The thing I notice with myself since being diagnosed is this. I am more prone to take the Bull by the horns as it were and be proactive in making decisions for my life. I am less inclined also to allow people to treat me in a way that is unacceptable to me.
Two situations illustrate this:
- I have had a shoulder injury for years and no amount of physiotherapy or injections has fixed it. I have been scanned and manipulated – it feels – to within an inch of my life…. Unfortunately, this injury restricts my movement and causes pain and equally unfortunately, it is on my Parkies affected side, my left. Now, I don’t need to have any more deficits than Parkies chooses to inflict upon me and need to keep moving my left arm as much as possible to minimise the effect that Parkies has in reducing my movement. So, I have taken the brave step of getting surgery to fix the torn tendon in my left shoulder. A step I don’t take lightly. A brave step because I will have months of recovery, months of pain and a significant period of time off work. But, this is how I look at it. Healing pain is good pain. Healing pain is more bearable for me than pain that continues on and that I allow to further reduce my ability to use my left arm. So, Parkies makes me brave, because I choose to have significant surgery to remedy the injury. Because of this decision, I feel I am once again taking charge of my body and my life and it is something I can control. Then, when healed from surgery, I can challenge my body once again and fight Parkies’ propensity to also limit my movement.
- In my work I have a senior staff member who has treated me badly for years. They actively exclude me from discussions of which I should be a part. They cannot even say ‘Good Morning’ when I greet them, instead responding with a clipped ‘Hi’ if they respond at all. When I try to speak to them, they continue to look at their computer, barely acknowledging me and responding with a terse and clipped response. They send instructions via other staff members, ie. ‘X told me to tell you…’ which gives me no opportunity to respond and query a course of action I am told to take – as it is via others – and I find this disrespectful. There are many instances, some of which may sound insignificant, but over the years they have affected me to the point where I dread being in the same room with them. So, here’s the brave bit… I have spoken to my boss and we are setting up a meeting with ‘X’ through formal channels – as all other approaches have failed thus far – to put in front of this person how they affect me. It won’t be easy and I am sure that ‘X’ will ensure it won’t be, but in doing this I will be heard! I am finally taking a stand to say, ‘I will not accept how you treat me and I will be treated with the respect I deserve!’
So, Parkies – thank you, in a strange sort of way – you have made me brave. Two situations that have caused me pain in different ways for years, I have made the decision to do something about. There is little I can do about having Parkies, but I feel deeply that life events and situations that I can do something about I must address. I will no longer ignore things that have negative impacts on my life. I will not allow myself to be a ‘victim’ of external forces and people’s attitudes towards me that make me miserable.
So, for those of you who follow this Blog, I encourage you…
I encourage you to make a difference in your own life. To say ‘enough’ if there are negative influences in your life and fight for positive change. Whether it is a physical pain that has gone on too long or an emotional/mental pain inflicted by others. Be brave. Fight back. Take charge. Be in control.