Prioritizing and reinventing oneself

4 June 2020

Who is Manon Roussy?


A 48 year old North Shore woman who is a lover, a mother, a sister, a friend and a mental health nurse (still sane…hahahaha!).
Those who know me well know that I love to laugh and make everyone laugh.

My testimony comes at a time in my life when I have decided to choose myself, to set my limits and to stop being afraid of no longer being able to do what I was able to do “before”, on the contrary, I can and I want to do better and reinvent myself.

I’ve always been a woman who was in control of everything in her life. I went out to meet others, I liked to be on the front lines, I was hyperactive, independent and always had an enterprising nature. Little by little the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease began to appear (between 40 and 45 years old) and my personality and lifestyle were impacted.

Those who know me well, asked me about my gait which seemed more laborious in the afternoon and at the end of the day (rigidity on the left side, claudication, left foot dragging). I had even mentioned to my colleague that I walked like a drunk woman… (laughing)
What I wasn’t saying was that I was wondering about my physical condition and anything that made me anxious, irritable and sleepless. I was making “pacts” with the devil at night and I could adopt “75 positions” to reduce the itchiness in my left leg and especially the cramps in my calf, and so on…


The search for diagnosis


After several years of complaining to my family doctor who told me that I was anxious, that it was the cause of my insomnia and that he had tried everything in terms of tests and medication, I decided to take a neurology consultation so that I could deal with my concerns.

The famous appointment of October 23, 2017 confirmed what I was thinking and what I was anticipating. I have to tell you that a nurse is quite “crazy” in her head when she is the one who is sick.
In any case, I… I was self-diagnosing, reviewing all the pathologies, analyzing everything about myself and I was very good at hypothesis!

In short, the shock, the tsunami, the end of the world... mine anyway.
The trip from Quebec City to Baie-Comeau (420 km) without saying a word is long, but it seemed like 5 minutes to me. Poor André! My extraordinary husband, my devoted spouse who was also in shock and who tried to encourage me in spite of everything.


The stages of mourning the disease


Then there were all the stages of mourning the illness, including denial, anger (this was quite intense and lasted quite long). I went through the ;

I even had the period of total depression when I wondered if I should continue to take the medication. The mental health at that time took a hit. Even if you’re a mental health nurse… you’re not immune to depression.

Eventually there was the trigger with the psychology follow-up.
My life isn’t over, on the contrary! I am full of energy and gratitude to all those who offer themselves to me. At present, I see life differently and I am discovering hidden talents.  I’m taking my time now, because Mr. Parkinson, he reminds you to take your time.  Quality time, time to move, time to socialize, time to love and be kind to yourself.


Choosing yourself to grow


The most important thing is to stay positive, to relax, to trust, not to worry, not to stress, just be and breathe. I remain hopeful that scientists will find a cure for us in the near future.  In the meantime, I continue to meditate, garden, knit, sew, fish, walk, enjoy the great outdoors of the North Shore and share my joys and small successes with those I love. I wish to continue working as a nurse for as long as possible to help those in need.

Choosing to grow and above all, not to identify with the disease.

Let’s keep hope!

I want to thank my spouse who did not run away and who is my beacon. My daughters who are my inspiration and my leverage. Thank you to my parents, my sister, my brother and their spouses for being here. My friends Annie, Sylvie and Cyndie who are always there to make me laugh and to take the edge off my moods.  My lifelong friend Gilles, my family doctor, my neurologist, my psychologist, my team from the psychiatry unit, the psychiatric outpatient clinic and the health service of Cisss de la Côte Nord for their support, listening and encouragement.

Having a network is super important!


Manon Roussy la Nord-côtière xxx

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