This may seem a strange thing to say and in many ways it is. Parkinson’s is not exactly a gift in my life, but in these early stages it is managable.
The reason for my statement about feeling lucky is because of two conversations I have had recently with people regarding significant life limiting conditions. One is a family member who has a brain tumour, the other a colleague whose friend also has a brain tumour and whose life expectancy is very short. As I talked about their condition, I was struck by how fortunate I am that I have a condition – while it will progress over time – that I will have time to adjust and to continue to live my life.
It is said that you do not die from Parkinson’s, but that you die with it. I know that it is within my power to have positive impact on how Parkinson’s affects me and my life. I can do my exercises, eat healthy and keep engaged with life and activities that support ongoing cognitive capacity. I can spend time with my family enjoying being with them and basically feeling pretty well most of the time. Sure, there will be good days and bad days. There will be days when I feel sorry for myself. When life is hard and I feel fatigued and maybe not so positive.
But, it could be much worse.
Parkinson’s is often not life limiting as such. So, I can continue to plan to enjoy my life and be active and engaged. It does make me more inclined not to defer plans for travel or experiences, which again is not a bad thing. The saying ‘Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today!’ is never more true. Seize the moment, take those opportunities, live your best life and live well with Parkinson’s. That is the best advice I could give.