The other day I found out that I can no longer do something that I have been able to do my entire adult life. It is a small task, but I hadn't known that I couldn't do it until I tried it. When I tried, I found myself in an embarrassing situation. People were watching me, they were trying to help me, and I was stuck. I knew right away why it was happening, so I just blew it off for that moment and came back to it later when I was alone. I had to get myself out of the moment or I know I would have started to cry.
This is why people with Parkinson's become secluded and depressed. This is why people with Parkinson's stay home, stop socializing and don't want to do things anymore. It is frustrating, depressing and embarrassing when you can't do the daily tasks that you used to do. I will give you a few examples. When checking out of the grocery store and you need to get money out of your wallet, that is tricky and you are slower at it. The cashier and others are watching and waiting for you, which makes you more nervous, which makes you shake more, which makes it more challenging, and then more embarrassed, and on and on in that vicious circle. A simple task made difficult. So, what does a PWP do in that situation? They get their money or credit card out early so it is ready when needed. And that takes planning ahead for something that you never had to plan for in the past Another example is getting your coat on. You go out to dinner, and everyone gets up to leave and you are trailing behind because you can't get your arm in your coat. The flexibility in your shoulder makes it challenging and it takes a little longer to do. People look at you weird and some try to help. You feel stupid and again embarrassed. The end result is eventually you don't go out in public anymore. The only other option is to say, "---- this, I don't care what people think." That is a hard thing to do.
Everyone cares how others perceive you. We all have pride in what we do or what we look like. When you have Parkinson's, undoubtedly a time will come when you must swallow your pride and not care what people think. There is no longer any way to hide your disease. You must accept the fact that you look stiff, or your hand is shaking, or you walk like a drunk person, or you lose your train of thought, or you can't cut your meat or you can't unscrew the cap of your water bottle. Parkinson's is a progressive disease. You become humbled. You become dependent. You must accept help. You must keep on fighting.
There are many tasks or skills that become challenging as we all get older. None of us are as agile as we were in our youth, our ability to remember things is challenged, our eye-site has diminished and we all could give more examples of our bodies breaking down. Everyone feels this as they are aging. Having Parkinson's throws another
whole monkey wrench into the mix. What do we blame on "getting old" and what is a result of PD? Do you ever get the answer to this question? And, does it matter? The only thing that matters is how you adjust to it. No excuses, just figure out a way to overcome it. Don't dwell on it. No one can help you with the answer, so forget about why and start thinking of how. How am I going to live with this? How can I overcome this? I am in control, no one else.
Accept it, figure out how to deal with it, don't dwell on it, and just Be. Keep exercising, keep the positive attitude, don't think too much. Live your life today. Fully.
In short, we have PD. It is not going away. Accept it and fight hard. That is all we
can do today. Beat PD.