The New Normal Pt. 2
Read part one of this story here.
From the initial discussions with friends and family to the first night of new classes when I tell people “you may see this or that.” I let others know that this is who I am, and while it stinks, and someday it will stink more, I’m still Dan. I’m not going to die or cry or take my life’s misdirection out on others. In fact, I’m still all those things I was on September 26th, but I know that I can’t hide my tremors, even if I want to, though my current med does a good job at calming them down, as did my former med, before it gave me a livedo reticulitis rash and had to be replaced. I know that I don’t need to lie / deny / go in the closet with the reality of my life. In fact, Michael J. Fox’s decision to come out as having the disease, though scary at first, was the best thing he could ever do so he could become the fully realized man he is now. Additionally, his now one of the biggest advocates for any cause ever.
As for me, I’m still a person, and I still choose to do all my hobbies to the best of my ability. For instance, I still climb up boulder fields and ascend mountains to see beautiful vistas and flowing waterfalls, though my distances are a little more limited. I’m not going to become Parkinson’s, no matter how much it takes from my life, and I’m still going to be those other things, no matter how much harder some things will get. Simply put, I’m going to be me!
Mountains still to climb
And on November 1st, I got to be officially diagnosed as having Parkinson’s when the MRI and blood tests confirmed the situation. I didn’t feel anything new. In fact, I debate myself that my diagnosis really was official in September. Simply put, I now had a name for it. I also had the new normal and a prescription for my main medicine so that my body could reabsorb its own Dopamine and that my mind didn’t see those little specks of WD40 as being zombies that had to be taken out before they could do damage.
Right after that, when I began to accept the new normal with humor and the wisdom of ages, my medical world took another hit when, a few weeks later, I was also diagnosed with Lyme disease. I had never had a bull’s eye on my body, so we had no idea how long I had it, so all I could do was get a spinal tap to see if the Lyme was in my cerebra-spinal system. Fortunately, it wasn’t, so I just shrugged my shoulders and took the Doxycycline horse pills and moved to get through it. That was definitely a relief.
Come January, I was starting to feel the Parkinson’s changes and conversations a little more, but I continued to stay me. At the end of the day, it was the best of all choices since the other ones are anger and sadness to varying degrees. Personally, I don’t have enough healthy time left for that. I have too many mountains to climb, too many vacations to take with my wife, stories left to write, and experiences left to enjoy. I have a godson that I need to watch grow up, and I have people left to educate and inspire as I persevere no matter what. Who knows? Some day, they might work to stop this condition or cure it altogether.
Who knows? Someday, they might work to stop this condition or cure it altogether.
Live life as you
It is clear to see that some days are more lethargic than others, but there are most definitely good times to be had, even when I think about medical side effects and the symptoms to come as well as the ones I already have. As a result, if I can help others or learn from them, then I have won. Not every day is a clown party with a bouncy house. Sometimes, I feel the weight of the future, but that’s life. We don’t know how long we have. Godzilla or King Kong could rampage the world. The key is for me to be able to say I led a good life while I was here and made a difference to others.