Editor’s note: Stories by our members chronicle how we are affected by Parkinson’s disease. Our intent is not to prescribe medical advice about the diagnosis, treatment or other medical aspects of PD but to provide information, news, support and encouragement for women living with this condition. Thanks to Nancy Stohn for her story. She wrote an article for us in 2015 about adding her touch to Stanford’s new Neuroscience Building!–DB
New Attitude for Nancy Stohn with Acupuncture
My life changed for me in the summer of 2011 when I left my 40-year-old interior design business in Boston and moved to San Carlos, California.
Dr. Simon Tan at Stanford University suggested I make an appointment with movement disorders specialist Dr. Helen Bronte-Stewart and I was shocked when she told me I had Parkinson’s. No one in my family had it.
I was familiar with PD because a friend of mine had it. After he passed away, I decided to tell all the people who cared about me that I had Parkinson’s to raise awareness for the importance of fundraising for research.
I’ve participated in two studies and I’m on the original doses of medicine that I began with in 2011: Carbidopa/levodopa 25/100, Cymbalta (Duloxetine), Carbidopa (Lodosyn), Azilect, and Thyroid.
I take private pilates training with three people each week and I work out on my own in the gym. I walk a dog but not enough, or at good speed. I don’t pole walk enough either, but I do swim once a week. I just bought a collapsible bicycle that I love because it fits in the car trunk and it is always available.
Unfortunately, I am overweight. During the week I get plenty of sleep. I drink wine and vodka with a bit of guilt, mostly on weekends.
My adult children live in the area and they are thoughtful and caring. I’ve traveled to different places in the world.
I am in the “donut hole” because the cost of my Parkinson’s medical pills has run over the Medicare limit. Therefore, I have to pay thousands of dollars out of my pocket for the medicine.
Recently, I vacationed with friends in Boston, and visited an experienced Korean acupuncture master who has cared for me for twenty years. He suggested that I adhere to acupuncture and other healing methods every morning for a month. I was very serious about his care, so I committed to the expensive program.
At the end of a month of acupuncture, I returned home with daily packages of a special tea and daily use of an electrical nebulizer. I still have hand tremors, but my legs are stronger, my foot doesn’t hurt any more, and I have more energy. I am happier and having more fun. I’m not as tired in the afternoon and friends notice a positive difference in me. My kids are thrilled with my new attitude.
I love being associated with Parkinson’s Women Support, a wonderful group of women. I have also loved working on the new Stanford Neuroscience building, which is designed for patients to have a seamless experience. I live a wonderful life.
About Parkinson’s Women Support: The mission of Parkinson’s Women Support is to offer moral support, encouragement and camaraderie for women who are Parkinson’s Disease patients. Check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonswomen