Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"ADVERSITY HAPPENS"


    My thoughts after reading the New Yorker's article on Parkinson's Disease, April 28, 2014,  "Have You lost Your Mind?" ---

Apparently, many people who have PD are ashamed and/or embarrassed about the diagnosis.   Do they see it as a personal failure?   Or, maybe a defect?

My personal attitude is that 
1) it's not a personal failure - because, as far as I know, I had nothing to do with acquiring it,
2) and yes, it's a defect.  So What?  Does that make me "bad" or "undesirable"?     No way!

I've had a lot of personal success over the past 60 years, creating a strong self-image  (good news) - but, also strong enough to foster an un-healthy level of pride and independence (bad news -  too much of anything can become a negative, IMHO.)

Actually, I want people to know that I have PD.  I want people to know 'why' I look and respond the way I do.  Most of the time I'm smiling inside - something  desperately lacking in my demeanor.  (I've tried to notify my face, but unfortunately it doesn't respond to my mental commands  very well.) 

Because I had DBS surgery, My Parkinson's tremor is gone -- however, my speech has been extremely impacted.  I recently made a calling card to help break the ice with strangers:  
Today, at age 63, Parkinson's is not a 'career buster' for me, but rather a journey to a new place - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Fortunately, my diagnosis came at a time in my life when my vocation was morphing into a technological rat race.  I had been pleased with my accomplishments by age 55, but not necessarily excited about chasing the learning curve of the tech/video future.    (Maybe that apathy was a non-motor symptom of PD -- undetected at the time)   I was ready for a change - but not necessarily Parkinson's

Now, mind you, I'm not a stranger to change - having lived in numerous locations from:
               Philadelphia to Anchorage,   New York City to Detroit,
               North Hollywood to Modesto,  Sacramento and Yuba City, CA.  

Currently residing in North San Diego County, in retirement, I look back at the many hats I've worn since the 1960's: 
o   professional musician, magician/entertainer;  laborer/carpenter on the Alaska Pipeline;
o   construction superintendant;  racquetball and fitness club manager/owner; 
o   roller skating rink owner/operator;  Independent Business Owner with Amway Global; 
o   professional videographer  and audiovisual contractor,  producer/director. 

To be certain, I've had a very full life and my bucket list is small.  I'm sure there will be some surprises yet to come, but I have learned that  adversity happens.  How we respond to adversity determines our well-being in this life...and potentially, it determines our status in the next life to come. 

I don't like Parkinson's Disease.   It has grossly altered the dynamics of our lives - Beckie, our children and grandkids have been negatively impacted.  It has forced us into a place of pain and emotional trauma - a place, in some small way reminiscent of the trouble encountered by the ancient patriarch, JOB...a place of psychological and philosophical drama...a place,  however, where I am learning about faith and hope.  A place  where I'm connecting with my Creator -

A place where the 'glass is half full' --- always.

7 comments:

  1. I think neurosurgeons have a very difficult job. I took a class that talked about how nerves work and function in the body and it seems really hard to correct them with surgery. I'm really glad that these doctors do have extensive training because it is such a complex issue. http://www.princetonneurologicalsurgery.com

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    1. thanks for commenting John ... how did you find my blog? My best to you. KM

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  2. Well said Ken....Love from Linda and "Breaky" : )

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  3. Great post dad!! I always love to read your words and "hear" your voice. Thank you for sharing!! Love you!! Rara

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