Radical Acceptance

I have been seeing a therapist for the past year. Why? Back in December of 2009 I had a panic attack. It was a frightening experience both physically and emotionaly. I was told that I was suffering from anxiety. It was during this time frame I was diagnosed with Parkinson's. At my next therapy session I told my therapist about the diagnosis. I wondered if maybe the anxiety was somehow connected to Parkinson's. The therapist jotted down a note, set her pen down and asked me if I ever heard the term radical acceptance. Sort of.

When a person comes back from war missing an arm or leg they have a choice: Become angry, bitter and withdrawn and depressed over The Curse that has been inflicted or become a person who accepts what has happened to them in order to adapt the best they can to their new life. That is radical acceptance

The same goes with the diagnosis of Parkinson's. Initially a diagnosis of PD can be pretty alarming. After all, Parkinson's isn't what I'd call a cheerful diagnosis. After feeling healthy for most of my life it was like slap in the face. I remember feeling betrayed. Once a newly diagnosed person gets beyond denial and fear they should strive to accept the way the cards have been dealt and try to make the best of life. Every day IS a challenge but having the right frame of mind is very important for our well being. Radical acceptance is the first step to getting on with your life. Be brave.

16 Replies

  • Very good insight. I remember in 2004 going to the doctor with the complaint that I "felt like I was shaking inside". They called it anxiety and I gave me a pill for it.

    The shaking inside became shaking outside, still thought it was anxiety, gave me another pill.

    It took until 2011 hat a new MD called it PD...

  • hi i agree

    radical acceptance is good for 1 - since ii was diagnosed wiht PSP 12 months ago i have felt much better as i have a label for my problems

    no medS to help this rare form of PD but i am ok about that

    love jill

  • I'm impressed. Havent got there yet! Have always been a nervy person-had panic attacks around meno. In the past h

  • sorry must have pressed wrong key! I have always solved health problems naturally. Diminished ovarian cyst through gemmotherapy, pre cancerous cells through homeopathy. I lower my inherited bad cholesterol with mexican red yeast rice. I havent started taking meds - found regenerative diseases site which says to detox pollutants from body first-in the recent past I had xrays, mercury filllings removed and unpeeled fruit and veg. It suggests detoxing andthen taking vit supplements recommended. regenerativenutrition.com/c... Also found on utube a clinic in India where someone cures PD with indian herbs.

    My shiatsu friend has recommended me to Jan de Fries a naturpath in Ayr Scotland. Also been recommended books by Lucille Leader- a nutritionist who practises in London-she has written 6 books on PD.

    It is hard totally accept it personally as 13 out of 15 drs in last 3 years have said not PD -as had frozen shoulder followed by nodules on finger and it is only on one side of my body. Neurologists will not test for trapped nerves although pains in neck go down my arm-they just look at me and say PD. Friends do not notice much difference.-just my right hand/fingers.

    She says you can have a DAT xray can prove it and also mentions a natural form of medication for PD-mucuna pruriens?

    I am only suggesting avenues to explore if you have had early diagnosis but everyone finds their own ways I know!

    If we can share ideas and tips it helps.

  • I tried mucuna pruriens some thre years ago and not very successfully. I know Lucille Leader - I wrote a short chapter in her first book and was a patient of her's. Unhappily I could not afford to keep on with her. Tony

  • what was the problem with mucuna pruriens-any bad side effects?

  • It was hard to work out dosage and it did not mix well with other PD meds. Tony

  • hilarypeta,

    > Neurologists will not test for trapped nerves

    I'm not clear about your statement that neurologists won't test for "trapped nerves"...

    I did google for and read some about "trapped nerves" -- health.msn.com/health-topic... , for one, describes them.

    I have numbness in 2 fingers and part of that palm. I've been assuming all along that it was one of the PD symptoms because I've heard that numbness is a potential PD symptoms. But, my current neurologist thinks it might be due to a pinched Ulnar nerve instead.

    The location of the numbness exactly matches the description in wikipedia:

    "This nerve is directly connected to the little finger, and the adjacent half of the ring finger, supplying the palmar side of these fingers, including both front and back of the tips, perhaps as far back as the fingernail beds."


    Since my current neurologist's office is 60 miles from me, he referred me to a local neurologist (whom I've seen before) to do an electrical conductivity test (not sure now if those were his words, but he did say electrical). The local neurologist who would do this test has done electrical tests on me before. So, I'm fully expecting/assuming that the he will do this test.

    So, that leaves me puzzled about the statement:

    > Neurologists will not test for trapped nerves

    Do you suspect that, based on my non-medical-person description (which may be inadequate), this numbness problem is something that neurologists would not be willing to test for?

  • This is an interesting dialog. I have also have problems with nerves on several body parts. I have had too many EMG's, they are painful but can give a lot of information.

    So that you understand what is being done, they place tiny needles into the nerves in different areas, then send an electrical current through the area to see what response is illisted and make a diagnosis based on the nerve's response. They will do it bilaterally to have a baseline. I did have one EMG where they used patches similar to what is used in an EKG, not painful. The others were all with the needles.

    Before the PD diagnosis, I went to a hand specialist. I have had carpal tunnel syndrome since the pregnancy with my son, it is bilateral, worse in the left hand than the right. They found that interesting since I am right handed. The PD is also worse on the left. The hand specialist felt there were also vascular changes on the left and sent me for a vascular study. I was then diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Basically that is an inadequate opening at the shoulder where the nerves and blood vessels go through the shoulder. It can be very painful at times, with numbness and pain all the way down the arm and hand. There is surgery for it, I have chosen not to unless I am in too much pain to handle. I tend to develop a lot of scar tissue, so stay away from surgery as long as possible. I too have had a frozen shoulder on the right following surgery that I could not avoid. I worked with a geat PT with it and recovered much quicker than my surgeon had anticipated.

    One more...I had extreme sharp and burning pains in my right outer thigh. It was so bad that I could not even stand for clothing to touch it. After several months of pain and burning, it became numb. I had yet another EMG which showed no innervation to the rt. lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh. The doctor says it will not regenerate, it appears that the nerve was severed. Also due to small openings where the nerve passes through the femoral area.

    I have asked my PD MD if there is a relationship between all of these nerve problems and the PD, he does not feel there is, I still wonder...

  • Dear Susie,

    I am sorry you have suffered so much. I dont think you should give up. Try a homeopath-I am seeing a good one in Paris who has given me as a start something called x-ray to kick start the system and nuxe? I have to go back in a months timeHe thinks I dont have PD and am just sufffering from nervous exhaustion-I think we can all overdo our adrenal glands and that causes other problems. My shiatsu friend says its bad giving labels -we are all different with different symptoms and its caused by blockages of energy in the body. I certainly found acupuncture has helped withthe left/ight hand side of body balancing and coordination.

    Its good if we can tell each other what has helped us. Some symptoms of PD I have had all my life-never was flexible and always had bad handwritng as a left hander, never good at sports-or well coordinated!

    My bad side is my right like you the opposite from my left handedness. -no symptoms on my left.


  • I should have qualified this- I live in Paris and after looking at me for a few mins 3 different neurologists have said no point in nerve testing you have PD... reflexes and balance are ok and one side of body-other a bit weaker-not a mini stroke as had brain scan. Will try in uk when I return for xmas.

  • Thanks Hillary: I went online at regenerative and ordered my detox kit...

  • Thanks for this. Tony

  • Thank you for posting this. I felt and sometimes still feel afraid of my future, angry that the dx. hit me in the face like a brick wall, hopeless, etc. I usually feel this way still if my pain level is high. So to combat this, I bought a fat, little notebook to use as a daily Gratitude and Joy Book. When I write what I'm grateful for and at least 1 joyful thing for the day, it boosts my spirit and I begin to accept this dx and try to find ways of doing things that will help me. Unfortunately, my daughter, who is my caretaker is having a hard time with me now being in a power chair. I try not to be angry with myself and tell myself I just need to give her time to be ok with it. In the meantime it makes me anxious when I get in the chair. I just got it and need to practice using it but I won't if she's home. Otherwise, she has been a blessing to me. Maybe with just a little time......

  • Hillary, thanks for the insight, I am in the US, we are a bit behind on the homeopathic remedies. I did see and acupuncturist who is also an MD and trained in the UK. I live on a really tight budget and do not have health insurance, so I can no longer afford his services.

    Therese, having an attitude of gratitude can go a long way in regards to our mental and physical health. Initially, I was glad to have a diagnosis, though in my heart I already knew what it was. I was tired of some people thinking I was a drunk!

    When I was first diagnosed a good friend gave me MJFox's book "Always Looking Up". I read the first portion of it and had to put it down because it scared me to death. Not long ago, I started reading it again and the information is useful to me. So, it does take time for us to be ready for acceptance.

    My daughter is 16 and is the one who helps me when things get bad. There are some people who see that as wrong for her to help me, I think she has developed a whole new empathy for people who deal with an illness on a day in and day out basis. To this point she has not seen it as a burden.

    I am so greatful that we have a place to reach out to one another and possibly learn from those who have the same condition.

  • People with PD are our best audience!

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