Maybe you’ve had a finger twitch for a while. Or maybe, just maybe, one of your arms hasn’t been swinging when you’re walking. Or maybe you can’t smell stinky things anymore. So you head to the doc and the doc takes one look at you and determines it’s all in your head. It’s a thing called Parkinson’s disease and the symptoms of FINDING OUT you have Parkinson’s disease now begin.
You are most likely in shock. If this normal, immediate reaction isn’t what you have, then you are probably relieved.
Relieved, you ask? Well, if you are like several others who have been diagnosed with this disease, you have probably gone to several doctors, covering several miles over several years to get several opinions to finally find out it’s one thing: Parkinson’s. Initially, you are relieved. However, once the truth sets in, so do the all too real symptoms of finding out you have PD.
Grief can overwhelm you, leaving you feeling as if you have lost something significant, valuable, irreplaceable. And you have – your life, as you once knew it. However, just because you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, doesn’t mean your life as you once knew it is over. And just because you see others with PD struggling unimaginably doens’t mean you will. It does, however, some things are and will change. But it’s hard to say what precisely will change, as each individual journey with Parkinson’s disease is different.
Anger is a real and possible symptom of PD. Maybe that is how boxing came to be known as a great exercise for PD. Sometimes you need a healthy outlet to get out what’s bottled up inside.
A renewed heart and mind, a change of outlook, and/or a positive attitude can be common among those diagnosed with a disease such as Parkinson’s. You realize the value of each moment, of each day and you find you love life just a little bit more than you did before because you realize things can change in an instant.
One symptom I think we can say we all face – and even struggle with – is fear. It is natural to wonder what it will be like as the disease progresses, what we will be like, how others will see us, what others will think, will we be a burden, and so much more. We struggle with the aspect of fear because, if we have faith in God, we may feel our faith is wimpy if we succumb those feelings. But the thing about fear is that it can drive us closer to the Lord, knowing that He is with us through the dark valleys, leading us to green pastures and still waters to restore our soul.
No matter what your “finding out” symptoms may be, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that He is faithful to be with us through it all, no matter how big, no matter how small.