My wife was diagnosed about 5 years ago. She is becoming increasing slow and deliberate, has a tremor in her right hand and problems with her right leg which she says she was to "carry" to stop her scuffing her foot. Other than that she is relatively lucky compared with others who has far worse conditions
She has though lost all confidence especially when driving (never been a confident driver, but lack of confidence is getting worse). Is this something others suffer from and PD related or just a co-incidence?
I was diagnosed in 2004 and can sympathise with the loss of confidence. Also, being slow and deliberate is a fairly common symptom and can be difficult to come to terms with.
The onset of my symptoms has been slow., but no less life changing. I went through a period of thinking that things would degenerate rapidly, but the progression has slowed down.
I still find it difficult to feel at ease when I am out of my comfort zone, but am determined that this disease will not change the way I live my life. The loss of confidence is very hard to rectify, but just having the support of my family has made all the difference. Knowing that someone is around to support and encourage you is invaluable. I have also made friends with fellow PD patients in my area - not a formal group., just friends supporting each other - again this has been a tremendous help.
It really depends on how confident your wife was before PD, but I think the best way of dealing with it is to face it head-on. ~Do things that make you feel uncomfortable and learn from your reactions.
The main lesson I have learnt with PD is that I am determined not to give in to it - it may be able to cast all sorts of evil symptoms on me like tiredness, muscle spasms, weakness, etc. etc. but it cant take away my desire to fight back.
Driving is of course a different story - you both need to know she is safe, but if she has never been particularly confident then maybe facing this demon may be a step too far at the moment. Concentrate on trying to buiild confidence on the things you know she is good at, If she can believe that she can still cope with the simpler things in life, then that could boost her ability to deal with the harder things.
Thanks for your response .. very helpful.. you sound like my wife who is a fighter and refuses to give in to the disease.
I was diagnosed in 2010 and in general I think you have to fight, the more you keep doing, the more you will be able to do. Driving is different.If you feel confident, fine carry on, but a patient who is beginning to doubt themselves, I decided that was time to stop. It can be a pain managing without a car, but safety has to come first.
I quite agree - driving has to feel safe for you and also you have to know that you are safe to be on the road. As hard as it might be, at some time you will know it is time to give up.
Everything else - fight and keep fighting, dont let it take over.