Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Looking Differently at Parkinson’s Disease

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.

Just words

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.

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

Comments

  • PaulaFournier
    10 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your insight . Keeping a positive attitude is difficult but not impossible. Exercise helps tremendously and Neurologists should encourage their patients to do so. Also support groups are beneficial to the patient and caregiver.

  • Karl R moderator author
    10 months ago

    Thanks Paula, I appreciate your insight as well!

    Karl, ParkinsonsDisease.net, Community Team Member

  • Courage
    10 months ago

    Those words are replicated on about every article I read concerning Parkinson’s and the doctor who diagnosed me was a disaster on his delivery of the diagnoses. He was clueless about the impact his words had. It may have been just a routine everyday conversation to him but it put me in a dark place for a long time. That dark place still calls me at times. Thanks Karl. Your words are the ones I needed to hear.

  • Karl R moderator author
    10 months ago

    Courage, thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad to have helped! I think that if we are observant, open, and inquisitive, messages will come to us. I hope that you keep out of that dark place, keep moving, and stay active. I love your name and wish you the very best!

    Be Well,

    Karl, ParkinsonsDisease.net, Community Team Member

  • Dan Glass
    10 months ago

    I tend to use those words when I find myself expressing that I know what I have, so I’m not blindly optimistic.

    A positive attitude, like yours, and a desire to live in spite of whatever happened goes a long way.

  • Karl R moderator author
    10 months ago

    Dan, thanks so much for your comments! I truly believe that we have to keep that positive attitude to improve. Everything gets better when we look at the positives in our life. Thanks so much!

    Karl, ParkinsonsDisease.net, Community Team Member

  • dlyons31
    10 months ago

    Well put, Karl. Those words ring in my ears every day. Often, they overwhelm, then I get out and work the yard for a few hours and they become, as you put it….just words. Not to downplay the seriousness of PD, but everyone on the planet has a progressive, degenerative condition. It’s called aging. We all have to face our own challenges in our own way.

  • Karl R moderator author
    10 months ago

    dlyons31, you are so right! We all have something to contend with and there isn’t getting over aging-but exercise helps. I like your spirit and your frankness. Thanks for your comment!

    Karl, ParkinsonsDisease.net, Community Team Member

  • Poll