Personal Stories

Depression, Out, Out of my Life!

Depression, Out, Out of my Life!

Marilyn Shaff
Delray Beach, FL

Since 2002, I struggled with Three ‘D’s. DIAGNOSIS, DENIAL and DEPRESSION. It took a local internist and the staffs of Mayo Clinic and Yale University Hospital to convince me I have Parkinson’s Disease.

I couldn’t shake the blues so I consulted a psychiatrist. After a month or more on anti-depressants, I stopped my solo pity parties, and in the privacy of my home, shouted “Depression, out, out, out of my life! I realized that the only person who could help me cope with this disease was me.

I have always been optimistic and positive about every aspect of my life.
After I eliminated the negativity in my life, I got out of the house and began to live again.
My biggest asset is my attitude. I believe that smiling and laughing will solve every problem. I smile at everyone I meet or if I’m home, I  smile at myself in the mirror.

I exercise at the gym and swim program at the YMCA and read and do crossword puzzles to exercise my brain.

Since my balance is poor, I need to use a cane. I had to give up dancing so I sit on a chair, hold my cane over my head and move to my favorite music.

In spite of my upbeat attitude, life had another disappoint in store for me. Since I learned to drive at sixteen, I never had an accident. Then, in 2005 I had three, all of which were my fault. It was obvious that something was wrong with my judgement. Fearing another accident could result in severe injuries to myself or the occupants of the other vehicle, I sold my car. I never drove again.
 
My friends were terrific about picking me up and driving me to movies, lunch and shopping, but I didn’t like to take advantage of them.

 I bought a handicap scooter equipped with headlights and directional signals and drIve to the bank, supermarket, drugstore and beauty shop. I meet friends for lunch and shop for shoes, handbags and adorable tops.

I plug the scooter into the electrical outlet in my garage! The operating cost is minimal but the vehicle has a limited range. I drive no more that seven miles on the sidewalk and I cross only at the traffic light. For longer trips, I use public transportation for the handicapped. The fare is $3.00 each way and they take me to medical appointments and shopping. I believe that every city large and small provides this service.

I named my scooter, “Mz Indy” and call the public transit bus my ‘white chariot.” They gave me back my independence!

As therapy, I wrote a book and had it published. "LIVING WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE - HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT"

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Parkinson’s research.


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