I Am Nothing Without My Parkinson's Medication

I am nothing without my Parkinson’s medication. A harsh and damning indictment upon my own self-worth. But, nonetheless very true. I could play the role of devil’s advocate. And I probably would for a friend or an acquaintance who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

I would play devil's advocate for someone who struggled with the same severity of on/off fluctuations that I encounter numerous times a day. But, I cannot muster that same level of love, conviction, and compassion for myself.

I am powerless during off-times

When the levodopa wears off, my aggressive and debilitating symptoms appear. The pain, stiffness, and stark lack of physical ability are hard to ignore.

The powerlessness seeps through my body. Eventually, or sometimes even suddenly, it pervades my mental and emotional state. Of course, I wish I had the resilience and tenacity to feel otherwise. And, sometimes I do. I honestly do.

Parkinson's is relentless

But I do not kid myself. This disease is relentless. It has broken stronger people than me. It is sneaky. You gain an inch in momentum and victory, but before you even have time to celebrate, it comes surreptitiously from behind you and gains a mile.

Being strong, day after day ... time after time ... every time your medication efficacy dwindles is hard. Harder than I can bear. It is harder than I can ever truly explain. I do not know your struggle and you can never truly know mine.

Others don't truly understand

Empathy from your loved ones is welcome and appreciated. But, it is limited. No one can truly ever know what it is to walk in my shoes. Similarly, I can never know what it is to walk in the shoes of my fellow Parkinson’s comrades.

The word comrades may make you flinch. But in my eyes, anyone walking around with the heavy weight of this diagnosis is a comrade. We are all fighting a war in our brains and bodies.

Trying to visualize my healing

I am very cognizant that the language we use is powerful. I know that the words we use can elevate or diminish you. But, in my mind, this is a war. Every person with Parkinson’s may deem this enemy invasion differently and that is your right to do so.

But, I see it as an enemy invasion in my brain and body, which is slowly gaining territory. I mobilize my cells. Give them pep talks, urge them to rally, and stand up to the pesky Parkinator. I implore my dopamine cells to reboot, reengage, rejuvenate. To be what they once were.

I visualize this with all my strength and might. But, they splutter. Broken, busted, and bruised. Years and years of artificially flogging them with synthetic dopamine (in the form of Levodopa) has left them completely and utterly depleted.

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