I just got back from our weekly ballroom dance class, and it made me think about how worried I was back when I was diagnosed in 2006. It's amazing to look back on the fear and uncertainty I felt at that time. I was afraid that I would be seriously disabled by now (even though I knew that that wasn't the typical progression). I worried that I might have to quit my job, that I wouldn't be able to do the things I wanted to do, and that I would be a burden on my family. Well, 4 years later, here I am; still working full time, still doing what I like to do, including dancing. I may not be able to dance as long as I would like, but I can still keep up. Sure, I'm a little shaky and very tired, but we had so much fun!
My neurologist says that actually he saw some Parkinson's symptoms in me when I went to him for dizziness and migraines back in 2003, but he wasn't sure, and my symptoms were not interfering with my life really, so he didn't say anything. That means that I'm probably not just 4 years down the Parkinson's path, but actually more like 7 years. And I'm doing great! It's very heartening, and makes me optimistic about the future.
It's one thing to look at a celebrity like Michael J. Fox and be amazed at how well he's doing, but it's a lot more personal to look in the mirror objectively and realize how well I'M doing! I just hope that when I'm as far down this road as Michael is, that I'll be doing as well as he is now.