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Mike Romanoski

"Winning The Parkinsons Game"

I have Parkinson's disease. I have cognitive impairments, double vision and inability to remember more than three lines of what I have just read or written. I need help to dress myself, to walk and to keep my balance. I have other maladies, but I think you get the point.

What I have learned about my severe disabilities is that the surest way to feel miserable is to think about what you can't do or to think about your physical pain. I recommend you focus on how you can bring good into the world. It's amazing how good this makes you feel. Besides, you probably can't do the old things you used to do anyways.

Seriously, my goal is to bring as much good into the world as I possibly can. I don't know how, that depends on what opportunities present themselves to me. There are plenty around, starting with your caregiver. A heartfelt thank you, or a simple smile might be the difference in someone's day.

I'm not a fool. I have experienced the dark depression of a major disability. It feels bad, really bad. It really has no redeeming value. It's not easy to have a positive attitude, but it's absolutely essential to winning the big disability game.

If you stumble in your efforts to be positive, there's no penalty for starting over. It's always "First and Goal."

My belief is summed up in my quote, "When I was in Eagle, I soared with the Eagles. Now that I'm a turtle, I don't begrudge the eagles their flight. Instead, I look for what turtles do for kicks."

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