by Chris Olsen
Before PD I was active, playing softball, volleyball, running in fun runs, etc. Walking was mine and my husband's stress buster. We walked 5K or more several times a week. I was 52 when I was diagnosed with a disease I knew nothing about. My family and I read as much as we could about it, in hopes we could learn ways to combat the symptoms.
I was diagnosed in 2002. I cried when the doctor told me. Not many people knew what Parkinson's disease (PD) was. Trying to find information about natural ways to increase my strength and health to help combat whatever was coming my way was sketchy. 22 years later the information that is easy to gather is bind-boggling.
My life has dramatically changed in the almost 22 years of my/our journey. The best that came from it was the strength that my husband and family have and continue to show me. I couldn’t imagine life without them.
The most important thing I do to combat PD is draw. I rediscovered my love for drawing in black and white. Although this has morphed into full color, I still go back to my roots every now and then. The attention to detail is calming, and I get much pleasure from creating greeting cards for family and friends. All my drawings that I have submitted for April Awareness are in black and white, except for one of them.
Shortly after I was diagnosed I saw a promo for Superwalk. I lived in Vancouver at that time. We have been participating in Superwalk every year since. Fundraising for PD is our way of giving back to PSBC for all they do for people with Parkinson's. I have taken advantage of several courses, seminars and conferences and leave each event not only with knowledge and ideas but the reassurance that I am not alone.
My husband says he thinks my drawings are an attempt to draw what is going on in my brain. There is often an intricate network of minute lines that wind and twist every which way but still convey a sense of beauty and joy.
Dragon Blood Quartet
Pandemic Line Dancing
Seed Pod Exploded