I’m getting used to it now; this new label that is Parkinson’s Disease. The daily interruption of my alarm sounding, every four hours, to alert me to take another dose of medication. My alarm does not discriminate. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I must stop and take my medication. If I do not, then the onslaught of Parkinson’s symptoms hits. Hits hard. That said, I do sometimes (too frequently) get side-tracked and end up forgetting a dose, which I pay for when the symptoms come and hit me!
It’s an odd thing, when your world as you experience it is changed. Suddenly, there is a new way of seeing things. Perspective is altered. Different things suddenly take on new meaning; things that may have seemed important are suddenly exposed as not being quite so important, things you put off suddenly matter, and the way in which all of the component parts of my world are experienced is somehow shaken up and given whole new meaning.
I thought I knew what it would be like; what I expected to think and feel and even how I would just go about my life as me. Yet, it is actually so very different. It is like a switch has been flicked and my view of life, and all that my life comprises, is now seen through fresh eyes. The disease, itself, is quite terrifying but the benefit of a renewed view of life is actually incredibly positive and uplifting.
I am even more aware of how precious time is. Time that is now announced in four hour intervals. Time that is either experienced as being ‘on’; meaning medication is managing to minimise my symptoms, to time being experienced as ‘off’; when medication wears off between doses and difficulty increases once again. Time that is experienced as an ‘in the present’ moment of joyful respite or of stressful, painful discomfort and difficulty. Time that is measured by the difficulty of living with deteriorating symptoms over the ‘past’ twenty years, versus how difficult a ‘present’ moment is, versus the rather daunting, but inevitable, decline that the ‘future’ beckons me toward.
So, what does one do in such a situation? Well, the answer is simple. You identify what the real priorities are, in the grand scheme of life, and you put those in place. After all, I’ve got my whole world, in my hands!
Life is about to get exciting!! Long term goals must now become short-medium term goals. Watch this space. I will be updating on these goals in future Blog posts!