Right after being diagnosed – and after a two year period of observing myself having issues (and the occasional doctor visit and a couple of rheumatologists visits to rule out arthritic conditions), I finally had my answer. So what did I do? Cry? No. Did I celebrate that I had an answer and that I wasn’t some crazy stiff and shaky hypochondriac? No. I did what many of you did. I went back to work the very day of my appointment. Kind of interesting too is that my career is as a psychotherapist. Right after my diagnosis appointment, I went back to the office and did groups and individual sessions with people who are depressed. Did my empathy suffer? No. I still felt compassion and (in an uplifting fashion) I directed my clients to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings and to make sure they were engaging in healthy behaviors.
I went home, told the wife. My 17 year old daughter was concerned. My 12 year old son asked me if I was going to die. I told him that I would be fine, maybe just struggle more with some tasks. I didn’t immediately tell my 21 year old – that lives out of the home with his new family and their two new babies. I didn’t want him to know yet. My wife said “I just can’t picture you being disabled some day”. We had dinner, watched TV and I woke up the next morning and wolfed down an Azilect (and regretted it too because I have gluten intolerance and my choices of food are limited anyway – now I have to worry about all sorts of MAO interactions – but I will leave that topic for another day).
Thus it was all business as usual, after all, the “Parkinson’s for Dummies” book said that it will not kill you and that there is probably a cure around the corner. Just another day at the office, right folks? Then, the next day happened.
The very next day, while at work, I decided to leave work for a quick break and embark on a short walk. I hobbled across the street and almost slipped climbing down a grassy slick embankment. I made it to a coffee shop and reached in my wallet to grab my debit card – which somehow decided to elude my grip and sail to the floor. I picked it up and then reached for the coffee. Now I have to be extra careful. I managed to juggle it to a table and I sat down. Then it hit me – it was…sadness. Was my sudden sadness a reaction to my new medicine – or was it … “Oh, crap I have Parkinson’s – my life will be different!”?
That night, since I am technologically gifted, I therapeutically decided to stay up late and work on making this little Pdude website (despite some problems typing) and felt almost a sense of serenity. Thanks for listening. Keep on!