Posted by: PD Warrior | May 10, 2007


I read a blog today by a fellow Person With Parkinson’s  that left me a little bewildered. This person had just read an article about someone battling the disease and was angry because the piece made a reference to Parkinson’s “stealing someone’s identity.” The blogger then went onto say that the disease couldn’t possibly steal someone’s identity, and that she would always be the same person she was.

 I am not sure if I should be happy or sad for this person. I could look at the bright side and say I am happy for her resolve to not let the disease change her. Or, I could assume the reason she won’t lose her identity is because her disease will never progress [Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic progressive neurological disorder] 

I could be sad, thinking the person who wrote that post doesn’t know much about the disease she has been inflicted with. Or, worse yet, I could be sad becuase the reason this person won’t lose any part of her identity because she has not experienced anything during her life i.e. no hobbies, no favorite activities etc.

I myself have done much with my life. I used to be an accomplished pianist and guitarist, but I no longer have the dexterity for either. That doesn’t mean I don’t like music anymore, but it does mean that I can no longer play in the shows and recitals that I used to be a part of- something thatwas a very important part of my identity.

I used to be an accomplished artist. I have sold many drawings and paintings over the years, but – again I no longer have the dexterity to create the calibre of art that I was so fond of doing. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate art, because I do. However, it does mean that I will no longer do any art work on commision- at least not the realistic style that I enjoy so much. So, again I would say that my identity as an artist has been stolen.

Sunday rides on the motorcycle…gone.

My lfe long dream of becoming a pilot…shattered. I don’t have the strength/endurance required, plus my PD meds make it potentially unsafe for me to fly a plane.

I am still working, and able to provide for my family, but how much longer will I be able to do so. What will happen to me then? I don’t know the answer to that, but I can tell you this: when that happens I wil have lost my identity as “man of the house,” or “breadwinner.”

All things considered, I would say PD is a notorious thief that will steal your identity at the drop of a hat.


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