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Embracing the Journey: A Path to Acceptance




On a freezing and rainy January day in 2018, I went to the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to see a Movement Disorder Specialist.


I had no idea what to expect; in fact, I was just curious to see what they had to say. Never in my mind I thought I was going to hear what they told me - it was so obvious to them when they saw me, but I was so naive and had no clue- You have Parkinson’s, they said. It was a young female student doctor, along with her professor, the main neurologist of the department. They dropped the bomb, just like that, no tact, straight, like a shot of pure tequila. It burned and took time to assimilate—a very long time.


For the next three years, I could not hear the word “Parkinson’s”. That word was not allowed in my mind or vocabulary; it was not allowed to be in my field of awareness as a possibility for me.


Then, the reconning day came; as I got ready one morning to work on my computer, and I could not hold my arm still enough to be able to type. I went over to my bedroom and took out a pill bottle from one of my dresser’s drawers. The bottle read: Carbidopa Levodopa 25 - 100 tab. I took one, went back to my desk, and waited. An hour later, I was normal. There were no tremors, no nothing; it was a bittersweet moment. I was still, but that only meant one thing, that diagnosis was real, I was experiencing those symptoms, and they responded to the medication just as expected.


That was my reality at that moment. I fell into the deepest and darkest depression, but in the end, I accepted the fact that I had been diagnosed with a terrible disease, which is really all that happened; I was given a diagnosis - I had been living with those symptoms for about 6 years already, and I was already learning about different healing methods and possible causes for the symptoms.


Let’s think objectively. What really is Parkinson’s? Well, first of it’s the name of a doctor who wrote an essay about people who presented tremors and experienced other symptoms like stooped posture and abnormal gait. It’s a group of symptoms that were given a name to be able to be treated, medicated, and investigated. None of this describes the causes or ways to heal. 


James Parkinson wrote that essay in 1817. It’s been about 207 years since that time, and we still don’t know what causes it. Since then, a variety of different symptoms have been added to the list,  and since 1961 people have been treated with levodopa (very grateful for that, but it’s been 63 years, and with modern technology, we should already have better solutions, makes you wonder where all that donated money is going….). The commonality with the people being diagnosed is a deficiency of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra. Could it be that the dopamine deficiency is not the cause but a symptom, a consequence? I digress…


When we accept our circumstances, emotions, and experiences and see them for what they really are - experiences -  we free ourselves from struggling against what cannot be changed. We are empowered to decide and choose what to do about it and how we are going to respond to the situation with clarity and equanimity. 


Acceptance does not mean giving up or conforming to our situation. Acceptance gave me the power to take action, to find solutions; it gave me the choice to open up my heart and mind for possibilities to enter. 


Most importantly, acceptance opened my eyes and gave me the courage to live my life to the fullest because, you know what? I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, our future is uncertain, and it is for everyone. We don’t need to be given a terrible diagnosis to live fully. The time is now!


So, no matter where you are right now in your health journey, be open to the possibility and trust that these situations are given to us for our evolution, for our growth; no one grows while being comfortable, entropy begets expansion, from chaos greatness is born and this is the time for us to live up to it and find ways to overcome our challenges, we decide if we live or if we let circumstances end/take our life while we are still living. Food for thought…. 


To health and wellness, 

Tati. 




 

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