed me and I sat on a nearby bench sweating and breathless.
My coach continued the exercise, ignoring my protest and just as I was gathering my belongings to leave for good,he joined me on the bench.
Before I got up to leave he asked me a number of questions.
He said “ If you live to be 95, how will you look back on these days?
“Will you conclude that you followed doctors orders, took your pills,and abandoned your life as it is ?
“ Will you retire to your bed and wait for your God to take you?
When your God or PD takes you, will your nearest and dearest say “ He put up a good fight?”
Will those words be just cliches on your headstone ?
Or do you choose to fight back ?
PD is not regarded as a terminal illness so you can either choose to live with it or die.
Everyone of us is dying with or without Parkinson’s.,
At early diagnosis,you still have the ability to influence the longer term outcome
There will be setbacks but everyone has setbacks in life.
My advice is to carry on your life as normally as you can,.join a PD specialist gym or online exercise site and the many social groups.
Stay proud and strong for you are part of a community of incredibly brave resilient people .
You are a PD Warrior.