Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Non existent future events

One of the hardest things to resist in Parkinson’s disease is the prognosis, the seemingly inevitable deterioration into dependency. The prognosis is valid as a description of a progressive disease but it does not dictate the future; the rate of change is unknown in each individual.

When predicting the future with a disease it is natural to reach for the worst possible outcome, almost as if by thinking it first you are forearming yourself to gain some sort of control over the situation. But such imagined scenarios are non-existent future events. The future merely consists of more or less inaccurate predictions of events that may never occur. Parkinson’s is hard enough to cope with in the present, never mind adding imagined situations that might not happen. Indeed, predicting positive future events is equally valid as negative ones, but with the advantage of making you feel better in the present.

We should recognise that we live in a series of “nows”, and such insight provides the best opportunity to gain control. The past has gone and the future is currently non-existent. Trying to reach into the past or leap into the future makes the present even more difficult. Living in the present recognises our ability to act and react now to the situation we currently find ourselves in.


  1. Love your insight Jonathan. I've recently found out about an aneurysm and find myself constantly having to remind myself that I am still me and not to label myself with an illness. Bless you for sharing your thoughts :)

  2. Thank you. I'm sorry to hear about your illness. Yes, there is still room for you within your illness. You can control your reaction to what is happening; our essence is located in this choice...