A close relative of mine today was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressively degenerative neurological disorder which affects the control of body movements. Common symptoms include slow movement, tremors, stiff muscles and poor motor control. It is a degenerative disease that usually arises when the person is between the ages of 50 and 60, but one may start to show signs earlier than this. Patients may feel depressed and hopeless as a result of their condition which is hard to diagnose.
Now, I am not pretending to be an expert on Parkinson’s, in fact, I am far from it. What I want to convey is that even when faced with such a condition that may affect you for the rest of your life, there is hope. There is always hope. No matter what life throws at you, what situations you find yourself in, or what diagnoses you receive, there is a way to manage and make your life liveable and joyful.
According to Parkinson’s Australia approximately 20,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in Victoria, with 1,000 new cases diagnosed in the state each year. But that’s 1,000 people who have to come to terms with their diagnosis, and an additional two or three thousand family members, friends and carers who are affected too.
Luckily, there are so many resources available from credible sources, and many welcoming support groups and services for the patient and their families. From my short search on the world wide web I’ve also found blogs and online communities written and run by people with Parkinson’s, that may help those wanting further information written from a more personal perspective, documenting triumphs, challenges and how to live life on a day-to-day basis.
And the same goes for almost any medical condition. If you are suffering or looking for help, there are many people who are there to connect with you and assist in any way they can. You just have to reach out. It might be a phone call, a visit to a community health centre, your doctor’s office, or a Google search. There might even be a Facebook page/group or a Twitter account to follow. It’s there. And it’s there for you.
For more information about Parkinson’s disease, here are some links to guide you:
Parkinson’s Australia – they also have links to state/territory specific sites in the top right hand corner of their page
Parkinson’s on the Better Health Channel
And some blogs from those living (note, LIVING) with the diagnosis:
Bibmomma’s Blog – living with early onset Parkinson’s
As well as the Parkinson’s Blog Network