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Acceptance: I like big "BUTS" and I cannot lie.

I thought I had accepted my Parkinson's diagnosis. Yes, I had Parkinson's. BUT it would stay mild, because I was gonna fight it every step of the way.

Boxing. Running. Rowing. Cracking jokes about my symptoms. My steely spine and my steely mind would prevail!

That was before my meds started wearing off faster. Before I felt the first wobbles in my walk. Before my working memory started failing me.


it turns out...

Acceptance comes in layers.

Maybe my first layer of acceptance was more like a happy denial. Not to get all "5 stages of grief" on you, but there was probably a healthy dose of Bargaining in there too. If I work out every day, the bad stuff won't happen.


at some point I have to admit, I can only control my actions. My exercise. My attitude. My eating and sleeping habits. (A neurologist told me that Deep Sleep, which generally comes early in sleep cycle, is when your brain flushes out waste. More on this later!) I have to do what I can, and let go of the outcome.

A big part of acceptance is letting myself feel my feelings. As I peel this damn onion, it's okay to cry.

The best thing is, I don't have to cry alone (unless I want to). The friends I've met through

Shakers Anonymous and my women's group have given me the strength, resolve, and insight to go through this. It's hard to talk to "civilians" about how it feels, say, when the tremor starts to move inside me. Or how my hands just don't work right anymore. People who don't have PD don't know what to say.

BUT my PD friends do. They can laugh about it with me. We all GET IT because we've GOT IT. And that makes all the difference.



Karen McIntyre joined the board of Parkinson’s Body & Mind after a 25+ year career as an advertising creative director. She lives in NYC with her husband and daughter.

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Maybe it's all the emails about PD pelting my inbox like cold April hail. Maybe it's because so many of my loved ones have died in the month of April. Or maybe it really is the cruelest month. But all

2 comentarios

Lisa Semel
Lisa Semel
25 feb

Right on target! Excellent!!

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19 feb

Beautiful, Karen! Thanks for your humor, courage and inspiration! You so got this! Pat

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