Post Contributor: Dan Roberson
When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease twelve years ago my symptoms were slight. My muscles cramped and I had trouble walking but after taking medication I looked and felt great. Yet there were days when I stumbled and I showed the effects of PD.
As my condition got worse another problem arose. Arthritis had severely damaged my knees. Every day I stumbled along in excruciating pain. But when someone would ask, “How are you today?” I would always say, “Great!” for I didn’t want to bring negative attention to myself.
Eight years later I had one knee replaced. The operation was successful but the healing process was slow, due to PD and also because the other knee was equally bad. I still didn’t have a good leg to stand on.
Three months later I had the second knee replaced. By then the first knee was functioning. When I had been cleared to drive by my doctors, life returned to normal. I was still in pain as I shuffled along, happy to be moving.
Now I began focusing on PD. Tremors on my left side were increasing. Sometimes I couldn’t write or type which disturbed me. Friends were asking if I had suffered a stroke because my face seemed frozen on the left side. Fortunately I began listening to my daughter’s advice and trying vitamin B, multivitamins, CQ10, and LDN. My doctors didn’t encourage or discourage my experimentation. Visit after visit there was little change in symptoms. I was holding my own for a while.
During this time I decided to wage war against PD. I exercised by riding a stationary bike, walking, and playing ping-pong. I tried to be as physically active as health permitted. I still didn’t walk as well, my face was more rigid and solemn, my hands shook especially when I was tired, under stress, or in need of medication. I sometimes looked worn and haggard, perhaps due to not sleeping well.
With the medications came other problems. I was easily confused when I was taking combinations of PD medications and pain meds while I recovered from the knee surgeries. I was single and alone and I was an easy target for scams. I lost a large sum of money, my beautiful home, and was forced into bankruptcy.
I recovered and took charge of my life. To sharpen my mental abilities I began playing chess at tournament levels. I also began writing again. I became a blogger producing poems and short stories. Recently my book, “Devils or Angels”, was published and I have hopes of publishing several more.
PD was scary at first but I’ve thrown down the gauntlet and intend to challenge it. I feel better when I exercise regularly, rest when tired, and stay on my medications. I’m still taking vitamins and a few supplements that I believe will keep PD at bay, or at least slow it down. Mentally I’m still going full speed and I’m ready to face a new day. Is life easy? No way! It’s difficult for me to walk or to write or type. I fall and I still make mistakes. Despite PD I intend to enjoy one hour, one day, one year, or whatever amount of time I have left. I don’t fear death but I’m not ready to quit yet. I have too much left to do. Carpe Diem!
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