Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Share Your Parkinson's Disease Journey

Circling the wagons...or not...around PD

We all know the the Parkinson's disease journey can proceed at varying rates of speed. Whether we travel by jet, by train, by ship or by covered wagon, the destination is going to be similar for all people with Parkinson's.

What we do know is that this is one journey you don't want to make alone. In the case of a serious illness, disease, condition, it is so easy to circle the wagons around your party of one. Or you let in your spouse but you don't want to scare the children. Big Mistake!

Speaking to your children as frankly as their ages permit will help to keep the family together - keeping them out of the loop can foster hostility, anger, fear, depression.

Denial isn't going to make PD go away but it can drive away the people who love you. When you have family and friends who want to be part of your life and your journey, count yourself lucky and let them on-board. They still need the YOU inside your body and you still need them. Trust them.

Sometimes just talking about a symptom or a problem allows for new insight. It lets the people who care help you find a solution, no matter how temporary.

While the caring link runs deep, don't forget that you and your family share common genes. They also have a right and a need to know.

I know that men and women alike want to sustain the image they have of themselves in the home, the workplace and the community and they don't want to worry their children, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins by not confiding. Well, that doesn't work because your silence and secrecy you might just be causing more stress for everyone.

Parents often forget that children are voting members of the family too...I should know. We did that when the heart condition was diagnosed and didn't let up until we were rightfully accused of circling the wagons and leaving our adult children, our siblings outside the circle...subject to the slings and arrows of confusion and fear. Expand you circle to let the life back into it.

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