I asked this question so many times in my life and I still don’t know the answer. I remember the first time I asked that question was when I was about 12 years old, and the father of our friends that lived next door died of a heart attack with no warning. They were the perfect, happy, fun, successful, kind, hard-working family. It just didn’t seem fair to me and it still doesn’t make sense that this family had to be broken and go through this tragedy. These things happen all the time and it just makes me so sad.
Today in my PD life, the same thing is happening. Last week, one of our fellow Beat PDer’s choked on a piece of meat and his wife could not get it dislodged. He died. This wonderful man had just been to my class the day before. He did a great job and had a smile on his face when he left and seemed happy with his work that day. He has been attending classes for about a year and fighting to beat this disease. He had shown improvements and his wife was always there with him for support. In class, we talk about and practice standing up from a chair, we practice walking with bigger steps, we strengthen our core and arms, we work on posture, we count loud to work our voice and facial muscles. We try to improve every symptom possible. The problem is, PD effects everything in our body, inside and out. This is what most of you do not realize. Muscles are used to breath, digest, talk, swallow, think. So all of these bodily functions are effected by PD. How can we fight and treat every part of our body? This is what makes this disease so challenging. This man was trying to make the best of what he had left in his life. He didn’t give up and let himself become depressed. He exercised and worked hard, but how could he have known that swallowing would take his life. This makes me so sad and I am sorry to lose him. He has made a small but important chip in my life and I still ask the question, “Why do bad things happen, to good people?”
This is just one sad story of a PD friend. I have others that have spouses who left them when they were diagnosed, and friends who can’t take their medication because they can’t afford it, and PD friends that got cancer and then Parkinson’s, and on and on I could go. There are so many sad stories with my PD friends. There are so many sad stories with all people and I know that. That is life and we must continue to work together, support each other, laugh together and cry together. I don’t think I will ever find the answer to my question.