Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Day 10:
Team Parkinson’s – The Captains, The Players, The Benchsitters, and The Fans
Whether you’ve got ‘regular’ Parkinson’s disease (disease manifests itself after age 55-65) or have been diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease (PD manifested before age 50), sooner or later you’re going to want to talk to someone who really understands – someone who’s been there and fighting their battle to win.
A support group is like a team. There needs to be a captain – someone who leads, keeps things going, encourages the team, downplays the negative. In order for the team to perform well, each player needs to be in the game. Just because you’re part of the team in number, doesn’t mean you’re ‘part of the team’. Bench sitters don’t appear to contribute a whole lot but some do and others certainly can. Bench sitters have a great opportunity to offer encouragement to their teammates. To offer a cup of cold water when a team member runs to the sidelines.
As a player on a Parkinson’s team, maybe you’re a bench sitter right now, not fully able to participate; but you sure can cheer those on around you. And if you’re a player who is still able to move freely without many constraints, don’t forget about the bench sitters who long to be in the game, but find themselves ‘benched’ for now, through no fault of their own.
And – remember for every team, there are fans. They faithfully come out, watch the tough plays, and cheer on the team from the sidelines. They are there in the rain, the cold and biting wind, the hail, the scorching heat, the stormy winds… No matter the weather, they always show up.
Whatever part of the PD team you’re in or on, you’re not alone. As a patient or caregiver, contact us if you’re feeling isolated and need some encouragement. That’s why we’re here.