I am a new member of the forum, having just turned 50 and been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. To be honest it has come as a great shock that I have degenerative brain disease and I am not coping well with the diagnosis. I feel completely overawed.
About three years ago I started experiencing stiffness and restricted movement in my right shoulder. I tried exercises, stretching and physiotherapy, but with little joy. I then noticed a number of other issues such as no arm swing, deteriorating handwriting, difficulty sleeping, changes to bowel/bladder toilet habits, plus constantly feeling tired, drained, down and emotional. Sadly despite visiting my GP and other health professionals to discuss my symptoms nobody saw the big picture and picked up on a possible link to PD. I was basically left to feel like I was going mad and told to just get on with my life.
In January 2017 I returned to my GP and insisted that something was wrong. To cut a long story short, after various tests and MRI scans etc. finally I was referred to a neurologist, who with the aid of a DAT scan and some rudimentary tests has sadly determined I have Parkinson’s.
As a keen sportsman the diagnosis has really knocked the stuffing out of me, especially as it is affecting my dominant sports playing arm. At present I am struggling to see much of a future, as I am informed my symptoms will only get worse and spread to my other side. My job involves considerable driving and writing, so now I am worried that sooner rather than later my illness will be too much to disguise and potentially I may lose my job.
The worry and stress of the last few years has meant that I now feel anxious and down most of the time. Hence, I socialise less and have become withdrawn etc. I really don’t recognise myself any more. I am not the confident person I used to be. At work I put on a façade that everything is o.k. and no one knows of my illness, but the reality is I feel that I am sinking fast.
For example there seems to be a continual battle whereby my right hand attempts to do a task, but my left hand takes over, because a part of my brain seems to be sensing the difficulty and thereby by-passing the now unreliable right side. Worse still this results in a stubborn reaction from my right side in trying to still undertake the task and so the battle continues. The level of dexterity and how quickly the task needs to be completed tends to determine which side takes control. However, it leaves me in a continual state of ‘battle’ and mentally shattered.
I have just met my local Parkinson’s advisor and nurse and explained to both that I do not feel in a position to start on medication because I feel overwhelmed by the level of confusing information out there. To help me start to find ‘my path’ they suggested trying the forums as I have lots of questions that others may be able to answer or provide personal insight.
I feel that I am under a heavy load at present and trying to cut through the waffle to the useful advice is really weighing me down, so any help, advice or guidance would be gratefully appreciated. Hence, please check out my questions which I have hopefully posted in the correct forum areas.
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time out to acknowledge and/or reply.