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Parkinson’s disease is known to many as progressive, chronic and debilitating. Muscle control declines, there is a loss of physical balance, and there is pain. The most effective medicines help people with Parkinson’s move better, but after a few years, the side effects often override the advantages. As dopamine disappears from the center of the brain, the inclination can be toward depression.

However, as people get to know their own life with Parkinson’s, there are many who see and feel another side of themselves. Parkinson’s causes moments of novel and surprising behavior, and sometimes brings out a rather dark sense of humor to which most people living with the disease can relate. It is said, “we learn to laugh at ourselves in our ‘Parkinson’s Moments’.”

Maintaining a light-hearted view of yourself in moments of struggle that can border on the ridiculous, observing the changes in life with a sense of humor, and sharing these reactions with others can help you feel “human” – “normal” even – when things might be a far cry from the normal you used to know.
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[R.S.]