Never Woulda Guessed

I am 64 and just retired from teaching second grade. Whew! I was diagnosed with PD about 5 years ago although I had symptoms a few years before. I went in because I had slight tremors in my left arm and hand, my left arm did not swing naturally when I walked, and there was some rigidity in my left arm, AND, I couldn’t sing any more (I was a musician and performer and used to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and made some recordings. Now I can only sing about one octave…a great loss.) When I went to see the doctor (neurologist) all he did was ask me to walk up and down the hall while he watched. He asked me a few questions and then just simply said, “You have Parkinson’s.” Boom. No blood test, no studies, no nothing. There it was. I remember as a child seeing people with severe tremors and when I was old enough to understand it was Parkinson’s I said to myself, “I would rather have any disease but that!”

Well, here I am. Luckily, thankfully, gratefully, I am still highly functional. My tremors are getting a little worse but they are only on my left side (I am right handed). I still play the piano, still move freely, still sing (to myself) and (here is my testimony) I go to Rock Steady boxing when I can (about 4 times a week). It has saved me emotionally, physically, and socially. A tremendously supportive, relaxed, encouraging, positive group of people. It’s hard work but we go at our own pace, do what we can, encourage each other, laugh and joke around and always celebrate our victories at the end of a session. I just had surgery on my foot (arthritis). I am in a cast and I still go twice a week. I sit on my knee scooter in front of a bag and punch, punch, punch. I do what I can. Please find a Rock Steady program near you. Exercise is the only thing that will stop the progression of PD. I cannot afford not to do it.

This is my story.

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