Looking Differently at Parkinson’s Disease
If I had a dime for every time I heard Parkinson’s disease introduced as a “chronic, degenerative, progressive, incurable illness”, I would be sitting on a treasure trove of dimes. Far too often, doctors coldly and without thinking about the patient’s reaction, recite these self-defeating words. Lacking hope or possibility in what are potentially a toxic choice of words is a very negative start. Using such definite and hopeless words for an illness that really isn’t understood well, nor is it easily or accurately predicted. It seems like just the opposite of what a newly diagnosed person with Parkinson’s should hear. Softening the immediate shock of a diagnosis should strongly be considered. When revealing a diagnosis of any illness, one would hope that the doctor instills instant compassion and long-range concern for the patient’s future.
A shift in perspective
When diagnosed with a disease, modern medicine is quick to announce the pits and dead ends, but lagging in the hopeful, upbeat, stay strong, positive mentality, outlook. How someone is told that they have an illness matters and can leave a long-lasting impact.
Imprinting, labeling, stamping, and generalizing are all actions not only the public make, but The medical community can be guilty of misunderstanding Parkinson’s as well. Parkinson’s disease is a broad disease name for a wide range of seemingly different illnesses. There should be no generalizing of an illness that is so different and unique for so many.
Yes, you have something amiss and now it’s time to make some changes in your life. Your life as you knew it will be different, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fulfilling, bountiful, and meaningful! A life with Parkinson’s can still be very active and productive. It just takes your thinking differently about your life. As someone with Parkinson’s disease, your priorities and everyday life shift, as does your perspective.
Don’t let the words limit your potential! Predicting one’s future is hard — predicting one’s future with Parkinson’s disease must be even harder. I was an English major and words matter to me. It took me many years from my diagnosis to unravel those awful overused descriptive words, that are often associated with Parkinson’s. After these twenty-nine years since my official diagnosis, I have concluded that is all that they are, words.