The School of Whatever it Takes


When a person with Parkinson’s creates a new reality after a diagnosis, trying to find just what that new normal is can cause some issues.  Anger, depression are two issues that are very prevalent when receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis.  Enrolling in the “school of whatever works” has shown to bring back living well resolutions to these symptoms.  When you are faced with issues finding accommodations to give relief is in fact the “school of whatever works”.  For example, when my PWP was first diagnosed she began riding a bike.  As her symptoms progressed she has accommodated to continue being out with friends and being able to keep up she has added an e-bike (power assist) and when together we ride a tandem.  This gives her the freedom to be outdoors and participate actively doing what she loves.  Doing whatever works to live well can also mean walking instead of running, Velcro or magnet buttons on shirts or blouse, and using walking sticks to give stability when walking or hiking. 

 Setting up your living space can easily give you and a care partner peace of mind.  Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs.  Adding handles in a shower or bath can provide balance assistance.  My friend Jimmy Choi said in his Ted Talk to: “Use your knowledge to work with your limitations, not against them”.   We all have limitations and it is whatever we do to create a living well relationship with Parkinson’s.  I know that it is easy to say and harder to implement but it is possible to adjust your limitations and create a place where you can live your best. 

 -Pat Donahoo

Parkinson's Place