My original diagnosis of Lewy body disease (LBD) came on June 27, 2012. Even though I had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the time, I was told that all of my symptoms led to LBD.
In eleven days, I will start my 4th year with this diagnosis of LBD.
How can I still be MCI and be entering my 4th year?
Along with a very early diagnosis, I would suggest that the path
I followed has been beneficial to achieving this.
It certainly has not hampered this.
By the time of my diagnosis, I was exhausted. I was sleeping
12 to 20 hours a day. Many days my wife would wake me up
and tell me the things that I needed to do. I would finish what
she had told me to do and fall back asleep.
Receiving the diagnosis provided some relief because
of all the unanswered questions from having seen
9 physicians in 18 months.
10 minutes after receiving my diagnosis,
I looked at my wife and told her "it is what it is and
everything will be OK".
Little did I know that 3 months later my thoughts would change.
Suddenly, I felt as if I was a convicted murderer....
the physician had entered the charges....
the jury had found me guilty....
and the judge had issued the death sentence....
Now that I felt this way, what was I to do?
Owning my pharmacy had taught me the necessity
of strategic planing. Using those skills that I had learned,
I began a strategic plan for Living Beyond Diagnosis.
At the time of my diagnosis, I read the life expectancy was
2 to 20 years but likely 2 to 8 hours.
Telling my wife that I would outdistance statistics,
I knew that I needed to quickly develop a "game plan".
My strategic plan involved four steps. I am covering the first
one today and will continue over the next several days
to complete the sharing of my plan.
ACCEPTANCE was my first step.
Accepting my diagnosis does not mean that I like my diagnosis.
It did enable me to start taking
each day for what it was. As I did this, I began to look all around me
every time that I went outside. I would stop and thank God for the beautiful
world that He had created. I began to enjoy hearing the birds chirp,
watching the squirrels and rabbits run across the back yard.
Most aspects of life took on new meaning beginning
with my family.
A sense of peace that passes all understanding followed.
Having worked an average of 60 hours a week for my adult life,
I began to just enjoy the moment.
As changes take place in my mind and body, I have to renew
that mode of Acceptance. If I wait too long, those changes will start to
drag me down, so I attempt to make that new adjustment quickly.
When something becomes difficult to do, I look for a possible solution.
If I have to give up something, I look for something to replace it with.
I do not focus on my loss.
Often I verbalize one of many mantras....."I don't have time to die,
I have too much to live for".
Every day is a gift...it is a new day...
live it to the fullest!
Living Beyond Diagnosis
© 2015 Robert Bowles
Robert Bowles, Jr.