Fighting Parkinson’s, and “okay,” Part 2

I have received many emails of very positive feedback regarding last week’s post, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and ‘okay.'” Also, there were a few comments posted, so if you have not seen them, please click back to that post and read what other Parkinson’s sufferers had to say; it may help you, too. For those of you having a hard time looking at the day-to-day Parkinson’s issues and saying “okay,” I have some things to offer today that may help you put “okay” in a better perspective.

Going back to the last post, “Okay” is the word I have come to use to denote acceptance followed by dealing with the issue and working toward a solution. Prior to that, I used “okay” to acknowledge that something had occurred. Most of the time, this acknowledgment did not come with a solution to solve whatever I was “okaying” about…mostly, it was just an acknowledgment with a tacit acceptance. Here is my explanation as it applied to me prior to realizing I had Parkinson’s (September 2009).

In February of 2009, I had a pain in my left arm toward the inside of my elbow…”okay.” (Thought: maybe I hurt my left arm; I will rest it).
In February of 2009, I no longer had the strength in my left hand to squeeze the pump at the gas station or to lift the water pitcher…”okay.” (Thought: I was correct that I hurt my arm; I will rest it).
In March of 2009, I picked up the dog food bowl with my left hand and dropped it on the floor three days in a row…”okay.” (Thought: I needed to remember to use my right arm and hand more and rest my left).
In April of 2009, I developed a pain in my upper arms when I was doing my morning Qigong exercises…”okay.” (Thought: I need to take a break from doing Qigong).
In April of 2009, the pain in my upper arms prevented me from putting either arm under my pillow when I slept…”okay.” (Thought: This will probably go away once I take a long enough break from doing Qigong).

This is a long list, so I will stop here. The point I am trying to make is we did not get Parkinson’s the day our neurologist said, “You have Parkinson’s Disease.” Every person with whom I have spoken tells me that they feel that they had Parkinson’s 2-3 years (and some longer) before going to the neurologist and hearing the words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease.”

This is a really important point. People have told me about having had Essential Tremor for years before somebody said, “I think you have Parkinson’s Disease, you should see a neurologist.” And, after seeing the neurologist and hearing the words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease,” they felt like their whole world had fallen apart. One person told me, “I could have lived my whole life with the shaking of my Essential Tremor, but now that I’ve been told I have Parkinson’s Disease, I feel like this is the beginning of the end.”

Obviously, for me to have gone through months of watching my body gaining pain while losing physical abilities, and for these people to go through years of Essential Tremor like it was no big deal, we all must have had the ability to say a tacit “okay” to the things that were going on in life and not let certain physical ailments stop us from living.

So, why do these words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease” make us forget the simple word “okay” and prevent us from living? I would imagine it is because the words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease” are followed by the words, “It is not curable.” I hope by now you have figured out that I do not believe “It is not curable.” Quite frankly, I am very satisfied to be symptom free. I really do not care what they call it or what their opinion of curable and incurable is.

However, think about this: Wasn’t every major disease incurable until somebody recovered? And then more people recovered and more and more and more, and then one day, somebody said, “This disease is curable.” But, until the day that somebody of great authority announced “This disease is curable,” the medically acceptable thing to tell patients would remain, “It is not curable.”

“Okay.”

What I am asking you to do here is to take an honest look at yourself and think back to all of the things you knew were wrong with you prior to the day you heard the words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease,” and ask yourself if you merely shrugged them off with a tacit “okay.” A tacit “okay” that meant something to the effect of, “I know this is not normal, but it is not such a big deal, so I will deal with it as part of my daily life.”

“Okay.”

Now, while you still are feeling how you felt when you looked at the physical ailments leading up to your diagnosis with a tacit “okay,” I want you to look at words, “You have Parkinson’s Disease” and give them a resounding “OKAY!” This is the “okay” discussed last week, the “okay” that says, “I accept the situation as it is, right here, right now. What is my solution? What am I going to do about it, right here, right now?”

“Okay!”

So, you have Parkinson’s…”okay!” What are you going to do about it, right here, right now? Why not say, “okay,” get on your path to recovery, and stay on your path to recovery until you recover. Aren’t you worth it?

All my best,

Howard

 

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5 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and “okay,” Part 2

  1. Penny Wassman says:

    Thank you, Howard…your words are great advice. With the “okay”, I’m learning to recognize and give up the life-alienating mind chatter that I have long recognized as neither serving me nor anyone around me. I know from experience that when I buy into self-defeating thoughts and words like “incurable”, I’m not living life…. I’m not living vitality…. I’m not me… I actually bring about the results in my body that I most fear! When my body challenges me as it does on a regular basis (Parkinson’s has been playing with me for over a decade), I have a choice: I can sink into the self-deprecating and defeatist mind chatter… or I can say “okay” and focus on vitality. …that’s what the real me wants after all.
    The difference now (after looking for support for years) is that I have direction with your recovery program….and a renewed surge of optimism. So I’m doing the exercises every day without fail (I still work, but I’ve re-arranged my day – health being a number one priority) and I’m seeing results. I will own that I found the exercises a little strange at first…. it was really difficult to feel any qi energy at all…. I wondered if I was on the right track initially, but I followed your instructions…. at first I simply imagined the energy moving as directed and gradually, wonder of wonders, I actually began to feel the energy moving within me – particularly evident in the kidney qigong exercises…. also quite noticeable energy movement in my hands and brain. So wow, am I motivated…and excited – persistence is key to recovery, I guess…..

  2. Leontina says:

    buna howard azi iti spun o intamplare hazlie despre reteta ta. Am stat in fata oglinzii si am spus incantatia pentru vibratii creier,nepotul meu de 12 ani a intrat si a strigat la sotul meu; vino repede bunicule a inebunit Leo[asa imi spune el},vorbeste in chineza cu oglinda hai s-o ducem la spital .Au ras toti de asa situatie. Sper ca traducerea sa nu denatureze hazul.Este BINE.

  3. Howard says:

    Translation from Leontina:

    Howard today tell a good joke about your recipe. I sat in front of the mirror and said vibration delightful for the brain, my grandson of 12 years came and cried to my husband, come quickly to crazy Grandma Leo [so he says], speaks Chinese in the mirror, let’s go to the hospital . They laughed about the situation. I hope that the translation does not distort the humor.

    Leontina, the translation does not distort the humor. I am happy you are doing the brain vibration chanting, and I am happy that something in the recipe gave your family (and all of us) something to laugh about. Thank you for sharing.

    Howard

  4. Howard says:

    Penny,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You inspire and motivate all of us. I appreciate you taking the time to share your personal experience so everybody can learn from it. You cover many issues that face us all, and you tackle them with great vigor. Good for you!

    With gratitude,

    Howard

  5. Pingback: Fighting Parkinson’s, and dissecting the disease, part 3 of 4 | Fighting Parkinson's Drug Free

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