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Life with Parkinson’s

Life with Parkinson’s is demanding

In the presence of Parkinson’s, we must have courage, the strength of character, and a powerful belief system. Frequently, I’ve portrayed our struggle with Parkinson’s as a battle. Maybe typecasting Parkinson’s as the enemy may be too harsh, but I do not consider Parkinson’s as an ally. This much I know, Parkinson’s will never take a day off or a week of vacation; it’s a day-in and day-out relentless scenario of slowly growing motor and non-motor body-mind changes. Living with Parkinson’s takes hope, positivity, persistence, mindfulness, and a strong will to live.

Life with Parkinson’s takes hope

Marcus Tullius Cicero said, "While there’s life, there’s hope." Each morning when I wake, I do a full-body inventory, thinking ‘Okay body, what awaits us today?’ I remain hopeful that my just-completed sleep has re-fueled my brain and re-stocked my body. Cloaked around every fiber of my body is my unwelcome guest named Parkinson’s; however, the day has started anew, and there is much left to accomplish. Use hope as an anchor to secure your body and mind against the slowly rising tide from Parkinson’s. There is still time while staying hopeful.

Life with Parkinson’s takes positivity

Sir Winston Churchill said, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." Before I get out of bed, it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. We have Parkinson’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. And that’s the negative mindset Parkinson’s has provided but do all you can to resist it. There will be times that are going to be difficult; yet staying positive and focusing on the right things around you and within you is the best way to approach life. Use positivity to reverse the negative feelings Parkinson’s wants you to feel. You have a lot left to offer if you can stay positive.

Life with Parkinson’s takes persistence

Tobias Wolff said, "We are made to persist, that's how we find out who we are." Being persistent means, you’re in it for the life of the disorder, and you’re not giving up. And in everyday life and everyday occurrences, you can always feel Parkinson’s in the background. Persistence is the ability to stick with something, and the net result will lessen the stranglehold Parkinson’s has on your body and mind. To me, the ‘P in Parkinson’s’ really stands for persistence. Remind yourself that you can manage every situation that’s ahead for you. Being persistent allows you to maintain and create new options for your life.

Life with Parkinson’s takes mindfulness

Billy Graham said, "There is plenty of time, but each moment counts." The act of mindfulness brings us to the immediate time, the current moment. Taking life as it comes, mindful to remain in the present moment is so vital to thriving (and living) with Parkinson’s. Maybe you’re in line at the grocery store, and your tremor starts to act up. This moment is the ideal time to practice mindfulness. Still your mind and think only of the current moment. Breathe deeply in and out a few times, and this will renew your ability to function well. Take time throughout the day to appreciate that you are living in the moment. Mindfulness will make a difference in the complicated life of someone with Parkinson’s.

Life with Parkinson's and a daily mantra

Joseph Campbell said, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." Start each day with a focused plan and have a daily mantra. Focus on what you do best, whether its play or work, whether its lunch with your (grand)children or golf with your buddies, whether it's a trip to the mall or dinner with your partner/significant other/spouse. Make a list of favorite quotes and read them for inspiration. Stay engaged, be engaged with your life activities. Remind yourself there is much left to accomplish in your life even in the presence of Parkinson’s. I close with an iconic view of my beautiful University and one of my daily mantras: "I start each day with a single simple plan: this is going to be a good day. I remain hopeful not hopeless, positive not negative, happy not sad, driven not complacent, and educated not naive."

If interested, please read through my blog, Journey with Parkinson's.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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