Sunday, March 7, 2010
Stretch, Change and Transform: The Parkinson's Demand
However, I have learned that in life, like in exercise, stretching is inevitably required if I am to make needed changes. Neither the body, nor the mind, naturally stretches to facilitate transformation. It typically requires a daily decision, diligence, self-discipline, and in my case due to weakness in those essentials, accountability to a third party. It is much easier to remain stagnant, stuck; guilt-ridden initiative giving way to inertia.
This fact became obvious at the annual checkup with my neurologist, marking the 4th anniversary of my diagnosis. Despite the rather slow pace of my PD, it was inevitable that some change had occurred over the last 12 months. Even as the world around me had been speeding up, my physical ability was in the process of slowing down (with the notable exception of my right arm and leg, both of which seem to mark time with a fast polka tune heard only by them). This requires me to stretch, to change. It is as if I must be able to immediately react to my own disease-driven transformation, set up my own counter-insurgency terms. I must be more than an observer, more engaged than an embedded journalist reporting from behind the lines. I must be a contestant, even a warrior, making changes to combat the changes I experience. Better yet, anticipating the enemy and neutralizing its future effectiveness.
I am learning. I must stretch when I can. I must change what I can. I must transform as best I can. For it is my firm conviction that in doing so I stand the best chance of keeping pace with the demands of world around me, and the disease within me.
Posted by Bob Kuhn at 8:40 PM