I know it’s fuzzy math, but the “about five more” is an estimate as to the years I dealt with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, off and on, without knowing what was going on with my mind and body.
I was about thirty-seven years old when, to the best of our collective recollection, I started showing the symptoms. Typing actually makes it come to life more than I had thought. February 21st will mark the seventh year since my diagnosis. I don’t call it an anniversary because I don’t care to commemorate it. It is just another day on the calendar and a way to keep track of how long I’ve been on a medication regimen, without fail, four times a day. The only thing worth remembering about that day is that it turned my world upside-down, never to be the same. As crazy as it may sound, and having experienced what I have for the last seven years, depression and suicidal ideations included, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I had to go to the deepest and darkest part of me to find out what I was capable of doing and becoming. Michael J. Fox has said it about himself and I totally agree that indeed I am a lucky man.
I will be the first to say that I haven’t accomplished much these last seven years, when it comes to the quality type work that I have in mind. For I have lofty goals that will take time, but rest-assured that they will get accomplished. At the same time, the background work that has been done, the insights that have been gained, and the incredible people that have been placed in my life so far make it easy to say that I am excited for the next step up on this journey.
So, having said that, if you are newly-diagnosed, hang in there because it really, truly is not the end of the world. Once you are ready to get active in the advocacy arena, give me a call or send me an e-mail. I’ll help you out.
If you’ve been living with Parkinson’s Disease for a few years now, you have much to offer when it comes to sharing about your experience. Get involved in clinical trials, to the extent that you can. (www.foxtrialfinder.org)
Up to this point in my life, one out of every four days have been lived with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Who would have thunk?