Rule # 4 : Life is all about how you handle plan B
A lot of you might be feeling frustrated, bitter, angry, sad or just plain anxious because prior to this so called Parkinson’s disease so many of you like myself had big dreams, ambitions and hopes for a different life than the one you might be living now. Perhaps, you were a doctor like myself whose career got cut short . So, instead of being head of a department at a prestigious university you are just sitting around wondering why things have not panned out. Perhaps, You were going to be a best seller writer but the opportunities have not presented themselves since the disease has limited you physically or mentally…To you I say, if you can’t do the good you WOULD do the good you CAN! Would you be willing to write a newsletter for your local Parkinson’s support group? Maybe, You are a nurse who had to give up her career because of the physical demands of PD but your training is still invaluable. You can teach local high school students, college students or even nursing students about caring for chronically disabled people with PD. What if you were a law enforcement officer that could no longer uphold the law and protect its citizens because now you have too many tremors or are to unstable when you walk…don’t lose heart you can still influence the law and fellow officers to recognize signs of neurological deficits like drooling, uncoordinated gait and hard to understand speech and prevent mistreatment and prejudices against patients that may look inebriated (drunk) but unfortunately suffer from Parkinson’s disease and other similar conditions from being wrong fully detained or Incarcerated.
The choice is yours…wallow in self pity or DO the GOOD you CAN where you are with what you have…..You are only limited by your imagination and willingness to help yourself and others. This the reason some people say we have 2 hands, one to help ourselves and one to help others.
The key to being happy with plan B when it’s suddenly thrust upon us is realizing that often times It is during life’s interruptions that we may find our true calling and joy!
So, are you willing to bloom where you have been planted? To follow the example of great people like Joni E. Tada, who became a quadriplegic after a diving accident and instead of giving up and throwing in the towel, learned to paint with her mouth. Not only is she now a world renowned artist but has authored numerous books and has become an active advocate for disabled people all over the world.
Remember, next time you feel sad or questioning the path to take…that are always many opportunities all around you to help others and use your God given talents. Nothing that you have done, achieved, or learned prior to your PD diagnosis has been a waste. So, go ahead allow yourself the freedom to start something new and joy will surely follow. Everything has been in preparation for something BIGGER and BETTER! You must learn to take life as it comes …there will never be a perfect time where all conditions are free of risks and absolutely safe. Tomorrow is not guarantee to anyone of us so we must embrace plan B and learn to bloom in adversity …after all “a flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest” and most beautiful of all. (Mulan)
Dr. M. De Leon is a retired movement disorder specialist,
PPAC member and research advocate for PDF; Texas state assistant director for PAN (Parkinson’s Action Network).
You can learn more about her work at www.facebook.com/defeatparkinsons101
you can also learn more about Parkinson’s disease at www.pdf.org or at www.wemove.org