5 posts tagged “Parkinson’s Community”

Not Recognizing the “New Me”

Posted December 10th, 2012 by

Are You Resistant to the Idea of a Wheelchair?

For many newly diagnosed patients, accepting help can be as difficult as accepting the diagnosis itself.  According to some of the members of our Parkinson’s disease community, here are a few signs that you may be struggling with the idea of becoming someone who might need help.

  • Have you found yourself feeling resentful when family, friends or strangers try to assist with something?
  • Have you resisted using a complimentary wheelchair (e.g., at the airport or on cruise ship) out of embarrassment?
  • Have you worried that becoming someone who receives help is going to change your lifelong identity?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are far from alone.  Many PatientsLikeMe members report that learning to accept help gracefully is one of the most challenging aspects of chronic illness.  And it’s not just allowing the help itself, per se, but seeing yourself in a new light, as one member puts it.  It’s not unusual to take great pride in being a superman or superwoman, the type of handy, resourceful person who does it all and is always helping others in the family or community.  This can be part of your self-image, as well as a source of self-esteem.

So what do you do when you are suddenly the person being helped instead of the helper?  It requires a psychological shift, according to our members, that involves letting go of ego and viewing the care and assistance you are receiving as a gift, not an insult.  It also means communicating frequently and lovingly about the issue, so as to address “the elephant in the room.”  If you can manage the task yourself, speak up and say so politely, advises one patient.  Otherwise, practice saying “thank you” and “I love you” with gratitude, encourages another member.  Ultimately, as our members state over and over, the best tools for coming to terms with the realities of your new life are a positive attitude, humor and support from others like you.

Can you relate to this common hurdle?  Join this insightful discussion in our forum or share your thoughts in the comments section.


Share and Compare: From the mouths of patients

Posted December 3rd, 2010 by

screen-shot-2010-12-03-at-41141-pmAs we round out our “Share and Compare” week, here are a few quotes that some of our members have shared regarding the impact of being able to see where you fit in.

You’ll read in the quotes how patients like you can find solace in the fact that there are others out there experiencing the same thing;  you’ll see how your sharing is helping others make sense of their treatment dosages; and you’ll feel through these quotes how personal sharing can be within a community like ours.  Behind all the graphs and charts we’ve shared this week are people – here’s what they have to say.

Stay tuned next week for a few follow-up pieces on Share and Compare, as well as a new topic series.  Have you learned from sharing and comparing?  Add a comment below, post in the forum or connect with us through private message inside the site.

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“It’s so nice to share information with others who are experiencing the same thing. The most frustrating thing I remember as a teenager was when doctors couldn’t explain exactly what was happening to me or why. I used to feel as if I did something wrong and that’s why I was ‘different’. The more information we can share with each other, the better.”
Epilepsy community member

“I feel like a breath of fresh air of hope; just knowing I’m not alone and there are others who experience side effects, have good and bad days even experience combination seizures.”
Epilepsy community member

“[It] really puts my mind at ease and sounds like my [treatment] dosage is not that unusual this soon after my transplant. I look forward to eventually taking it down.”
Transplant community member

“I am so thankful [to have] found this site…where I can, after a fashion, talk and identify with others on the PD bus. We understand. We are similarly bound.”
Parkinson’s community member

“…just being able to see so many people that are going through the same thing I am (literally sorted by [treatment] and [diagnosis]) – makes it feel just a little bit more in control for me.”
Fibromyalgia community member

PatientsLikeMe member e_morgan