May 12, 2015

If Parkinson's is the gift that keeps giving, find new ways to wrap it up!

Everyone loves getting a present, especially when it's wrapped up beautifully with pretty bright colours or fancy bows... But what happens when the gift you receive isn't something you asked for, or ever wanted?  Well, you smile and say thank you because it's the thought that counts and you don't want to be rude....

Well, Parkinson's is the gift that just keeps on giving.  Various symptoms hit at different times, some are constant some are not.  Regardless new gifts keep coming.  None of it's symptom gifts are anything you want but you just need to smile and be grateful because things can always be worse.  So instead you find new and unique ways to "wrap it up" to try and make it prettier or work better.  You could throw an all out temper tantrum everytime you get a new gift from PD but really, what good will it do?  It's not magically going to exchange it for you for something else or give you a store credit.  It's non refundable and final sale so you might as well make the best of it.

One thing those of us with PD often do or any other disease or ailment in fact is use it as an excuse to say we "can't".  Well you can.  The only thing we cannot do is let our non refundable circumstance take the joy away from our lives or stop us from doing things we love.  Sure it may be harder or it might take a lot longer to accomplish the same things as before but never give up and say "I can't" without at least trying.  Instead find a new pretty way to wrap it up and get doing it again.  If you loved dancing before, then dance.  If you loved running or cycling or boxing, then do it.  If you loved painting or crafting then do it.  You may be slower, it may be harder, you might find it challenging more on one day than another but if you loved it before then find a way to love it again.  Do not let a disease like Parkinson's or any other steal the joy you used to find in something.  There are going to be things you will have to give up and have absolutely no control over and that sucks, but do not let 'it" steal all of the joy from your life.  Find a way to make it work in a new way.  Your body, mind & spirit will thank you for it and you'll spend a lot less time being angry over the final sale non refundable gift you are stuck with.

I used to love bootcamp and heavy workouts and I've convinced myself over the last year or more that I cannot do it anymore.  I've taken up things like running (although I don't do it well Ha!) and other activities that are 'easier' because those body parts work better.  This is still a good thing, but that doesn't mean you can't try and do the thing you loved before.  Sometimes you need a rotten gift to come to give you the extra push to go out and seek the present you really want.  My last appointment with my movement disorder neurologist and the disheartening news that in just under  a year I had gotten worse and now have dystonia in my hand was my most recent excuse to throw a tantrum about the crap gift I was just given.  I threw myself the best pitty party I could pull together and boy was it a party.  It lasted a full week.  At the end of that week I realized that pitty party or not I was still stuck with the crap gift I never asked for nor wanted and in addition to it I was feeling like an emotional mess and becoming more unhappy by the day.  So at the end of the week I told myself I was being ridiculous.  The gift was non refundable and you're simply going to find a way to use it and wrap it up pretty and find the joy again.  So, I registered for the bootcamp that I had been telling myself for a very long time I "can't" do.  I wrapped up that new present in a pretty pair of sneakers and full of anxiety off I went.  And you know what?  I "could" do it.... It wasn't easy and I couldn't do it as well or as fast or as strong as I once had, but I could do it.  In just one week of 3 rounds of bootcamp I felt more energetic, happier and proud of myself.  I was no longer having a tantrum over the gift I was enjoying the new way it was wrapped up!

When life gives you a gift you never asked for and never wanted simply smile and get a pretty bow and get on with it.  Get out of the cocoon and try....