Watching my inbox for a message from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) felt reminiscent of days, way back when, awaiting college acceptance letters. For both, I’d wondered if I’d be invited to learn from those who dedicate their lives to study, and take that knowledge into the work I do with others. Somehow, this time it seemed even more crucial a role.
Approval of my application arrived yesterday. I now have the honor of participating in the 2009 PDF Clinical Research Learning Institute.
I’m in. So, why did I stare at the message and cry?
For me, staying balanced – physically and emotionally – with PD can sometimes mean disregarding that I have it. It’s not a denial, not an escape from reality. Rather, it is simply part of the balancing act.
Timing when my meds are on, for example, has become second nature. I know when I can go out and weed the garden without getting stuck behind a shrub from freezing or falling; the extra time I gain from my meds after a bike ride are like clock work; the insomnia has made me an expert at crossword puzzles. All the workarounds are my way of being gentle with myself, practicing ahimsa.
But, satya, or truth, appeared with that email and put me face to face with a disease that I cannot always skirt. No, for the length of the Institute, I will be immersed in all that is Parkinson’s. That reality let loose a few tears. Of course, there wouldn’t be balance without some crying.
On the flip side, what brought a smile back was knowing that I’ll be playing a part in what will hopefully be the new reality: that there will be no need for working around the symptoms. There’ll be no symptoms. There’ll be no more Parkinson’s.
Hi, my name is Carolyn Weaver and I am a graduate of the 2008 Institute. I will be participating in the 2009 Institute and just wanted to Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am sure you will enjoy being a part of the CRLI and we welcome your particiipation. I look forward to meeting you in New Jersey.
Have a Great Day!
So nice to ‘meet’ you. Thanks for the reply. I am looking forward to the Institute – even more so after your note. I’m delighted to be part of such an important program and all it has to offer. See you in October!
I am a graduate of the 2008 Institute also, and along with Carolyn, wish to thank you for your thoughts. The Institute experience for me was incredible and one that I still feel grateful for because of the opportunities it has provided me to be an effective advocate. I look forward to meeting you in October and the best I can tell you is to be ready for an incredible journey in which the support of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation is second to none. My best to you. Israel
Thank you for your kind words. I feel so welcomed! It will be such a pleasure meeting you in October.
Well, I must say “Welcome” too! I, too, am a graduate of the 2008 Institute and along with Carolyn and Israel am helping to plan the 2009 one. I can tell already we are going to have an amazing group! See you in October! Linda
Thank you! I do love the summer months, but I am finding myself looking forward to October.
Until then, enjoy.