I’m sitting in my bed looking back over this past year and smiling. Why am I smiling? I’m smiling at all the wonderful things that have happened and how I stepped up to the plate! First of all, my beautiful daughter, Marni got married to the man of her dreams, Shawn on a beautiful night on the beach with a beautiful sunset. I never thought I would be able to last the entire weekend but somehow I did. With a little extra medication and lots of meditation I came through with flying colors! “Goodbye Parkinson’s, you couldn’t take me over on my daughter’s special weekend”!
That’s me on the left. I left Parkinson’s back in Baltimore! Isn’t she beautiful? I could never let my Marni down! I must say, the weekend took a toll on me, however it was worth it!
Six weeks later, Marni informed me that she was pregnant! I am going to be a grandma! That brings a lot of anxiety and fear for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic about the good news. I’m just so afraid that because of PD, I won’t be able to help and take care of my grandchild. By the way, she is having a boy! So, right now, I live in the moment. I’m helping her decorate the nursery and giving her a baby shower.
I think I finally am coming to accept the fact that I have my neurological challenges. Accepting this is helping me live a happier life. With this, I am reaching out to different alternative ways of helping my challenges. I now am working with a Naturopath. She is helping me with diet and supplements. I have changed my diet to gluten-free and dairy free. This diet has made me feel better with my tummy problems. I also went to physical therapy for balance. That gave me more confidence in walking and dancing! I still exercise and do yoga at least 4 to 5 times a week. I’m really proud of myself for doing something I thought I would never do again. I traveled alone!!!! I went to New York to see a show with my son on the train to and from Baltimore. I walked the streets of NY five miles. Wow! What an accomplishment! Walked to the show(which was great) and to dinner. Just did it! My son Justin is a good cheerleader to me! I know this sounds easy, but for someone with PD, it’s a huge feat!
I’ve also been going to other places alone. I’ve walked to different bars and restaurants by myself to eat dinner or listen to music. I even have been dancing at my favorite live music bar, The Cats Eye in Fells Point. I’m doing better with my new realization and confidence! I think my Parkinson’s coach, Robert Rogers has helped me so much. He has written a book about Parkinson’s Recovery and believes we can stop or lessen the progression of the disease. He has many recommendations to help me with healing my anxiety as well as slowing up my progression. He believes in using positive thinking to replace thoughts of negativity. Parkinson’s is just a name. I don’t have to be that name. I am Barbie with some neurological challenges. I’m working to lessen those challenges. More about that on my next blog.
I was always a very active person. I was either working out, playing tennis or golf, walking long distances and dancing. I loved to dance! Music just made me move and groove! Oh, I forgot to mention racquetball and skiing. I was always in pretty good shape. And you know what??? I took all these activities for granted. What I mean is I never in my wildest dreams would ever think I would not be able to do these activities due to a chronic illness. One day my muscles are strong and the next day they I get stuck.
Let me explain further. I was always the last one on the dance floor at any party or event that I attended. Actually, the first on; last off!! My feet hurt at the end of the night but that’s quite normal. I always made it part of my weekends to go somewhere that had dance music(or at least most weekends). Even having MS, I was able to dance.
However, about three years ago, that changed. I went to a wedding with my boyfriend Bob. We were standing awhile having hors derves and drinks and I started to feel the need to sit down. I didn’t think a thing of it. Sometimes, my legs got a little tired in high heels. I just thought it was MS which always goes away. It came time to go into the ballroom for the reception, dinner and dancing(my favorite part)!
I danced with Bob for a couple of dances; no problem. Then a gentleman at the table asked me to dance. I started to dance, but halfway through the dance, my feet stopped. What was happening? It felt as though they were in two blocks of concrete. I was mortified! Me not dance??? I called my boyfriend over to help me to my seat. I wasn’t happy, but I thought it was probably just an MS flair up. I tried to walk…….Not happening! So, Bob got the car, came back in and carried me to the car. How embarrassing! He took me home and I planned to call my doctor on Monday morning .
I called my Neurologist Monday at 9 A.M. and he said to come in later that day. That was October 2014. The diagnosis he eventually gave me was MS with Parkinson’s symptom. That did not sound good to me. He prescribed to me medication called carbidopa-levodopa. That sounded familiar to me. I think my Dad took that. That was not a good sign! Eventually, he referred me to a Parkinson’s Disease Neurologist. And you know the outcome…… Now 2 dis-eases…..MS and PD!!