Posted by: PD Warrior | September 19, 2007


The first year after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease was by far the worst 12 months of my life. Although I had been having PD symptoms for almost 2 years prior to being diagnosed with the disease, I found myself in denial. Somehow I even managed to convince myself that there really wasn’t anything wrong, my tremors and balance problems were merely a figment of my own imagination; some sort of freaky mass hallucination affecting all of my closest friends, family and neighbors in such a way that everyone saw the same thing at the same time. Reality didn’t actually sink in until I heard the words “Parkinson’s Disease” coming out of my doctors mouth.

I knew in the back of my mind that I had PD before going in to that fateful appointment. As a RN a certainly had seen my fair share of people with the disease, and had more than enough medical knowledge to know what was happening. Yet at the same time, I felt that – as long as no one said it out loud – I could put off the inevitable forever. It was almost as if the simple act of calling the beast by its name was going to give it some sort of immense power over me.

As ridiculous as it sounds, that was almost exactly what happened. The doctor called the beast by name and gave it infinite power over me. I couldn’t deny it any more. Reality had forced its way in and brought “Envy” along for the ride.

I spent a year feeling sorry for myself, but depression was only half the battle. The other half was dealing with the intense feelings of anger every time I saw someone doing something that I used to be able to do, but couldn’t any longer because of the loss of strength and/or balance that was suddenly playing such a large part in my life. I silently cursed at innocent people because of sheer jealousy, especially everyone that rode past me on a motorcycle.

It took me a year to figure out that Envy nothing more than a serious waste of time and energy, two precious commodities that could be put to much better use.

After a while I wizened up. I came to realize that I really had no cause to be envious of others. Just because I couldn’t do things the way I used to do them didn’t mean I had to stop doing them all together.

Take motorcycle riding for instance… I was angry because I thought I would have to give it up all together due to balance issues. This last year however, I have done a lot of research. I have discovered the wonderful world of “trikes” – motorcycles that have been converted in to tricycles. I did some further research and found that Lehman Trikes has “no lean” stabilization on their trikes, virtually eliminating the balance issue. Granted, they are expensive, but mark my words…I will be back in the saddle again at some point in the not too distant future.

Then their is the problem of my art work. I used to do some rather intricate painting at one point. My aviation art work was highly detailed. Admittedly I am no Stan Stokes, but I was still pretty good. Suddenly I found that my fine details weren’t so fine any more. Enter envy once again. Then I discovered a couple of different things: 1) there are a number of very cool computer programs available for doing artwork – some of them are even free. 2) I have discovered the awesome hobby of woodworking. When it gets to the point that I am too shaky I can stop and return the next day when the tremors aren’t so bad. A lot of cool furniture can be built with a little perseverance, and you don’t need to have a lot of intricate details to end up with a fine looking piece of work.

I have often told my friends that “I am too stubborn to quit, and too stupid to know when I’ve been beat.” To which my best friend replied, tongue in cheek, “Stubborn and stupid huh? … I always knew you were a Jackass!”

Envy is nothing but a useless waste of time and energy, powerful enough to destroy lives, yet easily overcome by a healthy dose of stubbornness and stupidity. For those of you that find life is getting you down… may you turn into as big of a Jackass as I am!



  1. Thanks for another thoughtful post. And don’t forget that writing is a creative outlet too. You have turned the disappointment and complaints to a more positive possibility. And that’s something!


  2. My motto: I’m too stubborn to quit, and too stupid to know when I’ve been beat. 🙂


  3. I fit in that “too stubborn” category, too. But, hopefully not “too stupid” to know when to find an alternative. That’s exactly what I’m going through with the sleep apnea problem right now.

    I’ve seen Envy rear its ugly head since my symptoms have reached the point of changing my lifestyle. That’s a hard one to control at times. Everything you say rings so true. Thank you for putting into words the way I feel.


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