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Five Words that Counteract ‘I Don’t Know’… I Don’t Want To Know

Posted Jan 25 2011 11:15am

Arizona Sunrise

I don’t know.

Often when asked, our response to the question, “What will happen to you?” in regards to having Parkinson’s disease is, I don’t know. It’s not that we don’t know, but we’re not certain that what we know, is what will be.  And, it’s not that we don’t know, but we are all different and will experience this diease differently, no matter how minute the degree of difference is.  And, it’s not that we don’t know but quite honestly, we don’t want to know.

Plain and simple.  If we have a hard time  dealing with what Parkinson’s does to us now, why in the world would we want to dwell on what could happen to us later, knowing that PD is a progressive disease and things – whether fast or slow – are going to progress in an undesirable way?

Fear of the unknown.  Fear of things that may never come to pass, but we’re told, warned, and/or cautioned, that they may.  So, if they are just a possibility, why do we dwell on them as if they were a done deal?  Statistics support the possibilities.  That’s reality.  The reality of having a chronic disease.  It’s going to progress whether we like it or not.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is – it’s not that we don’t want to know how it will progress, but realistically – we don’t know how it will progress.

What’s so good about that you say?  We can push away the negative thoughts about things getting bad and instead, take one day at a time.  Today we can still bake a cake and eat without assistance.  We can pick flowers and maybe not do the shoveling, but we’re able to boss around someone who can (sounds like a fun power trip to me!).  We may not be able to walk the three miles a day we used to walk, but we can take the hand of a grandchild and walk with them at their pace.  Today we are alive and although we may struggle with opening a jar, buttoning a shirt, or writing a letter, we are better off than many others (in one way or another).

Living the now as best we can and not worrying about what tomorrow will bring is a goal to strive for.  Anything can happen between today and tomorrow, no matter how little time there is left.  We can wisely prepare for the worst and then live today the best possible way we know how.  Or, we can waste quality time in self-pity or foretelling the future as we get lost in discouragement.

I’m going to live one day at a time and be thankful at the end of each one.  Thankful that I had just one more day and not live as being discouraged and frustrated, worrying about what tomorrow will bring because the reality is… I just don’t know.

Even the saddest things can become,

once we have made peace with them,

a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.

Frederick Buechner

Walking with you,


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