How my life has changed

I thought I would share how my life at work is since my DX in 2007, I am 48 & have had PD for 5 yrs now, since then my life has changed dramatically as you will see below.

Left school at 16 with poor exam results had a series of dead end jobs till I was 18

Joined the army & served 14yrs, made the rank of Sergeant in an airborne special communications unit & obtained my wings

Re-trained as an Adult apprentice with SEEBoard as an electrician, this was not an easy thing to do aged 32

Quickly worked my way up over the next 8 years progressing through the domestic - light industry - highways - rail – heavy industry – power generation & chemical industries

Eventually I moved into the Construction Industry & became an Electrical Project Manager specialising in the installation of high voltage network equipment on major projects within London

Panicle of my career was on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link as the Lead Electrical Engineer at St Pancras Station on the design & installation of the 13 platforms lighting & power on a catenary wire structure.

** This is where the first signs of PD showed its ugly face.

Became a Consultant for EDF Energy on MOD projects – struggled to keep on top of things as my health started to fail

Dropped 2 management grades to secure a permanent position with EDF Energy on major projects works

DX in 2007

2009 Moved off major projects onto maintenance work as a manager

2011 Health deteriorating & was taken off construction work moved into the office

Today I am struggling to hold onto my managers position & feel I will be medically retired early next year

Whats your working life story?

Before I mention my career or careers,I would like to congratulate you on yours what a remarkable man you are, hauling yourself up through lifes minefields and acheiving your goals , only to be hammered by PD, you will no doubt feel unfairly treated ,and I wouldnt blame you ,I know I did but now comes a even bigger test of character a tougher job if you like , if anyone can take on Parky on equal terms you can.
My first of many jobs began at 17yrs, I left school with eight O levels all but one first grade the g2 one was art my favourite subject .I was offered employment at the local Motor Dealership and did well with them, then at 21 moved from my native north east to Cumbria working in the bodyshop for 5yrs I really enjoyed the work, but bigger wages beckoned and I found myself in Heavy Plant first a welder/painter,body repair, but then on to operating heavy plant, at last I was truly happy at 31 great pay great company with whom I accomplished no fewer than16 licences , I was highly competant with all ranging from trucks(on road) to Dump trucks (off road)my prefered choice the Volvo 40ton Artics but it was the excavators I really exelled,from 5ton minis to 35ton Komatsus , then at 49 I noticed changes,I was misjudging depths and widths I new something was wrong,that
something was PD,I informed DVLA who removed my licences, and I took early retirement at 55 having been a yardman/go for 5yrs, Im 62 now and have a struggle with BLACKHEART, PD,but I will not bow to this evil disease and keep as active as I can,I am sad, I lost a great job ,but my wife also retired early to take care of me, she is a angel and as I also lost my car licence she drives me all over life changing is old Parky but not always for the worst,good luck my friend in whatever you do, but never give in I know you wont. :grin: fedexlike

My working life started at 18, working in a library until I started my family, I was then at home with my children for 16 years, until my youngest child went to school aged 5.

I decided it would drive me mad being at home all day so I took a part time job in a local pre-school. I loved it so much I decided to do a level 3 early years qualification. After a few years and yet another NVQ I had worked my way up to Assistant manager, I especially loved working with the children with special needs.

A job came up as Area special needs co-ordinator with the local authority and I got the job. I did a level 4 qualification and decided to do my degree in Special needs.

That is when I noticed the first signs of PD. At the interview for uni in 2009, i couldn't stop shaking, I found it hard to write too. I passed it off as nerves till it started happening too often, I also developed a twitch in my elbow which travelled to my hand and shoulder. Got my Dx in March 2011. The meds made me so ill, it was hard to carry on but eventually, after 18 months, we found the right mix for me.

I carried on and completed my degree in june 2011 and continued working and despite the PD was promoted to Inclusion team supervisor in January 2012. Ofsted have just published their report on quality provision in Early Years authorities and we came out right at the top! Number 1 in the country. I have PD and a colleague has epilepsy after suffering a stroke but we still came out on top.

