Post written by Dr. Serena Hung
“Life is full of special moments. And the key is to be present when they happen. These are the little victories, that when added up, signify a life well-lived. When you face a challenge like Parkinson’s disease, where so much of your capability is slowly stripped way, it is even more imperative to acknowledge — and to celebrate — these moments.”
- Davis Phinney
I started my new year enjoying some special moments in Costa Rica with my husband, exploring nature and enjoying the sun, the sea and the rain forest. I reminded myself that I don’t have to keep my nose so closely to the grindstone all the time. I want my life to reflect a certain well-roundedness that can’t be achieved by only identifying myself as a neurologist. My goal is to have this “life well-lived” that Davis Phinney speaks of.
I want to encourage all of you to think about what a life well-lived means to you and how are you going to achieve it. For one of my Parkinson’s patients, Gottfried Georgi, 71, a life well-lived means working 40 hours a week as a volunteer at Racine United’s HS Automotive Program. Check out his story at the Racine Journal Times
Oscar Wile said, “I don’t say we ought to misbehave, but we should look as though we could.” It’s that “twinkle in the eye” spirit that I see in my patient Paula Moore. Her husband, Jim, doesn’t think she’s ever “misbehaved,” but she has that open and honest and inviting look that puts people at ease and makes them want to be with her. Paula attends the Parkinson’s support group at Small Stones on the third Tuesday of each month and she always leaves the meeting with a new friend — or two. At over 80, with a variety of health concerns, Paula could be grumpy and closed off. Instead, she wears bright colors, smiles constantly, asks about people’s children and grandchildren, and encourages, encourages, encourages others to find those small victories of which Davis Phinney speaks.
I am very proud of my patient, Sr. Ann Bisek. She was initially devastated by the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. It took her the better part of a year to adjust and to regain her confidence. In the process, she has discovered new things about herself — like she can dance. Sr. Ann attends the Young Onset support group every month. She also attends Moving and Grooving: the Parkinson’s Dance Class
and she dances faithfully, every week. Sr. Ann might not agree with Henri Matisse about original sin but she definitely agrees about the joy in dancing!“Ever since there have been men, man has given ‘himself’ over to too little joy. That alone, my brothers, is our orginal sin ... I should believe only in a god who understands how to dance.”
- Henri Matisse