"If I knew ten years ago what I know now," is something we often tell ourselves. Some of that knowledge can only be gained through living it because when we hear it, it seems so ordinary and unnecessary that we can hardly give it our attention long enough to even hear it, much less take it to heart. Nevertheless, I'm going to share some things my life and my life with Parkinson's has taught me.
Focusing on the chronic, progressive nature of Parkinson's will only cause you to lose heart. I'm not saying to lie to yourself or to present a false face to others. I am saying that if you can focus on things that are happening right now, you'll do better.
The best gift I ever gave my husband and my son was to accept help with gratitude. I used to get so angry with myself for needing help that it seemed like I was angry with the person who was offering to help me.
Sometimes you just have to cry. Maybe you don't, but I do. My particular case of Parkinson's has a lot of non motor symptoms. I know I would be better off if I could be more patient with myself but so far I'm still learning to live with myself in a body that cannot always listen to my brain. Crying has never lasted forever, in fact it usually only lasts as long as it takes my medicine to start working.
Be kind to yourself. Negative self talk only hurts your own feelings. If you wouldn't talk like that to your mother or your child, commit to not talking like that to yourself. Parkinson's disease is hard enough. Try not to add to your burdens.
The first several years may go much easier on you than the years that come later. Don't be discouraged when your health worsens, talk to your doctor, change your cocktail of medicines. You may add years to your body's functionality.
So if you pray or if you don't, remember these words. Repeat them to yourself. They will help you get yourself through.
Today (It can be overwhelming to think too far ahead. Stay with today).
Now. Here. This. (Enjoy today for what it is. Hug your spouse. Hug your kids. Call your parents. All anyone has is today anyway.)
Be kind to yourself. (You and your family will be so glad.)
This too shall pass. (Crying won't last forever. Nothing does.)