When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in July of 2014, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I looked at my neurologist and asked him, “Is this a death sentence?”
He replied, “No, it’s what you make of it.”
I took a deep breath, trying to figure out what the hell that exactly means. He told me that Parkinson’s effects everyone differently – and assured me that millions of people with PD lead normal, active lives.
What instantly came to mind were things like shaking, stumbling, and Michael J. Fox – but what I mostly thought of was, this plain sucks!
Well, after living with it for seven years, I can tell you having Parkinson’s is what you make of it. Along with the love and support of my family and friends, I chose to make the best of it and not to let PD get me down, but build me up.
Here are 7 ways I’ve benefited from my seven-year Parkinson’s journey:
7. I’m meeting some very cool people
Through a community of Parkinson’s brothers and sisters, I’ve made some very good friends who I have a special bond with – that will last a lifetime.
6. I’m exercising like never before
One of the most effective ways to fight PD is with exercise. It’s great for the mind, body, and soul and really loosens you up. Walk, bike, play, just get off your butt and move!
5. I’m beating the crap out of Parkinson’s
Of all the activities that make me feel better, boxing is a winner. Whether it’s hitting the heavy bag or speed bag, putting on the gloves knocks Parkinson’s out like nothing else.
4. I’m playing ping pong while improving my life
Ping pong is a favorite past time of mine. Who would have thought that playing it would be an effective way to improve the symptoms of PD and feel good while having fun.
3. I’m eating healthier and feeling good
Because of my PD meds, I’ve been motivated to change my diet to live healthier by eating mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based protein and more nutritious foods.
2. I’m benefiting from music in an exciting new way
Music has always been an important part of my life. As someone with Parkinson’s, music is helping me discover a better quality of life through its own special rhythm.
And the #1 reason that having Parkinson’s doesn’t totally suck is …
1. I’m feeling positive about my future
With everything Parkinson’s has brought to my life, I’m motivated to staying positive today, while keeping my spirits set high, so I can have a better life tomorrow.