Life doesn't have to stop after PD, there are certainly more challenges and It can be tough some days but I love my job.


morning all,

I left school at 18 having done a poor job with my exams. I spend the next three years working with mentally disabled children and then also began work part-time as a community service supervisor with the probation service in Manchester. This involved me taking groups of convicted men out to do unpaid work in the community. In 1973 I was appointed as a full-time community service officer, which meant I was responsible for the whole of the order and not just the supervision of the practical part. This led me to train between 1981 and 83 and qualify as a probation officer. I worked in that role in Salford, a busy part of greater Manchester. I became a senior probation officer (a team leader role) in 1990 and by 1994 I was on secondment to the Home Office working on Implementing an information system for the probation services throughout England and Wales.

It was whilst working on this project, in 1995, that I was finally diagnosed with Parkinson's. I was 39 at the time, was working hard as described, married with two young sons. It was time to get my head down and make sure that I didn't lose out because of this stupid condition. In 1998 I was promoted to the district manager for all probation work in Salford. This was probably the best job of all. I was responsible for 90 staff and all the strategy and operations of the organisation in that district, working with the heads of other agencies and really getting some good strategies developed about some key crime issues.

In 2002 I was seconded again to the Home Office,this time to work as one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Probation. This became a full-time permanent post in 2005. It involved me travelling all over England and Wales visiting probation services and youth offending teams, inspecting the quality of their practice, reporting on it and making recommendations for improvement. A great job, with great colleagues, but by 2010 I had begun to struggle and after some difficult conversations with my boss, my wife and myself I had to stop and was granted early retirement on the grounds of ill-health in July 2011.

Despite having had to stop my formal employment I have not stopped from being busy. I've been involved in writing and setting up a charity that will help support people with Parkinson's. However as these are things I'm doing by my own choice, I am able to manage the pace and take rest as I need it. This has given me a new lease of life in terms of managing the symptoms and progression of my Parkinson's.

Is there a pattern here I left school at 15 worked in a shop,married,had family went to work part time as a cleaner in a care home,took N.V.Q.S became p/t carer,full time care , supervisor,then on to Manager and N.V.Q. assessor all at the same care home.I was really happy then IT struck.I started with M.E. then P.D. then C.O.P.D.Have we all put to much in or were we just unlucky ??


Wow we all have done so much, thanks for taking the time to reply

Sorry for not responding sooner, your words are very kind, like you say having PD & getting on with life can at times be a test of one’s moral fibre & being a stubborn person I fight it as hard as I can. This time last year I was rushed into hospital with a heart attack & was taken directly into the operating theatre to have a stent put in & a quick de-coke, I am glad to say the old ticker is working fine now. Bullet proof again.

Outside of work since my DX I have been very busy, I have raised £17k for PDUK, £7k doing an AFF Skydive with the British Army Parachuting Club. AFF= Accelerated Free-Fall – basically you get 4hrs ground training then you jump at 13,000ft & they show you how to skydive on the way down…..great fun. (you can watch it on this link ) & then raised £10k trekking on the Great Wall of China. Next year I hope to raise more money & take part in a 48hr endurance boat race around the Isle of Wight.

To get me moving & to push myself, I have taken up Tai Chi, joined the Scouts as an Explorer Leader (14-18 yrs) & also qualified as a Duke of Edinburgh supervisor / assessor for bronze silver award level. I was also a school governor / PTA member & joined my local PD Society were I held the position of Branch Chairman for a term & help set up with the branch a Young Person Working Group which I am still actively involved in.

I have also enrolled as a “crash test dummy” with the Cambridge University Brain Repair Centre & hopefully have stem cell implants in March 2014.

Like you say, you got to do all you can whilst you are able, I am a very luck man, I have great support from my long suffering wife (22 years), family, friends & colleagues.