Shortly after learning that the Neurology Team at the Mayo Clinic could not find any evidence contrary to our original diagnosis, we decided to take a break from reality and head for the local movie theater. We needed to stay another night for the appointments scheduled the next day before we could travel home, so it seemed like a good distraction.
We looked at the listings on my Blackberry and remembered we had seen a trailer for a romantic comedy called Love and Other Drugs, with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal, and decided it was just what we needed to escape for a short time.
Ironically, when we originally saw the trailer, we must have missed the part that set you up for the underlying story line in which Maggie, the lead character played by Anne Hathaway, was struggling with the early stages of Parkinson's disease.
I'm certain that for a typical couple it was an entertaining film. It could undoubtedly be classified as a chick flick, but the men in the audience were treated to seeing plenty of Anne Hathaway, while the women were likely agonizing over the sad love story. Nonetheless for us, in the midst of dealing with our own situation, this was anything but an escape from our reality.
In the end Jamie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal decides that Parkinson’s Disease or not, he loved Maggie and he wasn't going to walk away… we held each other and wept through the movie.
Nearly a year later, I can tell you that this disease has not torn us apart, if anything, I believe it has made us closer, and our commitment stronger. That’s not to say it doesn’t challenge us most days, it does... but with humor, grace, and love, my husband, Chris, gets me through each day…