Anxiety

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and this past week my neurologist at Rush Presbyterian Movement Disorder Clinic, Dr. Aikaterini Kompoliti, asked me about anxiety. I admitted that my visits often resulted in a bout of anxiety as in other patients I saw my future.

“But you don’t know their issues. Perhaps they have don’t have Parkinson’s.” she said. Why, she asked, would I transfer another person’s condition to myself?

Getting into my head is perilous. Lots of bats in there, I said.

My mind creates stories that describe my future. While my Parkinson’s is mild to moderate, I’ve met people with more advanced cases and, yes, dwelling on their conditions generates anxiety as I perceive how my condition may evolve.

I’m self-sufficient, mobile, don’t fall down, and have but a mild left-side tremor. I occasionally drive past my destination if distracted.

I’m not going to dwell on my anxieties. Anxiety dims the smiles of my grandchildren and mutes the volume of their laughter. It chills the warm hand I hold close.

Anxiety won’t go away. I can’t banish it and, as Roseanna knows, my temperament can be sharp-edged when it rises. I can talk about it but I don’t want to do so frequently.

I’ve thought a bit since about Dr. Kompoliti’s question and my response. Afterwards, we had chatted about the keen hopes in recent science, and the worries about deep 20% cuts to research at the National Institutes for Health. I’ll place a call to my representative about that; it feels better to do something.