Monday, 15 July 2013

What is lost in Parkinson’s?

The presence of Parkinson’s in your life certainly feels like a loss, a devaluing and something to mourn. But does it cause a passing away of yourself? What exactly do you lose when you are diagnosed?

Past achievements remain intact and retain their value despite the presence of Parkinson’s in your life; you may long for the relative freedom from the disease you had in the past but this just shows the value that your past still has for you; it can be a source of inspiration and not disappointment.

The future does not exist in the present: it is unwritten and largely unknown, it is made of mostly inaccurate predictions; did you predict Parkinson’s? Case closed! The future is unpredictable because we don’t know everything about the world or its causal relationships; also people have free will and can change the world. The future is merely fragile expectations…

The present feels like Parkinson’s is taking bites out of me, ripping chunks of flesh from my body and gleefully devouring me piece by piece. However, this makes an assumption: there exists a perfect version of me unaffected by Parkinson’s that I can compare myself to. It is equally questionable to compare yourself to other people. Other people are not you. The only reasonable comparison I can make is with myself at this moment; this reveals, at this precise moment, I am being myself.

So what is lost? The past retains its value, the future is still unwritten and in the present you are just being you. The thing that is lost is your expectations of your present and future and this is truly devastating. But expectations can change…

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