October 5th, my life changed tenfold as I sat in the office with the neurologist, hearing the words "You have Parkinson's". My head spinning, screaming inside, this cannot be what has been happening to me over the past year. It has to be a pinched nerve or just the aging process or the injury I sustained 2 years ago when I tripped on that crack in the sidewalk. I'm too young for this disease... doesn't it show up in people much older?
I leave the office, sit in my car, make a call to my sister (my rock), and the words spill out of me -- "It's Parkinson's", I am sobbing now, realizing what I had suspected for awhile, but denied. Since that day, I have immersed myself in research, trying to understand this new me. It all makes sense now, the tremor in the right hand, the shaky voice, my right leg not moving the way it used to, the balance issues. I am not just a klutzy person, my body has been yelling at me far longer than I've wanted to admit. I should have paid attention, after all I am a massage therapist and intuitively know the body. Why then had I been completely ignoring my own? Denial. Denial. Denial.
Acceptance and making peace
I've made peace with this diagnosis and have set the wheels in motion to meet it head on. I have been a pretty healthy person and have stepped up to include the recommended dietary changes, added pilates to my workout routine, along with yoga (practicing for over 3 yrs on a daily basis), weights for strength and continuing with my long walks. I am newly diagnosed, so I am getting used to the meds (Carbidopa-Levodopa). I don't take anything stronger than an Ibuprofen on occasion, so having something I have to take 3x a day is not a norm for me.
I feel lucky in that I have health on my side, but I know this is not the case for many. I have struggles some days. My speech is slurred, I lose my balance just by standing up, I feel blank -- thoughts become muddled. Sleep is interrupted, but I have been like that most of my life. I am glad there is support like this website and forum. I don't want to trouble my family and friends with this. I don't want it to define me. I want to appear "normal". I don't want pity. I feel I can open up here. Thank you for listening.
Do you think there is enough awareness of Parkinson's disease?