I’m a 75-year-old senior citizen. I’ve experienced a life crammed with the fun and sorrows typical of those of us facing life’s unpredictable challenges, sometimes bringing joy and infrequently tragedy. Fortunately, my life’s journey has been one by which the fun have far outweighed the sorrows.
The first source of my luck has been a stable marriage. My marriage of fifty years to a beautiful, loving, self-sacrificing woman who selected to like me for who I’m has proven to be the cornerstone of my life. She provided me with 4 children, without which my life would have never have been so complete. I also had the great fortune to have been engaged in a occupation that might complement my natural abilities and prove personally fulfilling. Yet a bit over two years ago, my life would change dramatically.
I started experiencing physical, cognitive, and psychological symptoms which left me feeling confused and depressed. I could be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
I used to be extremely fortunate to search out a team of highly expert doctors who quickly diagnosed me. My treatment would begin immediately following the diagnostic confirmation of my condition. I used to be placed on a long-standing medication utilized for many years within the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. My response to the medication was almost instantaneous, and my symptoms diminished to a manageable level in very short order. I used to be also supplied with a specialized exercise program to enrich the medication. Together, they manage to be very effective tools to reduce the intensity of my physical symptoms.
I also suffer from chronic low back pain; the results of years of relatively intense physical activity including running, playing basketball, splitting wood, and gardening. While I actually have been capable of proceed physical activity, my reduced energy levels limit my endurance ability. I actually have needed to vary my lifestyle to adapt to those physical changes. This has often proven very frustrating.
I would love to imagine that, for essentially the most part, I actually have confronted these challenges and struggles in a sensible manner. I don’t imagine that magical solutions can be found to resolve life’s problems. I definitely hope that in the future medical research will discover a cure for Parkinson’s disease for the countless individuals affected who experience psychologically devastating and physically debilitating symptoms. With this being said, I have to admit there are a lot of nights after I lay my head on the pillow to fall asleep that the thought crosses my mind that one good night’s rest will by some means lead to the elimination of this dreaded disease. These thoughts are usually not rational or logical. After all, after I get up the next morning, Parkinson’s disease remains to be with me, but I’m not so convinced that perhaps these irrational thoughts do serve some purpose. Perhaps the aim is to maintain hope alive; for those affected by chronic medical conditions, hope could be a magical elixir.
This type of magical pondering can be evident after I run into an old acquaintance who’s unaware of my diagnosis. My physical symptoms up to now are usually not severe, and due to this fact, not obvious to most. In some unspecified time in the future in our interaction, I’ll bring up my condition. Once I say the words, ‘I actually have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,’ it’s as whether it is the primary time I actually have revealed my illness. While, by way of adapting my lifestyle to my latest circumstances, I wish to think I actually have been successful, I often wonder if I actually have fully accepted this condition on an emotional level. I hope complete acceptance will come, but, within the meantime, I’ll proceed to experience a point of magical pondering, perhaps suggesting a level of denial on my part. Acceptance, like much in life, is a process.
Those of us living with serious chronic medical conditions look to medical science for hope and inspiration. Medical research has made incredible contributions to successful treatments for a spread of great, debilitating conditions. Nonetheless, for those patient groups affected by chronic medical conditions where latest treatments don’t seem like on the horizon, one must find ways to adapt and alter their lifestyle. This might include collaborating with doctors or physical therapists to create a latest plan to administer one’s condition; patients cannot ignore chronic pain or disabling physical conditions. While we may never return to being our “previous self,” we are able to create latest lives and revive some level of hope and joy that we can have thought was permanently eliminated from our lives.