One big discovery that I have made from having a progressive and degenerative condition – is in finding out who my true friends really are – as well as discovering that some (who I thought were good people) are actually far from it.
When others discover that you have a progressive disease (like my Parkinson’s Disease), it is surprising – no, actually it is shocking – when you see the people that will stick with you, and then see those who don’t – with some of the people whom you may least expect, either running for the hills or preparing to throw you off the ship!
I have learned that there is kindness left in this world, but also there is cruelty. I incorrectly assumed that some people, whom I thought would be understanding, were not. It doesn’t even matter if these people (whom I am referring to) are employed in helping professions, such as the medical or mental health field. I have discovered – in some people (whom I had originally thought to be very kind and good-natured), that their greed, rudeness, cruelty, and downright evil nature – awakens in their hearts, after they determine or perceive that you are a liability (or of no more use) to them.
I have discovered in some other people, that they no longer desire to have anything to do with me – these are the ones who scatter like roaches when the light switch is flipped on.
I have also seen the kindness – the people who call and check on me, the stranger who smiles and opens the door for me (when he or she can tell that I am struggling), as well as those who are willing to reach out and try to help – or at least continue to treat me like a human being.
Having a disease like this helps me to understand that each day is a gift. There is beauty out there. Unfortunately, there is also the ugly.