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Louise Whitney--living with Parkinson disease

I often ask myself, “Do you have Parkinson’s disease or does it have you?” There are aspects I cannot control, but there are also aspects that I can control. I used to be self-conscious about the tremors but I realized that they were not as significant to others as they were to me. It is important to accept help and to ask for it when it is needed. I am still capable––I just need a little help along the way sometimes. Every now and then I talk to my friends about Parkinson’s and that gives them the opportunity to ask me how things are going.

I have great support from my husband, my family, and my friends. My husband has been my rock through this. He also gets frustrated by the changes in me. We are as open as we can be with one another, sharing our observations, concerns and feelings. We cry, we laugh, we hug and we go on. We attend monthly Parkinson’s support group meetings where we have an opportunity to talk with and learn from other care partners.

I think it is key to remember that our worth as humans is not dependent on what we can do. We tend to think in terms of things like, “What did you get done this weekend?” or “What do you do for a living?” But that’s not what is important. Our worth comes from just existing.

Source: Louise Whitney Bio: Louise Whitney was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in July 1997. She is active in the Parkinson’s Support Group of Upstate New York, serving on committees, and also editing the quarterly newsletter. As well, she has written a book about her experiences in China. Provided by: