Family Life / PD/ Younger Children


#1
Hi Mick again folks , I am married with a 12 year old son . I was diagnosed a year ago at 42 years old and am a self employed plumber. Life is a bit of a rollercoaster with some days being better than others and i am very aware of the impact this has on my wife and especially my son when i am depressed and unable to do certain things ! Would like to hear from people in a similar situation to share advice , support or wisdom !! , on keeping life as normal as possible !! Kind Regards

#2
I'm 45 and working. I have a wife who is very supportive and two beautiful kids aged 5 & 8 who are, so far, unaware of PD. Despite being surrounded by wonderful people and having so much to be thankful for I have suffered with depression too and that has had a bigger impact on my work than the PD symptoms.

My first physical symptom was loss of dexterity which impacted my ability to type - a big part of my desk based job. At least now I can see the upside of having no musical talent whatsoever.

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software on various computers to help when typing is bad. There are versions of Dragon for iPhone and iPad which I haven't tried myself but might be useful if you are out & about a lot.

Have you looked at the Government 'Access to Work' scheme? It subsidises the cost of some adjustments to keep people with disabilities in work. Have a look at the 'reasonable adjustments at work' thread on the forum.

You don't say what kind of help you are getting if any for depression.

keep talking

Elegant Fowl

#3
My husband was diagnosed with PD in 2009 and is still coming to terms with it. We have three sons aged 22, 18 and 12. I know that this not the same as having young children but something that my oldest son may give food for thought.

My husband used to shift work which gave him a lot of time during the day with our boys. He was a very 'hands-on' father and used to take them out on many trips picnics etc whilst I was at work. They absolutely idolised him.

Unfortunately undiagnosed Parkie started to rear its ugly head and depression kicked in BIG TIME:imp:. He became very morose and agressive with the boys, constantly moaning at them and critising every thing that they did. Not a great help for them during their adolescence.

When he was finally diagnosed, the neurologist suggested that he took anti-depressants, not something that we were very keen on. However, he decided to take a low dose and very soon his depression had lifted. He still has bad days when he is moody and annoyed but he is now able to cope much more with these feelings.

When my oldest son returned from his gap year trip to Australia, he told me that he felt that his real father had returned. They are now rebuilding their relationship and whilst it will never be the same, I now that my son now cares and loves his father.

If you feel that you need help with depression, do not worry too much about asking for anti-depressants. They do not numb your feelings, they seem to make you stronger and more able to cope with Parkie. My husband has accepted that he will probably be on anti-depressants for the rest of his life and knows that they are helping him to fight and live with Parkie. Rather that than permanently lose the love and support of his family.

Good luck and remember to enjoy your family. Do not let Parkie take this away from you.

Love and light

Neddie

#4
Well said Neddie. Two of my family members take anti-depressants and they are now able to cope with their medical challenges and enjoy their families again. (and have their family enjoy being with them!) Best of luck to all who face this particular challenge. Lin2

#5
Hi Mick,

I have a 12yr old son aswell and 2 other children aged 13 & 17, they were 4, 6 & 9 when I was diagnosed, the 2 youngest have only known about my pd for the last few years but we told the eldest more or less straight away, I've always tried to carry on as normal and we seem to have done ok so far, they've been curious about pd and how it affects me or how it's going to affect me in the future, I try my best to answer they're questions and explain that some days I don't feel great but it's not going to stop me being there for them.

We still have family holidays, go for days out, meals out, I still go to school parents nights, I still taxi them around, life doesn't have to change too much, even parents who haven't got health problems have off days, just try to stay positive. For me having kids has made me fight pd more, I've been more determined not to let it affect them.

Take care!

#6
Hi, Mick.

I'm 40 and have two small children. They are 5 and 7 at the moment. I was diagnosed about a year ago and my symptoms are as yet mild. I'm female and not working at the moment - mainly for family reasons - although I'm hoping to return to work quite soon. Having PD doesn't help with the whole getting a new job thing. It's bad enough having had a career break!

I have told my children about my diagnosis - as much as I think they can understand, anyhow. I don't believe in keeping things hidden. I already have trouble putting my daughter's hair up, and I'm really glad now that my son (the elder of the two ) can do his own shoelaces up, because I have difficulty with laces, too! Of course, this means that nigh on the whole village knows, too - but it was never a secret.

I'm lucky in that depression hasn't affected me (unless you count a borderline postnatal depression). I do think that my husband is finding it hard, although he tries not to let it show. He gets a bit frustrated because I'm slower than I used to be and, to be honest, I find it hard to get motivated to do things. We're both tired, for various reasons.

One of the ways in which I have tried to cope is by starting a blog. Feel free to come and have a wander around:

http://bloggingwithparkinsons.wordpress.com/

I tend to cover a few (relevant) science stories as well as more personal anecdotes and book reviews. There are a couple of reviews of children's books - I've tended to deal with the younger end of the spectrum, but the Karen Goodall might be of interest to your son, as may the factual one by Rasheed Ali:

http://bloggingwithparkinsons.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/childrens-books-about-parkinsons-part-1/
http://bloggingwithparkinsons.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/childrens-books-about-parkinsons-part-2/