Coming Clean About My Health Condition-I Have .
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)! Why is that difficult to communicate about one’s specific health conditions?
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in June of 2015, right after I turned 65.
I can remember when my family doctor suggested that I might have PD. He hesitated to be the first one to say those words.
Although PD was suspected from our readings and family discussions during the week leading to the visit to my doctor, the first reactions were those of fear, not knowing what the diagnosis meant and how it would impact my life. Included that day, even if it was for a quick minute, were thoughts of early demise!
But as soon as we took on the challenge, as a family, and went through the process of choosing a specialist and learning more about the diagnosis and various treatment options, I regained a sense of empowerment and determination to play a more pro-active role in my medical journey.
Whom to Tell about Something Like PD?
Meanwhile there was this question of whom to inform about a health condition such as PD. I had to come up with a communication strategy!
I will tell first all my five children. Then, my 4 out of 5 siblings. My oldest sister did not have an email. Next were my boss and associate bosses, as well as key administrative assistants. And lastly, the “closest” friends and “closest” colleagues, those 30 people or so that I consider to be more like family. All of that in a matter of a two-week span.
I stuck to the plan pretty much, except when I ran into somebody whose presence reminded me that they belonged to one of the 3 categories above (family, friends and closest colleagues).
There is some uneasiness about letting everybody know about one’s specific health conditions such as Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, and the likes.
Still Going Public?
Although going public did not fit in my communication plan, I started thinking about exploring the blog space right away. Results, three years later: several scattered notes on my PD story and no blog and no blogpost!
Then came the end of my second month on WA, where I have had a slow start due to a number of reasons, including the search for a niche area.
Suddenly, a light bulb came on: continuing my communication strategy by extending the information about my PD to the WA Community and getting their help in going public!
Indeed, while I still do not understand yet the concept of niche identification, I strongly believe in the importance of sharing and documenting one’s progress and management of something like PD. It is going to be instantly informative as I go back to my scattered notes and post the most relevant ones. I will also be informing all of you—my new friends, about the current management of my PD and hopefully contributing to PD awareness from the perspective of a 60-something years old African man in the US since the 1970s.
Moral of the Story and Questions to You
It dawned on me that my PD story is going to be one of our 2-3 niches or websites, regardless of its earning capacity. And why not?
And although I am doing relatively very well (no need for words of sympathy, please), why is it difficult sometimes to inform others about certain health conditions?
Is it a matter of culture or the environment?
Thanks WA for allowing me to come clean about my health condition!