Why Me?

imageIf you have PD, chances of asking the question, ‘Why me?’ may have popped into your head on one occasion or another. You may ask why and I suppose my answer to you would be what an older gentleman once said to me.

I was raking my front lawn one afternoon when my neighbor walked over. A few months prior, he had shared with me that he had found he had cancer. On that day, he stood on the other side of the fence telling me how he picked my sweet peas on occasion for his wife. He was a gruff gentleman, around sixty, and had been diagnosed with a form of leukemia that was rapid in its quest to win his life. He fought his fight well with that disease but eventually, and sadly, he passed away.

As he approached me that afternoon, he took a seat on the back of my son’s truck tailgate and began to talk. In the conversation he said, “I was walking over here to see what you’d say to me when I asked you why you thought God allowed this to happen to me. But, I think I just figured it out.” He paused thoughtfully and then said, “Why not me?”

When we ask the question, Why me?, Sometimes it seems we are saying we’re above everyone else. That perhaps someone else deserves this unfortunate situation, but not me.

So – why not me? Why someone else and not me? That’s a tough, hard question – either one. We’d not wish PD, nor any disease, on anyone else, so why us? We would not wish our loved ones to suffer in any form, so why them? And yet… Why me?  Tough. Hard.

All I know is that for some divine (yes, divine) reason I was meant to walk this journey and so… Why not me? Why not run when I can, stumble when I will, fall is I may? Why not breathe it all in while I can, to the best of my ability, not knowing what tomorrow’s may be? Why not glean what wisdom gather, sow what encouragement that will be soaked up, walk beside another struggling more than I? Why focus on the what-ifs, the unknowns, the faceless fears, the why-mes, which only lead to self-absorption? I’ve been there. It ain’t pretty.

I’d much rather breathe each moment focusing on the outward, not focusing inward. That does not mean that I’m refusing or denying the fact that this disease is wreaking havoc on the inner workings of this temporary shell they call a body, but that I’d rather focus on others that I can still be an encouragement to, help some one on their own unique journey, or in some way, no matter how small, be an inspiration for someone else. Because after all, we are all chosen for some thing, for some time, for some reason, so – why not me?

Some statistics you may not know:  It’s been proven that gender plays a role in the development of PD. It’s also been proven that men are at a higher risk. It’s believed that estrogen plays a part in this as it plays a role in protecting a woman’s body from chemical changes that occur with PD.

That being the case, women who have undergone hysterectomies can be at a higher risk. And, if that is true, then in all probability, women who choose estrogen replacement therapy can run a lower risk compared to other women in the same age bracket.

Caucasians are at a greater risk than African Americans or Asian Americans.

Family history plays a part if a family member with Parkinson’s disease had symptoms develop before the age of 40. If PD was diagnosed in later years, there was not a higher risk to family members.

PD can happen to anyone, whether they fall into the higher risk groups or not. And, if that’s true, than the opposite can be said – if you fall into the higher risk groups, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get PD. We may as well just state the facts:  Anyone can get PD. Anyone can get cancer or a cold. The important thing to remember is to enjoy the now. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.

For more information on today’s stats, please visit: The Better Health Centre.