images-5Most people would probably agree that being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at age 32 would be a hard blow.

It was.

I usually describe it as “it felt like I fell down into a black hole”. Stephen Hawking would probably have a lot to say about my complete disregard for the laws and theories that govern space and black holes but what does he know about hard blows anyway… oh, right, he probably knows enough…

Anyway, I digress… I did get a really hard kick from life on that day in June of 2003, when a neurologist told me that I have PD.

Earlier that same year, life brought me something else. The most beautiful baby ever born. My husband’s colleague said: “She looks very much like her father but she’s still very cute”.

This means that at the time for my diagnosis, Frida was four months old. It also means that black hole or not, I couldn’t stay there. I had something more important to do than feeling sorry for myself. Slowly, very slowly (Parkies are very rarely anything but slow, unless there’s chocolate to be had…), I crawled back up into the light and started rebuilding myself and my new perspective on life.

It was not easy. It still isn’t.

Every day I fight PD and the increasing number of symptoms it brings me. If I would only get out of bed on the days I feel well, you wouldn’t see me many days of the month. But you know what? There are billions of people struggling on this planet, we all struggle. Sure, there are plenty of days when I think that I deserve an Olympic gold medal in stubbornness, and that’s only for getting to work.

I would never have wished for having PD, but it has brought me so many good things where the most important is all my wonderful friends all over the world, both fellow parkies and others.

PD is tough, really tough. Every day I fight, together with millions of fellow parkies all over the world. We fight increasing disability in the form of slowness, pain, sleeplessness, bruises from falling and much more.

Malcolm Gladwell writes that you have to spend approximately 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. I have spend much more than that to actively fight PD and I am proud of what I have achieved. I am definitely not saying that I am better than anyone else at battling PD but I am definitely an expert at fighting my PD. I am proud to be a “super patient”.

But this doesn’t make me special. I am only doing what I think I need to do to make the best of the hand I am dealt.

No one ever said life is fair.

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