A man with his mouth open and arms spread wide speaks into a speech bubble shaped like the earth. Within the earth are people turned toward him to listen, and indications of other modes of communication.

Sharing Your Experience with Parkinson's

Have you ever asked the question “Why me?” or more precisely, “Why do I have Parkinson's disease?”. It’s a legitimate question, to which there is no easy answer, but it's still one worth pursuing. In the bible, there is an illustration of the Apostle Paul who is described to have some type of thorn in his flesh placed there by Satan and he pleads to God to remove it three times, but God refuses. As a believer in the word of God, this means a lot but someone hearing this for the first time may not give it much credibility. I can or cannot prove the truth of this, I take this story based on my faith, but you can draw your own conclusion.

A bigger purpose

Many friends I have counseled as to "why me" and I have never been able to answer that question but, I have often believed myself, perhaps there is some bigger purpose. Whether it is God’s purpose or some other part of a master plan to help people with a similar affliction, the fact remains, you have Parkinson’s, why not use it, instead of it using you, to help others? But you say you don’t know me or what I go through. No, I don’t but I do know the feelings of despair and dread and self-pity and if I can spare someone else of those feelings, I’m all in. You say, I can’t, I say you can. But I’ve never taught before or counseled anyone. It’s okay. There are many things you can do.

What can I do?

  • Tell your story – There is power in your personal story about living with PD. Tell anyone who will listen.
  • Create awareness – Utilize local media, speak at a support group, attend any of hundreds of PD events.
  • Call in to talk radio – Especially during April which is PD awareness month.
  • Ask local elected officials to sponsor a proclamation declaring April, PD awareness month.
  • Start a blog – write a blog about your experience or become a contributor to this forum.

Providing hope and encouragement

My point is this. You’ve got PD. You can accept it and help others learn from your experiences or you can wallow in misery by continuing to deny and hide. I do not sugar coat anything. For some reason, God did not honor Paul’s request. I believe he allowed the thorn to remain so that others could benefit from Paul’s experience and although we never find out what that thorn was, we do know, the bible describes it as painful. For all we know it could have been Parkinson’s.

So, whether you believe in the biblical account or just think your diagnosis is a question of fate, do not let another day go by without the opportunity to ease the burden for someone else. Share your story with someone else. You just may impact someone else’s life and provide hope and encouragement for them and a positive experience for yourself knowing that you made a difference! Battle on my friends!

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