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I have so much respect for our friends living with Parkinson’s disease. So Brave – So Resilient. So much overcoming hardness when your mind and body betray you. Try to rest, tremors begin. Push, Push Push, against something to relieve this restlessness! Arm, foot, shoulder, suddenly frozen. My foot is stuck to the ground. Patience, wait it out. Wait for it, wait for it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, don’t get mad mister, I am not staring at you, I can’t refocus. I should be the one who’s mad, right? But no, I am counting my blessings. I love my family, I want to pick up my baby, play with my kids. I can do this if I take my daily regiment of several pills which help me function. The pills help me to be able to dress myself, feed myself, walk and keep my balance. Without them, I have to lean on a wall to steady myself. Without the meds I have to think through buttoning my shirt, which takes enormous effort. I am much slower with my motor movements as each day passes by, but hey, I can still get-er-done, just don’t rush me. My bowels are often stopped up which is horribly uncomfortable; I have to urinate and it comes on so fast I can’t get to the bathroom fast enough. I feel like I have a constant fever. Everything I do takes twice as much effort. Things everyone else may take for granted. My foot drags and my arm won’t swing when I walk; so the medications help – they make a difference, for now. The medications make my movements smoother. The medications don’t make me smooth, just smoother. They make it so I can still go to work each day and provide for my family. When I am “off”, I have cognitive issues, cloudy thought processes; when I am “on”, I can function pretty well. Oh by the way did I mention the medications cost $5000 plus per month? They say this disease won’t kill me, so that’s the good news, right? Don’t think you’ve got me down. No way, no way, no way!

Exercise, Tai Chi, is my friend. Yoga, boxing, and good nutrition will help. Ride a bike, walk, throw a Frisbee to my dog; make mad passionate love with my partner. I will rock climb, I will play guitar and piano, I will sing in a band. I will play Bridge with my friends and create amazing cross stitch pictures. I will paint beautiful artwork. I will not feel sorry for myself.  I will never give up, I will never give in. Let’s dance barefoot in the grass to Ed Sheeran!

This is the battle cry of some of the over 1.5 million people living with Parkinson’s in the United States.

Not all have tremors, some have PIGD gait/walking and balance issues. These folks often have memory loss as well. I have never met a Tribe like these wonderful people, who keep their spirits up even when they can’t always find a good reason, except that they are alive and very happy about that. There is always tomorrow. My RESILIENT FRIENDS – You have my love, prayers, and respect.

 

Jill Lorentz is the President and Owner of Summit Resilience Training, Dementia Education for Caregivers. She is also the Host of KEZW Cruisin’1430am Dementia Resilience with Jill Lorentz which airs Sunday’s 10:00-10:30 am MST. Jill teaches families and professionals strategies and techniques which help them to feel understood and allows them to relieve stress so they can enjoy their lives while caregiving.