When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned aroundWillie Nelson
It has been almost 5 weeks since I had my encounter with a Chicago sidewalk which resulted in a fractured shoulder. I want to thank everyone who sent emails and cards wishing me a speedy recovery. It really meant a lot to me that you took the time to reach out to me. It shows the power of being part of a such a caring community.
As the weeks drag on, I continue to improve, but I am still quite limited in what I can do. I can’t raise my arm more than half way without pain. So no driving yet. I am still dependent on Mr. Twitchy for many things including chauffeur. He is a great sous chef; chopping and cutting for me while I cook complicated recipes out of boredom. He even tried to dry my hair a couple of times, which was rather comical. I could not get through this without him.
The worst thing is that I cannot exercise as much as I used to. I can ride a stationery bike and walk. That’s it for now. No yoga, tennis, boxing or any of the other activities I use to engage in. The perfect time for Parkinson’s to misbehave. It seems that as we get older, every injury takes longer to recover from. My mind thinks I am still 40, but the rest of me says otherwise. I start physical therapy next week which will hopefully get me back to what is my normal. Yay!
Hope and Gratitude
I just spoke to a newly diagonosed friend with PD, ‘J’, who talked about how important hope and gratitude are for her. You have to have hope to move forward with a chronic disease like Parkinson’s. J hopes that she will continue to do well with Parkinson’s. That she can do the things that she wants to do for many years and enjoy life. She also said that you have to have gratitude for the Parkinson’s community. The support from other people with PD is just as important because they understand what you are going through and can be a key part of your Parkinson’s team. They can be there for you when you have questions about anything related to PD. They can help you through the tough times and give you a boost when you need it. I hear this over and over when talking to newly diagnosed people. They are amazed by the friendliness and the warmth of the people in the Parkinson’s community.
J’s most important question is “How do I come out with Parkinson’s? I am still working and I don’t know how to tell my clients. Most of them don’t know anything about Parkinson’s. I don’t want them to think I can’t do the job.”
For me, it took abour 5 years to ‘come out.’ I was doing a lot of fundraising for several different groups and did a fair amount of public speaking. If I could stand behind a podium, I thought I could hide it. There were other times where there was no podium and my tremor was quite obvious. But I was in denial thinking no one noticed it. And I was so wrong. When I accidently posted something on my Facebook page that was meant for my Twitchy Woman page, the world did not come to an end. Think about it. I had already started to write my blog and I still had not made my diagnosis public!
So what am I hopeful for? After 13 years since diagnosis, I am still doing almost everything I was doing before. I am hopeful that I will continue do be able to do the things I want to do for many years to come. And I am grateful that I have an amazing community of people that I never would have met if I did not have Parkinson’s.
What are you grateful for since your Parkinson’s diagnosis? Please email us at email@example.com so that we can share it with the community. (let us know if you wish to remain anonymous)
I am going to take some time off of writing for a few weeks as I continue to recover. I will re-post some of my most popular blog posts until I come back.
With much gratitude for your support,