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Posts tagged “Blog”

It’s A Date

I have been asked by several readers to discuss the topic of dating and Parkinson’s disease. I think it is helpful to start by thinking back to when we all first began dating.

Most of us remember well the awkwardness and insecurity the dating process produced during our early adolescence. From the multiple doubts about the possibility the person will say no to the worries that there will be nothing to talk about, dating was an anxiety-provoking experience for many young men and women. It strikes me that Parkinson’s brings back many of those fears we all shared.

Many individuals who acquire PD early in life are single. They may have been enjoying exciting careers, experimenting with life, looking for the perfect relationship or emerging from the least perfect relationship imaginable. The sudden emergence of PD can make being alone particularly frightening. All of us manage stress better when we are supported by a loving partner. The need to find that support can be a powerful drive, one that can cause a person to lose sight of why we date.

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Be It RESOLVED…

If you haven’t, then I would recommend you stop while you are ahead. Nothing breeds guilt, unhappiness and self-directed anger so much as a broken New Year’s resolution.

It is human nature to try to turn moments like a fresh year into an opportunity to improve our lives. When such moments occur during a time other than January 1, we more typically call them goals or aspirations. I don’t think it is necessary to change this perfectly good terminology into the looming and somewhat legalistic sounding New Year’s resolution (as in “Be It RESOLVED…).

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PD and the Holidays

Ah, the Holidays!

A time for families and friends to come together in the spirit of the season. A time to relive old memories and build new ones. A time of warmth and joy. A time for grand feasts and what were once called “Kodak moments.” A time to tap into personal and longstanding cultural traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa. Remarkable, magic times! Solemn, momentous times.

And for young men and women with PD, a time of stress.

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Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

“I have Parkinson's. Who could possibly find me sexy?”

There is no question PD can make the physical act of sex difficult. If one makes being sexy dependent upon consummated intercourse then it would be very difficult to see oneself as sexy.

If sexuality is more than a physical act, then the question is misplaced altogether. It is not others who doubt an individual’s sexiness. Rather, it is the person asking the question.

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A Burden?

While at the recent 6th Annual Living Well retreat sponsored by the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, I heard a familiar refrain during informal discussions with attendees:

“I am a burden to my family.”

My Mac’s dictionary defines “burden” as a heavy load. There is also a more figurative definition for the word, one describing duty or misfortune that causes hardship, anxiety, or grief. It is helpful to look at both definitions.

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About the Author

Paul Short, PhD

Dr. Paul Short, The Parkinson's Coach, provides Internet-based coaching to individuals and famlies challenged by Parkinson's disease and helps them develop personalized plans for coping with the disease.