Free fall. Streaking toward earth. Every second brings you closer to an unavoidable conclusion. Pull the rip cord and the parachute opens to slow your descent. Nothing will stop the fall, but at least you can have some control, see the sights, and find joy in the ride. You will still face those final, anxious moments and a jolt at touchdown. Some landings will be easier than others, but there is always a bump. How hard it is often depends upon the type of parachute used.
I like analogies. I use them a lot. Can you see where I’m going with this and how skydiving relates to Parkinson’s Disease or other chronic disorders? Here’s a hint: I often write about proactive vs. reactive thinking in healthcare management!
Reactive thinking: an old, retro, bottom-of-the line parachute that does the job, but takes you wherever and whichever way the wind blows and will most likely let you down hard in the end.
Proactive thinking: a high-tech parachute that gives you more control of your direction, allows you to enjoy the scenery along the way, and may even help you to land on your feet if all other conditions are favorable at the end.
Which parachute would you prefer in the sky dive of living with Parkinson’s Disease?
A version of this blog was originally written and posted by Cyndee Williams Bowen, SLP on the Parkinson’s Assistance, Network, Directory, and Alliance blog page on 1/29/13.
Cynthia Williams Bowen, MS, CCC-SLP owns Bowen Speech-Language Therapy, LLC in Clearwater, FL. Cyndee provides quality, creative, collaborative treatment to adults and adolescents with communication, swallowing, Parkinson’s, and related disorders.