The Origin Story
Hi Jenny, I followed you from Facebook and found you. Your writing and humor pulled me in. I want to read this with more focus when my house is less chaotic. Your experiences and thoughts deserve more than a skimmed read.
I am a curious person without all the answers, but in my own soul-searching, I am going out on a limb to state this: You did not bring this on by your life choices.
My husband nearly died from a stroke in 2020. I do believe humor has helped him heal (along with a shit-ton of physical therapy, etc.). If we couldn't laugh about this shit it would be so much harder.
So while I want to reread your important post, I believe your attitude and ability to find humor are going to help you--hey, they can't hurt, right?
I wanted to leave you some positivity after you so boldly shared your life.
Jenny - I’m so glad to see you open up about this condition we share, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. From our conversations over the last few years, I know how much you’ve struggled with sharing this news with the world. I remain convinced that this journey is a gift. I’ve worked to be better at prioritizing (I’m still not great at it, but I’m better) and I’m now in the best shape of my life with renewed purpose. Your sense of humor is awesome and I enjoyed your thought process here about karma. But know that this fucked up disease we share isn’t your fault. It isn’t my fault. It’s the the fault of pesticides and chemicals and the gut biome and perhaps a bad turn of luck with genetics. Now that we have it, we must struggle to accept that there is no cure and we just need to work hard exercising, eating well, and minimizing stress. Easier said than done. But each time one of us opens up about our journey, it is easier for the next young person with Parkinson’s to do so.
I’ve sure made plenty of bad decisions and I look forward to laughing with you as you recall yours. I‘ll never forget the panic I felt as I pushed post when I outed myself on Facebook as someone with YOPD. Did I just make a terrible decision? No. I look back on that moment and know it was a great decision. Today, you‘ve made one too. Congratulations! Now let’s get to work and kick PD’s butt.
This is powerful! Here's to more writing and good medicine.
I read it three times already. Wit, tenderness, candor and wisdom ... you're so powerful ... and beautiful.
Inspiring all of us to self-reflect.
You leave me wanting more
This was brilliant, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Thank you for sharing 💕🙏
What a thoughtful and well-written piece! I appreciate the depth of your self-reflection and candor without being self-pitying. Most people ignore or suppress such self-reflection, myself included. I look forward to reading more! Also, you may remember me and my family from growing up in the same neighborhood! —Kurt Kaiser
Oh Jenny. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve grappled with all of this, physically and mentally. If you could see yourself from the outside looking in, you’d see the smart, funny, introspective, clever, imaginative, witty, generous friend we all see.
Our mistakes are long, but I hope we’ve also left trails of goodness along the way as well. You never know what stranger needed your smile, appreciated your self deprecation or thought man that kid must have great parents.
You might feel lonely on your journey, but you are not alone. Hope putting this out there makes it easier for you to talk about your struggles and accept help where you need. Hugs from afar.