You, or someone you know, has got Parkinson’s. Perhaps you’ve only just found out or maybe you’ve known for years. If you’ve only just found out, you’ll probably be feeling pretty overwhelmed to say the least. All you can think, is: What Now!?
As a matter of fact, you think the same, regardless of whether you’ve known for 2.5 or 15 years. What now!? And, I imagine you think exactly the same at 45 or 75. What now!? I frequently have a What Now Moment. Perhaps you do too. That’s why I’ve compiled a Parkinson’s First Aid list.In this particular blog, I cover ‘The Diagnosis. What now!?’
So, you’ve just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. What now?!
- Don’t try to keep both feet on the ground
It’s not necessary. You’ve just been engulfed by the surging waves, the current is tugging at your legs. Let it happen. The sea will return you safely back to shore.
- Do some maths and stats
The symptoms and variants of Parkinson’s are as numberless as those grains of sand stuck stubbornly between your toes. Don’t try counting them. You won’t suffer from all of them. Neither will you get them all at once, and certainly not tomorrow. Try simply walking again. A lot of that sand will drop off along the way.
- Do as the sun
Set, disappear, and rise once again. If you’ve got Parkinson’s, it can sometimes feel like your light is going out. Sometimes it will. But only for a moment. And it always burns again. Despair about your future, your family, your mind … I know how truly dark that despair can be. But I believe that you’ve got to keep hoping, you’ve got to be brave, you’ve got to remain faithful to your dreams, big or small. Watching the sunset is okay. But you mustn’t forget to check that it rises once more. So far, I’ve not been disappointed.
- Do what the bambino on the beach does
Do what that little bambino on the beach, with his bucket and a spade, does. Dig, fetch buckets of water, bring the odd bucketful back to the sea, and build sand castles …all day long. Little bambino focusses solely on what’s directly in front of him and simply gets on with things. Even if the sea washes that sandcastle away, while our bambino was off fetching ice creams with mum. Parkinson’s continually washes your sandcastles away. Not on purpose. Just as the sea doesn’t do anything on purpose either. It just happens. Being angry won’t help. The sea has no ears, and neither does Parkinson’s.
- Going under
The swirling surf, that threatening sound, the towering waves… brrr…I admit, it scares me a little. I don’t relish turning my back to the sea and allowing those breakers to come crashing over me – not that I venture in that often, but occasionally I do. Neither do I relish standing waist deep in Parkinson’s, with my back to the future – because I won’t be able to see what’s coming… and what then? Yes, what then!? I’ll be terrified out of my wits every time a wave smashes over me, and what then? Yes, what then!?
That’s when I feel the hand of my My Life. Sometimes it’s the hand of your child or your husband, whom you’re playing with in the sea. Others, it’s the hand of a friend who suddenly appears at your side. Every now and then you find yourself alone in the water, with only a handful of tourists for company. Would they come to your rescue? Would they even notice you going under? Maybe. Maybe not. In times like these, you yourself need to reach out and grab Life’s hand. Stay afloat, sandy saltwater still gritty between your teeth, hair matted like a forest rope, a small sea shell between your toes – and swim for your Life.
Mariette Robijn, Huizen, The Netherlands, April 2017.