My friend Lee, a retired high school science teacher, has Parkinson’s disease.
A million and a half Americans share his plight, and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
Though Lee has Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s doesn’t have Lee.
“It is what it is,” he says philosophically. “I didn’t ask for it, but I have it, and it’s up to me to determine how I’m going to react. I can’t complain about things I can’t control. I must move forward and live my life to the fullest.”
Lee has the right attitude. For many Parkinson’s patients, depression is a daily companion.
Parkinson’s is insidious. I have some familiarity with it. My father had it the last 10 years of his life. I watched as it slowly robbed him of his dignity. He went from being a vibrant senior who loved exercise, music and literature, to a broken man who couldn’t walk, turn over in bed or feed himself.