Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Reflections of 2007

I hope that 2008 is off to a great start for everyone. There have been so many new and wonderful people that I have met during the past year that either have a diagnosis of a form of Parkinsonism or are still struggling to obtain a diagnosis. My prayer for those who already have a diagnosis is that they have a doctor who continually works with them in order to maintain the best quality of life. For those still struggling for that illusive diagnosis, my prayer is that they will receive those long awaited for answers in 2008.

2007 was a revealing year in my life with respect to my health. After many years, I finally received a confirming diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. (Akinetic-Rigid sub-type) As many of you know, although Parkinson’s Disease is chronic and progressive, it was a relief to finally be able to put a name to the condition that has been treated through medication for almost one and a half years.

As I previously stated, 2007 brought many new people into my life. Had I not been aggressively searching for answers to my health, I would have not met these people who have blessed and enriched my life so much. The common tie between all of us is Parkinson’s Disease or another form of Parkinsonism.

Although I now have a wonderful doctor who has helped me to find the best medication balance, which allows me to have fewer breakthroughs; I did find that the rush of the holidays did have an affect on my disease. There were a few times when I let adrenaline kick in, and the affect on my physical condition paid the price. I now realize that I may have to adjust the Sinemet dosages in order to compensate for additional physical activity. There were two nights in particular that my body completely “crashed”, and my symptoms came on full force. This came as a surprise to me when it happened.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and I have always enjoyed the physical portion involved with decorating, baking, cooking, shopping and entertaining. This year I discovered that I do not have the same abilities as I once had in order to celebrate the season in the same ways that I have always done. My husband and I came to the realization that we will need to make some adjustments in how we celebrate and prepare for Christmas in the future. This came as a disappointment to me, but I now understand that such adjustments for holidays are no different than the adjustments that I will continue to have to make throughout my life due to Parkinson’s Disease.

I am not one who normally makes New Year’s Resolutions. However, I have set some goals for 2008 that I hope to be able to accomplish. This blog is one of my top priorities for the coming year. Learning more about the Akinetic-Rigid subtype of Parkinson’s Disease is another priority. Additionally, now that I have a confirmed diagnosis, I finally have the confidence I need to write to those previous doctors that were so quick to dismiss my symptoms throughout the years. Just as those of us who have a form of Parkinsonism are able to help and educate one another about these diseases through our stories, I believe that doctors can learn something from their previous patients that may benefit other patients in the future.

I believe that 2008 is going to be a great year. For all of my many new friends, I want to personally thank you for your prayers, kindness and encouragement. If we all continue working together through our blogs, support groups, and internet support groups, the ability to reach out to more people with a form of Parkinsonism has endless possibilities. May God bless all of you in 2008.

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