Sunday, February 22, 2009

How did you find out?

"Have you considered Parkinson's Disease?"

The words echoed in my head as my neurologist said them. His tone was kind and non-judgemental. He had asked me what I thought was causing my symptoms, and I had replied confidently that I thought it was probably Essential Tremor. I had been doing a a lot of "Googling" and he knew it.

"Have you considered Parkinson's Disease?"

I said "uhhhhhhh..... no."

He said "well, I want you to go home, read up on Parkinson's Disease, then come back to see me and bring your husband with you." I said "O.K.". I thought "Sh%T!" My toes actually curled up and turned cold, like the Wicked Witch of the East.

I did what he said, and by the time my husband and I came to see him the next week, I was mentally prepared to accept his diagnosis. How in the world did my doctor know exactly the right approach to take with me? I don't know, but I'm profoundly grateful. It made it easier for me to accept it and get on with life.

I was kind of wondering how other people found out. I would love to hear your stories, and maybe post them (with your permission of course).

Let me know!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ready for the Walk

Well, donations are starting to roll in for the Parkinson's Unity Walk in April. I posted my flyers last week at work, and my wonderful co-workers are already responding. What an amazing group of people they are! I also got a contribution from my stepmom, bless her heart; she and my dad are having some financial problems right now, so I know it's painful to part with cash. They know what this means to me, though.
What does this mean to me?, you ask. It's hard to describe, but participating in this Walk, and doing the other things I do to try to help find a cure for this stupid disease are more important to me than I ever dreamed possible. Almost every free minute of my day is spent thinking of ways to contribute to the cause, and some minutes that aren't free (oops!).
I wish the walk was tomorrow; I'm ready to go now!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain!

I did it! I donated my brain. Well, I put in the paperwork to allow my brain to be donated to the Parkinson’s Institute after my death. We dropped by the post office before work, and as I got out of the car to go mail my paperwork, I smiled and said to my husband “Well, here goes my brain!” It was weird, but as the envelopes with my forms in them left my fingers, I felt just a touch of separation anxiety, as if my brain really was in one of those envelopes. When I closed the mail slot, though, there was this warm glow filling up my soul; a feeling of joy, almost euphoria. It’s the same way I felt when I crossed the finish line with Team Parkinson at the SF Marathon.

Now I feel like I’m carrying precious cargo in my head. Who knows? Maybe my brain holds the secret to some terrible disease. I won’t say Parkinson’s, because by the time I die of old age, I expect Parkinson’s to be cured! On the other hand, if I died in a car crash tomorrow, I know that I will still be able to contribute somehow.

“And perhaps I’d deserve ya,
and be even worthy erve ya
if I only had a brain”

About Me

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I'm a lucky lady. I have a wonderful husband of 27 years, a fantastic 25 year old son (I'm so proud of him!) a loving and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a job that I love, and... Parkinson's Disease. I was diagnosed in September 2006. That was a jolt, but I'm learning to deal with it.