Mar 2, 2016

"Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up." Rocky Balboa

In the game of life we can choose to spectate or play the game.  That analogy is no different for life with Parkinson's Disease.  You can win by choosing to fight it or you can choose to sit back and watch yourself lose.  And trust me if you sit on the sidelines you will lose.  You'll lose your balance, your posture, your speed, your independence.  Now again I'm not oblivious to the fact that Parkinson's is a progressive, degenerative disease.  Yes, it will get worse over time, but as I've said a million times before; the studies prove that exercise CAN and DOES slow progression.  And it doesn't even need to be vigorous exercise to have an impact.  Perhaps you can only walk, then so be it walk daily.  Studies also say that even just puttering around the house rather than staying still have a huge impact.  Staying still and Parkinson's just do not go together in more ways than one.  Most of us have tremors, or twitch, have muscle spasms or maybe even dyskinesia, making "staying still" nearly impossible.  I can feel movement in my body constantly even when others cannot see it, I can feel it from the inside out.  The same goes with sitting on your butt, being still and PD do not go well together.  You'll get stiff being in one position for too long which will inevitably cause pain.  Point being just keep moving.... regardless of what method you're using just don't stay still.  Get in the game, play it, win it!

There are so many symptoms of PD that can plague us,  I'm always calling it the gift that keeps on giving.  As in a previous post it's a non refundable gift you never wanted, but you have it so you wrap it up pretty and make the best of it.  Everyone's symptoms are different, none of us Parkies are the same and the symptom list is extensive.  The motor symptoms themselves are tremendous and difficult to deal with then you add to it the non motor symptoms that most likely you experienced years before diagnosis which can add frustration to your game of life.

If Parkinson's Disease were a game of scrabble you'd likely win with a whopping 23 points just with the name alone, let alone all the side symptom words!  Here are some of those symptoms we deal with in scrabble Parkinson style.

As mentioned pain is most likely experienced in some way by all Parkies
Apathy is when you lose your motivation to give a crap & lose your get up and go
Rigidity is the stiffness most of us live with
Bradykinesia is the slowness of movement
Insomnia and fatigue are real struggles
Depression & anxiety extremely common.
Masked face is the loss of facial expression due to muscle control
Tremors speak for themselves
Balance is often lost and falls common
Drooling, who doesn't love a drooler?
Excessive sweating (cause being a woman that's going to go through menopause isn't enough?)
Swallowing problems can lead to serious complications & choking
Memory, confusion and general issues with cognitive function
Lack of arm swing
Stooped posture (I have a lovely 'hunched' morning walk)
Bladder & bowel dysfunction, cause that's just fun to talk about! 

I give you this list of some of the main motor & non motor symptoms of PD for the purpose of educating & raising awareness.  Not to throw you into that depression category double time.  I agree, there's no doubt about it the Parkinson's scrabble game of life you're playing is a difficult one.  However there's joy in the game, find the parts of it you can work with.  Make light of some of them because laughter is good medicine.  But refuse to give up and lose the game.  Just keep moving and you'll celebrate victories along the way, you'll slow the progression of the disease and that's putting 'it' on the losing end and that's worth playing for!

"Life is a game board.
Time is your opponent.
If you procrastinate you will lose the game.
You must move to be victorious!"  
~Napoleon Hill~

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