[This was written before the awful news from Paris today. Our hearts go out to the families of all those affected by this senseless hatred.]
Today is a big day. Thanks to all of you, Twitchy Woman has passed 1000 viewers. What started last March with a posting called In the Beginning that had just 15 views in the first month, Twitchy Woman now has at least 60 followers from many different countries. If you have not officially signed up to follow please do so by clicking on the Follow button to the right so that you won’t miss out on future postings. The most viewed post was Things I Never Thought I Would Do, a short post about signing up for Boxing classes, followed by Seeking Self-Efficacy and Livin’ La Levadopa.
Since my goal was to create a forum for readers to share their experiences about living with Parkinson’s Disease, I would like to share a couple of responses from the last post “Getting Past Denial”
“When I was first diagnosed three and a half years ago, I fell into a pit of self-pity and depression that I couldn’t remember ever feeling before. I began to read everything about the illness that I could get my hands on, and I stumbled into a support group for Parkinson’s that I attended the very first week after I was diagnosed and it was a lifesaver. Strangers gave me information, invited me to conferences on Parkinson’s, and befriended me in telephone conversations about the illness that helped me ever so much. I read Michael J. Fox’s three books along with other authors too, and they were immeasurably helpful. But denial is powerful and seductive and pops up in my heart and mind from time to time, despite the clarity of the illness to myself and others. Because so far the illness is progressing slowly, I find myself thinking, ‘I couldn’t really have Parkinson’s.’ Yet I know I have it without a doubt.”
From PD in Arizona:
“My Diagnosis…The New Me
It was early 2014 and we celebrated surviving the stress and sleepless nights of an extensive condo remodel in Scottsdale. Because we love the area and the wonderful condo enhancement, it prompted us to return home to WI, sell our home and relocate to AZ. In March ‘14 we noticed a strange ‘twitch’ in my left hand. My husband Brad and I both just instinctively knew it was a red flag. We never said the words, but unbeknownst to one another, we secretly Googled and read the symptoms: Oh NO…the ‘P’ word (Parkinson’s)!!??
I was diagnosed in June ’14 and it was the diagnosis I dreaded, but expected due to the classic tremors. My initial fear was that I’ll become an awful burden to my husband and apologized to him for my disease and ‘ruining’ our lives. We shed some tears and shared our honest feelings. I was numb and scared. How did this happen…to me??” My husband encouraged me to inform my siblings, but because both live in different states it was via “that phone call.” We then shared with other family members and our close friends. I heard nothing but positive, supportive feedback from all.
Although PD is more than daunting, very early on I let go and accepted my disease. It’s always been my nature to remain positive. Brad told me, ‘It’s the new you!’ I’ve embraced it by remaining educated and have infused quite the sense of humor. I often crack jokes about my twitches (both hands and a leg). I can’t hide it, so what other choice to I have? After all, everybody has something! And as I look at others around me I am so grateful I don’t have a brain tumor (like the one that took my dear friend) or losing my eyesight like another close friend. But don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a few bad days too like the time my husband found me closet crying, “I’ll never be normal again.” After conversation and hugs I pick myself up and move on.
Truly, I have so much to be thankful for: a loving supportive husband, an outpouring of caring family and friends who keep me in their prayers. I love that my best Rx is exercise; I’ve become involved with several clinical studies; and adore my network at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. I walked my first PD 5K last year with my team and raised $2600 for the MAPC outreach programs, (which I – like Twitchy Women, also accidently posted on FB…one of the best things I’ve done.) I’m sure you guessed by now – my circle is quite aware that I have PD and I wear it like a badge of courage. They know that I’m a fighter and doing great. But, every single day…I still optimistically pray for that life-changing medical discovery or cure! We are getting close and it WILL happen!”
I would love to hear from more of you.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest other topics, or submit something to be posted. As we say in Boxing for PD, we are all Fighters together in the fight against Parkinson’s.
Other interesting news from the web:
In case you missed it, here is a link to the terrific piece about Rock Steady Boxing that aired on CBS Sunday Morning: Fighting back against Parkinson’s in the Ring
And finally, an article sent to me about a breakthrough in crossing the blood-brain-barrier that has implications for future treatments for PD. Canadian doctor first to break blood-brain-barrier. And a related article: Canadian Doctors Perform Breakthrough Blood-Brain Barrier Surgery Using Focused Ultrasound.