The following is a blog post from Carisa Campanella on what it takes to be a Parkinson ‘s fighter. #Parkinsons
Friday, August 24, 2018
How To Be A Parkinson’s Disease Fighter
We are thrilled to be able to share some information on Parkinson’s Disease with you for this blog, and even more thrilled that Carisa Campanella, the Program Director for Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, has given us a wonderful contribution for this topic. If you would like more information, you can contact the foundation by going to their website at http://www.neurochallenge.org, or by calling 941-926-6413.
Getting a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is a life-altering event. Many questions arise for the newly diagnosed person with Parkinson’s. How will Parkinson’s affect my ability to walk? Will I be able to work? Will people stare at my hands when they tremor? Will I die in a wheelchair?
There are no easy answers to these questions as Parkinson’s presents differently in each person affected by it. The major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, hand tremors and altered balance can vary widely. One thing however is consistent: there are two types of people with Parkinson’s disease – Parkinson’s sufferers and Parkinson’s fighters.
Muhammad Ali has said: “Parkinson’s is my toughest fight. No, it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to explain. I’m being tested to see if I’ll keep praying, to see if I’ll keep my faith. All great people are tested by God” Choosing to fight a neuro degenerative disease takes strength, grit and tenacity. Having a support system such as an involved friend, family member or spouse can help fuel your fight. The greatest benefit of fighting Parkinson’s disease is that you empower yourself to live an active and productive life despite the challenges the disease presents. You enable yourself to continue to be a loving and involved person in the lives of your friends and family. You continue to pursue the activities that have brought you enjoyment in the past even if you must make modifications. Fighting Parkinson’s begins with your attitude – your belief that this disease does not define you, although it has become a part of your everyday life. Having had the privilege of getting to know many Parkinson’s fighters, here are some qualities they possess that should give hope to anyone diagnosed with this disease:
- PD Fighters Educate Themselves: Fighters make a point to learn all they can about the symptoms they must face. They attend support groups, symposiums, and see their doctors regularly.
- PD Fighters Follow Their Physician’s Treatment Plan: Fighters make sure they have a good working relationship with their neurologist, and they get second opinions if they feel it is necessary.
- PD Fighters Exercise and Eat Healthy Foods: Fighters know that exercise and good nutrition can slow down the progression of the disease, and they go to great lengths to take care of themselves.
- PD Fighters Talk to Each Other: Fighters know that no one else can truly understand what their experience is like as well as someone else fighting the same disease – and they are quick to share strategies that help them.
- PD Fighters Accept Their Disease: Fighters will say that acceptance is not always an easy place to come to – but it is the first step towards positive action.
- PD Fighters Pay it Forward: Fighters know that Parkinson’s awareness will bring about more community services and resources – and they are willing to lend their time, talents and efforts to this cause.
Managing Parkinson’s disease is not an easy task, but it is possible to live well despite it. Choose to live your best life despite the challenges you face. There is an abundance of help and support waiting for you!