I tend to rely on myself and really avoid asking for help. One of the things I was most afraid of in telling people that I had Parkinson’s disease, was that it would change the way they were with me. I didn’t want them to see the disease and not see me anymore. I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me, or assuming I couldn’t do certain things while I still can.
Aside from taking my pills and exercise I tend not to think about the PD much at all. The day may very well come along when I no longer can ignore it, but no sense dwelling on that now. It’s a waste of the present to worry about the future.
I’ve never wanted to be the center of attention for any reason, preferring to work on the sidelines, stand in the shadows and plow my way through whatever awaits beyond the curve up ahead. Instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I focus on what I can do, and let the rest unfold as it will. One way that I help myself is by supporting the researchers working to find a cure for all people dealing with chronic and degenerative diseases. Supporting this research can give friends and family a direction for getting involved, and dispels the awkward, “I’m so sorry, what can I do?” moments.
My husband and I did a5K ‘on deck for the cure’ walk aboard the Caribbean Princess while on a cruise. This walk I did in honor of my mom and friend, Debbi, both fighting breast cancer. There are walks and runs for just about every disease researchers are working on.
As most of you probably know, The Michael J. Fox Foundation has helped to fund researchers working for a PD cure. Michael is returning to TV this fall on NBC, September 26 at 9:00. He will portray a man with Parkinson’s disease, who is returning to work after 20 years. (A perfect example of art imitating life).The members of Team Fox are asking people to sign up and host premier parties to support Michael and spread the word about PD research. 1,855 people have already signed up to host the premier parties. If you are interested check out:
They provide ideas for your party and it will help spread the word about PD and the current research being conducted. So if you know someone who has PD and need a way to show your support here’s one idea you might find both fun and supportive.
Everyone needs compassion, sooner or later. The truth is that we must learn to handle the cards we are dealt, but that is not to say supportive people in our lives cannot walk beside us. Just keep in mind the disease is only a part of a person. It hasn’t changed his hopes and dreams or her need to continue living a life as normal as possible for as long as she can. And don’t worry. The Simon and Garfunkel song may say “a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” But people do. And you’ll know when to ease their pain and cry with them. Until then, just be their friend.