Category Archives: Parkinson’s Disease

From Coping to Managing

I have read a lot of articles lately about how people are coping during the pandemic crises and even had some conversations with family members about it. Today I’d like to share my thoughts on the topic. While the terms coping and managing are often used synonymously they are two very different things.

The following story is how I came to that realization.

It was probably two months after first being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease before I said the words “I have Parkinson’s disease”. Up until that point I was in, what I thought of as, a healthy state of denial. I would say things like “I have been diagnosed with…” or “they tell me I have…” but I was not ready to own it. I guess that was my way of coping.

I remember clearly the day I finally said the words “I have Parkinson’s disease”.  I was alone in the house (I wasn’t  ready to say those words to anyone else) standing at the kitchen sink washing some dishes thinking about what was happening to me. Then I said the words out loud “I have Parkinson’s”. As soon as I said it the voice in my head, God’s voice, said “Yah, you got this.” Then I said, “Yah, I’ve got this. It doesn’t have me. I have it.”

It was then that I remembered that I am the manager of my life. Regardless of the circumstances that come my way, I still get to make decisions about how I respond to them. You might remember from my first post about Parkinson’s disease that I’m not in this alone. I have a wonderful team to support me, but ultimately I am the manager of my life.

My message to you today is, if you find yourself struggling to cope with a situation (COVID 19 or other) remind yourself that you are the manger of your life. Take control, make good decisions for yourself, your family and others around you. Do not let the situation control you – you’ve got this!

Breathe Deep and Carry On!

When Life Threw Me Curve Ball

I began writing this piece about a year ago. It has been sitting in my drafts folder and I have gone back to it a few times to work on it. Now, when along with so many people around the world, life has again thrown me a curve I feel it is important to finish and publish the piece.

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When Life Throws A Curve

It happens to the best of us right? You know how that happens – you are standing at the plate ready for the pitch. The pitch is thrown and with your eye on the ball you notice it is coming outside the strike zone. You relax a little – then suddenly the ball is right there, right where it should be. You are caught off guard. What do you do???

After thinking about how my whole situation played out, here is what I realized.

Even though I was not as prepared as I could have been I still might be able to take a swing at the ball. Perhaps I would hit the ball anyway and even if I didn’t a strike is a strike whether I swung and missed or just let that ball pass by. A strike doesn’t really matter that much. Even if I strike out it really doesn’t matter that much as long as I do the best I can do.

This is why.

My life, just like baseball, is a team sport. If I strike out there will be another batter stepping up to the plate to give it their best shot. Even if my strike made the last out in the ninth inning, causing my team to lose the game, there is going to be another game. Even if it is the final game of the season, there is going to be another season.

In the game of life the only way I lose is to quit the game.

That may be a bold statement but I can say with confidence that I play on a winning team. Let me introduce them.

First and foremost is my coach, or rather my coaching team, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have a multi-lifetime contract with this coach. It doesn’t get any better than that! He will be with me throughout my life on earth and when that has finished He has reserved a spot in Heaven for me. I couldn’t ask for a better coach. He makes sure all of my needs are met and when I mess up he forgives my errors.

I often turn to Him for strength and wisdom and in my 50+ years on earth He has never let me down.

Next is my Co-captain. We promised to love, honor and cherish, through good and bad times until death do us part.  We have kept this commitment each and every day. We work together and make decisions together to make sure “our team” is doing it’s best and when one of us is weak the other steps up.

Other players on the team include my sisters who I can always count on to be there in my time of need, my daughters, dad and other family members and friends. People who ask if there is anything they can do to help, offer encouraging words or pray for or with me.

Doubtless many who will read this today are feeling that life has thrown them a curve. Some of you may have held your stance and even hit the ball out of the park while others are still standing there in a daze wondering what just happened. Either way the question I have is are you playing on a winning team? If not then you may want to talk to my coach. He is always looking for new recruits.

I am sure this post will leave you wondering what it was that initially prompted me to write this and I’m not going to leave you guessing. In Decenber of 2018, after several months of undergoing medical tests, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Even though some of my symptoms fit the diagnosis I was shocked when I heard the words. It was in the first few weeks after being dianosed that I realized that I was not in this alone but I was “playing on a winning team”. While I have not had any medical treatment for my condition I can honesty say that I feel better today than I did during the time leading up to my diagnosis. In future posts I intend to share some of the things I have been doing to manage my condition/life.

While I always welcome your comments and encourage you to do so but I will ask that you do not feel sorry for me because I do not feel sorry for myself. 

Thanks for reading. Be well and breath deep.