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Thread: Spreading awareness of Parkinson’s

  1. #1

    Spreading awareness of Parkinson’s

    Spreading awareness of Parkinson’s

    Filed by Carolyn Woody
    April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, so I felt I should share my story.
    Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects a small area of nerve cells in the brain. These cells normally make chemicals that transmit signals between areas in the brain that coordinate smooth and balanced muscle movement. Parkinson’s disease causes these nerve cells to die and as a result, body movements are affected.
    I have had many health challenges in my life from breast cancer at the young age of 34 to heart problems the last 10 years, but nothing prepared me for this disease.
    It first started out as a slight tremor in my right hand and gradually became worse. It began to affect my handwriting and everyday tasks, such as cutting up my food, putting on makeup, etc. I began to have vivid dreams and nightmares and my emotions were on a roller coaster, causing anxiety and depression. I finally went to a psychiatrist and he put me on an anti-depressant, which helped. A large percentage of PD patients have depression.
    My dad had PD and I saw it firsthand, and the thought of becoming disabled and dependent on someone else is not a happy thought. Parkinson’s does progress differently in every person, so there is hope that I will be one of the lucky ones whose symptoms don’t get worse. I was diagnosed by a fine neurologist in Chattanooga, and I wanted a second opinion, so he helped me get an appointment with a movement disorder specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I had a great doctor there, too, and he confirmed the diagnosis. He put me on Mirapex. I am still on a low dose, building up to a stronger dose gradually. I am also trying to stay active. I started a water aerobics class, which I love! A support system of family and friends is a must, and I certainly have that.
    Many people remain closet patients and tell no one about their illness, but I find that it takes the power away from the disease if I can talk about it to others. I have joined a support group online at I stay in touch with folks all over the U.S. and in other countries, too.
    Not nearly enough research has been done on Parkinson’s. We must get the disease before the public. Please help me do this! Please feel free to e-mail me if you have Parkinson’s or if someone close to you does.
    E-mail Carolyn Woody at

  2. #2
    Thanks for reminding us my father had Parkinson’s before he passed away its a very rough illness and alot of famouse people have had it like Mohomad A Lee and Michael J Fox for instance.

    Go Bless everyone who has to deal with this illness and God Bless the loved ones who care for them and help them.

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