Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

If you follow my blog, you know my husband Dave has Parkinson's. He's had it for more than five years now and does fairly well because he refuses to just sit down and wait for it to get worse. Since there is no cure, though, the symptoms do get gradually more disabling as time goes by.

This disease has greatly changed not only Dave's life but mine as well. We have stopped doing many things we used to enjoy because either he can't manage it or I can't because of my COPD. I write checks, etc. for him now because his writing has become illegible. I help him with a few other things he can't manage well too. If I thought about this very long, it would really get to me, so I try not to think about how things used to be.

When we went to a Parkinson's seminar last fall, I was amazed at how upbeat many of the PD people were despite having more disability than Dave. I guess for some it's a concious choice to get the most they can out of life because otherwise you waste what's left of your life in misery, and of course make those who love you miserable. I think only about 2% of PD people have dementia as part of the disease, although most have memory problems.

If you have the resources to donate to an excellent cause, I would hope you would remember The Parkinson's Foundation or The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Both are accomplishing much in the way of treatment. There is no cure now, but maybe someday . . . You might also take part in a walk for Parkinson's taking place in your city this month. What better excuse to take a nice spring walk? Those of us who have a loved one with this disease would be very grateful.

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