One in A Million

For people with Parkinson’s disease that definition of “normal” can change on a daily basis and that is what makes this disease so frustrating. Feeling normal just becomes a figure of speech, something that is in our rear view mirror. And how do we know that, because prior to our diagnoses we were just like everyone else. That loss of conformity leads us to believe we are no longer normal, when in fact we are living in our new normal.

I like to think of it this way, we have all seen programs showing children born with birth defects, performing amazing feats. I remember two in particular, one boy born with no legs competing in high school wrestling, and the other boy was born with no arms playing the piano with his feet. Both were born into difficult situations, yet there they were living a “normal” life. Their success was based on hard work and a love for what they do, just like, “normal people”. Besides their amazing physical accomplishments, the other thing that stood out was their attitudes. At a very early age they refused to be denied, and they had no one telling them they couldn’t, only loving support.

 In many ways these two young men have an advantage over people with Parkinson’s, because they are living in their normal. From birth they have developed the physical and mental skills necessary to find success. Those skills along with a deep belief that anything is possible and more importantly no fear of failure has led them to a happy productive life. Parkinson’s is the opposite, you have spent your entire life living a certain way, then suddenly the chair gets kicked out from under you.  Nothing feels normal anymore, the possible becomes impossible or so we think, self-doubt sets in and before we know it, we have turned our future over to our fears.

Accepting Parkinson’s as our new normal will allow us to achieve more, stress less and live up to our potential no matter what that maybe. Like those two young men overcoming adversity should become our new normal, our legacy will be the stories of success not failure. So, get out there and live, the world needs more heroes.  

Written by Mark Hitechew

Parkinson's Place