March 3, 2006
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
In mid 2004, I noticed a tremor in my little finger on my right hand when I ate my breakfast cereal. This slowly progressed into a hard time getting the cereal to my mouth without spilling. Also during the 18 months from mid 2004 to early 2006, my gait began to “age” and I thought “boy, old age has come on with a vengeance.” I spoke with my family doctor about what was going on and he always had an explanation relating to medications or other conditions. After fixing the other issues through diet and exercise the symptoms persisted. In early 2006 I told my GP that wanted to see a neurologist. He resisted, but I insisted because I thought something was really wrong.
So on March 3, 2006, I visited a local neurologist. As I went back to his office he emerged to greet me (little did I know he was already evaluating me). As I sat down in his office he said “I guess you are here about your Parkinson’s.” Shock is an understatement. All I knew about Parkinson’s was that Mohammed Ali and Michael J Fox had it and it didn’t look like much fun. I asked how he knew and he responded that I had the classic motor function signs. Gait issues, no swing in my right arm when I walked, facial masking, and micrographia -- does that sound familiar? I didn’t ask any questions and left the office with a prescription for Sinemet.
On the way back to work I called my wife to give her the news. Through the tears I exclaimed “I have Parkinson’s”. Her response changed my life. She said:
“Thank God it’s not something that will kill you in 90 days”
I pulled over and stopped the car and insisted that she repeat what she had just said. Of course she obliged. A light went off in my head because of course she was right. We went for a second opinion which confirmed the diagnosis, and began our new journey.
Shortly thereafter I retired (unrelated to PD). Then a change began. I pulled away from the corporate rat race and began thinking about ways that I could help others with Parkinson’s. We started a support group and began raising money for a cure. This change in my life has been profound. I have thought many times that I am blessed to have Parkinson’s because of the avenues it has opened up. This leads me to this place, where I have developed this website to help any that suffer from PD and their caregivers (who suffer along with us).
I hope this web portal will help all of you on our journey. My desire is to use the social media tools to educate, support and help those with PD. Please share you story on the story page. Remember you are not alone.