Imagine for a moment that you are under fifty,healthy,vital and one day your thumb starts to twitch. It's annoying but tolerable, It only twitches when your hands are completely at rest so you ignore it.Six months later your little finger starts to twitch too. Suddenly your hand seems to have a mind of it's own,You start dropping things. One of your co workers is waking behind you in the hall and tells you that they notice that your left arm no longer swings when you walk. Little alarm bells go off in your head but denial stays firmly entrenched. Then a few months later your leg feels like you need to run but you are in bed and the rest of your body is trying to sleep.
This was my reality ten short years ago. I finally went to the Doctor and was told I had an Essential Tremor. After a year the diagnosis was changed to Parkinson's disease.
Surprise. There is no test for Parkinson's. Diagnosis can only be made through progression of the disease and drug efficacy or failure.Doctors use the Hoehn and Yahr scale for the staging of Parkinson's disease, which is broken down into the following stages:
Stage one: Parkinson's disease symptoms affect only one side of the body.
Stage two: Symptoms begin affecting both sides of the body, but balance is still intact.
Stage three: Parkinson's disease symptoms are mild to moderate and balance is impaired, but the person can still function independently.
Stage four: People with stage four Parkinson's disease are severely disabled, but they can still walk or stand without assistance.
Stage five: The patient becomes wheelchair-bound or bedridden, unless someone is helping him.
Doctors may be able to tell you how far along you are on this scale, there is no accurate way of predicting how soon you will get to the next stage or even if your disease will progress. There is no cure but there are a number of drug therapies that treat or delay symptoms. I am Stage one.
Why me? Why anyone? It could have been multiple factors. Parkinson's disease may result from exposure to an environmental toxin or injury. Maybe it was the speed I took to lose weight in my 20's maybe it was the rural area I lived in, well water I drank, exposure to pesticides when I detasseled corn as a kid. Could be hereditary. Thirteen genes are associated with Parkinson’s and can cause the disease in a small number of families. In these families, genes involve proteins that play a role in dopamine cell functions. My Mother had Parkinson's.
So there is no cure and it is progressive so give up right? Wrong! I'm not giving up without a fight. I'm trying it all; drug therapy,physical therapy. acupuncture, nutrition therapy,exercise, calorie reduction, transcendental meditation, prayer, brain path repair visualization, magnetic therapy and anything else that someone thinks of.