Keeping Relations Alive

Illness shouldn’t break up a family. It shouldn’t come between  spouses. Friendships shouldn’t  end because one of you is ill. The truth of the matter, sadly, is that illness tests the family, the spouse, and your interaction with friends. Change of any kind mixed with insecurity and doubt about one’s security is frightening for all involved parties.

This is where  communication,  understanding, patience, strength, and compassion must be expressed swiftly and thoroughly. If there was love when you both were healthy, then there ought to be love when either of you are sick. Marriage vows state “in sickness and in health”.  Real love means taking care of those that you care about as best and as long as you can. I will add as a patient and one who is sensitive to, and aware of caregiver burnout– that caregivers  need to be taken care of as desperately as the afflicted, to assure the health of everyone involved. In many ways, the relationships between friends and family can be strengthened if we treat one another with proper awareness, respect,  and appreciation.


-Share your fears with each other and don’t hide your feelings. Show your support and love for one another through your personal strength, faith,  support groups, professional counseling, or mentor. You are stronger than you know. You are not the first person to be tested by what you are going through. This is the time to take stock in your life. Maybe, just maybe, doors close but windows open for a reason. Stay on top of your situation and seek help as you need it from family, friends, the local community. Do your research about the services that are available to you locally, statewide, federally, and even internationally.  The world is quickly becoming a smaller place thanks to the internet and the sharing of information.


-Common ground isn’t always easy to find when one party is in discomfort and the other has a clean bill of health. Just the act of trying to imagine another’s challenges can help to put negotiations back on track. Taking the time to listen, observe, and feel another’s pain, can make tremendous change for bonding and healing.


Finding that part of you that slows the mind and targets the need for anything other than a focus on improving one another is essential. Patience is a virtue that you can attain with breathe, realization, commitment, and keeping love alive. Understand that all parties must observe patience for this to work efficiently and equally.


-I will admit that this one may take time, effort, exploration, and even outside assistance. Find what works for you.  Maintaining your wits in a crisis is not easy and takes a unique skill set.  Dealing with the added stress can take a toll and injure anyone around us. Whether you need a massage, to go to the shooting range, breaking  something (a non-dangerous and inexpensive object that provides emotional release), pop bubble wrap (reported to be a great stress reliever), working out, singing, or having  coffee with a friend. Finding what works for you is crucial.


-Loving yourself and someone else is what makes for a complete relationship. It is not egotistical to love oneself.  If one is unable to love oneself, a spouse or friend faces a demanding task. It is of vital importance to maintain our connection with others. There is beauty in the world. There is kindness even in the darkest  corners. The human is a resilient and crafty being.    

Wayne Dyer, prolific author and lecturer, has a great saying, “Don’t die with the music still in you!”  Do your best at doing what you  can and surprise yourself . You might just change and see a change for the better. This is my opinion–what’s yours?

Do you have a credo that you want to share? What do you do to improve your relationships? Does illness cost you relationships?  Do you share a positive attitude with others?

I want to hear from you!



About Karl Robb

Karl Robb has had Parkinson’s disease (PD) for over thirty years. With symptoms since he was seventeen years old, Karl was diagnosed at the age of twenty-three. Now fifty-one, he is a Parkinson’s disease advocate, an entrepreneur, an inventor, an author of two books (A Soft Voice in a Noisy World: A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease and Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease and Other Health Conditions: A Workbook for Body, Mind, and Spirit) with his wife and care partner, Angela Robb. He has blogged for ten years on his website, He is a Community Team Member to and is a contributor to His blog,, has been recognized four years in a row by as one of The Best Parkinson’s Blogs of 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015! also listed the book A Soft Voice in a Noisy World in their list of Best Parkinson’s Disease Books of 2017! has recognized for 2018 and 2017 as a Top 50 Parkinson’s Disease blog. Karl was a blogger for the 2016 World Parkinson Congress in Portland, Oregon. He is a frequent speaker on Parkinson’s disease issues as well as an experienced advocate for Parkinson’s issues throughout the United States. He is also an advisor and consultant on Parkinson’s disease. Karl is a board member of both the Parkinson Voice Project and Parkinson Social Network based in Virginia. He was an active board member (6 years) and an advocate (18 years) with the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN). In his free time, he is a photographer, constant writer, longtime magician, and a practicing Reiki Jin Kei Do master. Karl received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been featured by The New York Post, BBC Radio, CBS News, National Public Broadcasting (NPR), in The New Republic magazine and NHK World Television, as well as several Washington, D.C., television stations. You may reach Karl via email at, on Facebook, or contact him via Twitter @asoftvoicepd. I’m available for speaking engagements to share my experience living with Parkinson’s disease. Please contact me at if you are interested in having me speak to your group, conference/symposium, or would like me to write an article for your newsletter or blog. I am not a medical professional and this information is my personal view. I am just sharing my medical journey with you, the reader. I encourage you to seek all avenues that can benefit your condition.

Posted on March 1, 2012, in Education & Support, Health, Parkinson's Disease, Philosophy, support groups and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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