So two days ago when diagnosed - and after a two year period of observing myself having issues (and the occasional doctor visit and a couple of rheumatologists visits to rule out arthritic conditions), I had my answer. So what did I do? Cry? No. Did I celebrate that I had an answer and that I wasn't some crazy stiff and shaky hypochondriac? No. I did what many of you did. I went back to work the very day of my appointment. Kind of interesting that I am a psychotherapist. I did groups and individual sessions with people who are depressed - many of whom live in an affluent area (Johnson County, Kansas). Did my empathy suffer? No. Not a single thought such as "You think you have problems because you are not sure why you are depressed and can't decide between the new Lexus of the Land Rover?" Nope. I still felt compassion and upliftingly directed them to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings and engage in healthy behaviors.
I went home, told the wife. My 17 year old daughter was concerned. My 12 year old son (who has mild Asperger's) asked me if I was going to die. I told him that I would be fine, maybe just struggle more with some tasks. I didn't tell my 21 year old - that lives out of the home with his new family and their two new babies. I didn't want him to know yet. My wife said "I just can't picture you being disabled some day". We ate dinner, watched TV and I woke up the next morning and wolfed down an Azilect (and regretted it too because I have gluten intolerance and my choices of food are limited anyway - now I have to worry about all sorts of MAO interactions).
After all the "Parkinson's for Dummies" book said that it will not kill you and that there is probably a cure around the corner. Just another day at the office, right folks? That was the day before yesterday.
And then yesterday, I decided to leave work on a short walk. I hobbled across a busy intersection and almost slipped climbing a grassy slick embankment. I made it to a coffee shop and reached in my wallet to grab my debit card - which somehow decided to elude my grip and sail to the floor. I picked it up and then reached for the piping hot coffee. Now I have to be extra careful. I managed to juggle it to a table and sat down. Then it hit. Sadness. Was it the new medicine - or was it ... oh, crap "I have Parkinson's - my life will be different." I am technologically gifted, so I therapeutically stayed up late and made my own little Pdude website (despite problems typing) and felt almost a sense of serenity. Thanks for listening.