Journal Entries regarding Parkinson’s Disease (2)

I wrote a note to myself today reminding me to rest often, enjoy my surroundings, be compassionate to others who may not even know what factors or diseases are influencing their behaviors. I could have learned faster if I had talked more with others in a support group but instead I’ve been learning the hard way, trial and error. I do have an older brother who has Parkinson’s and I have seen what he has gone through. He’s had DBS, which was only partially successful and he’s still optimistic. I have much to learn from his trials and suffering.

I find that when I am stressed, tremors on my left side increase. I have to be aware and tell myself to relax. Of course if I am tired or if I’ve had too much coffee or tea then the effects are heightened. But it’s not just times of stress that the trembling increases or I notice the change. During quiet times, while I’m trying to sleep, that I’m not bothered by excessive trembling but by RLS. My right leg twitches and jumps and keeps me awake and restless. I’ve had some success by elevating my right leg with a pillow. Parkinson’s is not my favorite disease. I’d rather have mumps or measles, something that just passes and goes. But since I do have P.D. I just have to live with it, learn to challenge any progressions, and smile. Afterall, life is what we make of it. Since I also have arthritis and recently had two knee replacements, I can’t waste too much time focusing on PD. I’ve got too many things on my list of to do’s and the list is growing instead of shrinking. (to be continued)

Just because I have PD does not mean I have lost everything. It’s true that my body does not cooperate when I’m doing certain tasks. I don’t walk as well. My face is more rigid and I look more solemn. My hands shake, especially when I’m tired, under stress, or in need of medication. I sometimes look worn and haggard, perhaps because I’ve not been sleeping well due to RLS or cramping or just spinning thoughts around in my mind. In any case, I am not suffering from dementia. I’m not suddenly stupid. And things I do which are not smart are not attributable to my disease. I still make mistakes but I’m on a learning curve and will be until I die. I still play chess, work puzzles of various kinds, and keep mentally active. PD was scary to me at first but I’ve thrown down the gauntlet and intend to challenge it. I find that I feel better when I exercise regularly, rest when tired, and stay on my medications. I also take vitamins and a few supplements that may keep PD at bay, or at least slow it down. Mentally I’m still going full speed and I’m trying to reduce any physical breakdowns. I am ready to face the challenge of a new day. Carpe diem! (to be continued)

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