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 Lisa Garvey for her story. She wrote an article for us in 2015 about walking to beat Parkinson’s at Moving Day Silicon Valley!–DB
Lisa and Team Garvey Walk Over YOPD
I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinsons Disease about three and a half years ago, on the cusp of my 42nd birthday. I had gone to my regular doctor because I was having a difficult time typing (and doing anything, really) with my right hand. She sent me to a neurologist, who performed a series of tests and booked me for a brain MRI, which caught me off-guard, since I had assumed that I had something along the lines of carpal-tunnel syndrome.
I have since learned to live with the diagnosis, and am grateful that I can now twirl pasta, sign cards, and play saxophone with the benefit of excellent medication. I take a cocktail of different prescriptions designed to reduce onset and treat my everyday condition, and I have recently been successful with the long-acting properties of Rytary. Honestly, I’m fearful about the future, and find myself envisioning the worst about the eventual spread of my symptoms. When will it hit my left hand, and my legs, my speech?
Earlier this year I walked in Moving Day to help raise funds for the National Parkinson Foundation, and I’m lucky to have had a supportive walking team of over 40 friends and family who were willing to join me, and many more who donated to the cause. I’m proud to say that “Team Garvey” was in the top 10 teams nationally for total funds raised. My husband and my two sons (15 and 12) are especially helpful; I couldn’t handle this without them.
When I was 13, I had a poster of Michael J. Fox on my bedroom wall, just because I thought he was cute as the star of “Family Ties.” I never imagined that I’d be such an admirer of him for his resilience and courage. Who knows what comes our way?
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