Why Parkinson’s Diva? By Maria De Leon

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The term “DIVA” is meant to inspire women of all walks of life whether they have PD or not, to live up to my favorite definition of the word…

That is to say ‘doing something supernatural with something natural.’

We all have unique talents and gifts many of which will blossom under adversity as the rarest flower – in this case battling with PD.

Once in a while an even rarer occurrence will take place – the expression of something innate within which was never seen before like suddenly becoming a great artist when you did not even know how to hold a paint brush ..

It is laughing hard and out loud despite PD!

It is having a GRAND love affair with life!

In order to beat PD we have to think BIG-

BIG Thoughts of mercy, kindness, love and forgiveness

BIG Dreams ‘to be the change you want to see in the world’ for a better tomorrow for your children and loved ones

BIG Smile which makes others want to smile as well

BIG Movements with arms outstretched ready to Give and help others!

We also have to be LOUD

LOUD to have our small voices be heard over the deafening and roaring sound of the world which is constantly trying to engulf us.

LOUD praising of GOD which sustains us through this perilous journey

LOUD singing to drown our sorrows and bring forth Joy

LOUD laughter which gives courage to others to do the same

PD or Menopause: I wonder? : by Maria De Leon

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Through Fermentation some old-er women turn bitter like vinegar.

Other old-er women through the same process turn into fine wine.” ~Carmen R. Rutlen

As I was intensely perspiring the other day opening the sample pack of Depend Silhouette Active Fit Underwear, I thought how could I stay sexy and expect my husband to think likewise while wearing disposable underwear even if they are black? They looked so much better in the picture; I thought as I struggled to put them on due to the stiffness and the extra moisture encompassing my entire body as of late. Not at all silky or smooth as I had envisioned. But, rather paper-like not unlike the pull- ups I once used for my daughter while potty training except these were a bit thinner.

As I continued to struggle pulling these up fearing tearing these make shift undergarments, it dawn on me, I was rapidly becoming a woman of a ‘certain age.’ I guess my daughter is right in calling me ‘middle aged’. Although, I hope I will live to be a hundred so by that logic I am not quite there yet; but any less than that I might as well assume the title of an OLD Woman past her prime! How did this happen? I wondered. Just a year or two ago, I still considered myself young and vibrant. Now, I was trying samples of disposable undergarments not because I needed them necessarily but rather always thinking ahead for the occasion I have to travel in an area where there are no readily accessible bathrooms. Like the time, my husband took the family to the Grand Canyon and I had to practically dehydrate myself to avoid having to go to the bathroom. Since, I have always been one to follow the Boys’ Scout credo ‘always be prepared’ I would have gladly worn these uncomfortable things had I known about them before hand.

Even though, the image of me wearing these fancier undergarments as opposed to incontinence pads was not a comforting one. Somewhere i have read about a pair of disposable lacy underwear but not come across since again. So these less than feminine underwear will have to do for now. But, I refuse to go down with the ship. Some people may say that I am already approaching an age where sex should not been an issue but I don’t think my body nor brain have received that message yet. Despite the fact that in my younger days when I thought of my parents at my age having sex, the thought was a bit disturbing. How little did I know about life and human sexuality.

Yet, just as we women begin to become comfortable with our own sexuality and body image- Bam! Life throws us a curve ball. Not only do many of us develop chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s (PD) but we begin to experience the dreaded HOT-Flashes of menopause. I was already sweating profusely due to this dreadful PD…I don’t think I can or want to do menopause, I thought to myself. But, then I pondered how will I know that I am going through menopause? Since, the major symptoms like fatigue, poor concentration, anxiety, depression, mood swings, decrease libido, increase urgency, increased perspiration, weight gain, headaches, poor sleep, osteoporosis, dizziness, and loss of smell are also due to Parkinson’s disease.

Are we as women with PD doomed to grow old with a double whammy of what essentially amounts to increased non-motor symptoms- anosmic, short, chubby, incontinent and asexual to boot without ever having an orgasm again unless we happen to take Azilect! ( due to it’s increase orgasmic powers).

Wonder if men experience menopause? while we fall apart they get new cars and hobbies! But, then again, they too suffer their own unique problems.

However, I think like fine wine the process will only make us stronger, sweeter and more valuable. The key is eating well, sleeping and resting as the body demands, exercising and getting frequent check- ups by both our MDS and our Gynecologist. Keep track of our symptoms and note any changes and discuss with our physicians in a timely matter.

{In reference to the sample underwear; although, the depend undergarments do not look as pleasing as I would have hoped they are not altogether bad especially when on. They allow for easy movement and feel much better than wearing any pads you might think off. So if all treatments fail or in case of emergency this is a good choice.}

But no matter what PD or menopause brings, I plan on remaining strong, sexy, and vibrant living life with passion to the fullest and so should you!

After all it is the inner beauty that lasts and it’s a magnet that draws others to us, disposable undergarments or not.

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Related information can be found on chapter 10-of my book- Parkinson’s medication Effect on the Female patient- “Parkinson’s Diva: A woman’s guide to Parkinson’s disease.”

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all right reserved Maria De Leon