April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month
By: Ms. K
My father was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease (PD) six years ago. Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the brain that affects the transformation of messages to the muscles. When people have Parkinson Disease they suffer tremor, stiffness of the muscles and difficulty in initiating movements. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease that worsens over the years.
The man I loved and call my father, life changed after he had his second stroke. Having a stroke is one ordeal, but discover you have Parkinson Disease is another story. I was only 21 years old when my father found out he had Parkinson Disease. I had no idea what Parkinson Disease was minus hearing that Michael J. Fox had it. What was going to happen to my father, was he just going to start shacking, will he be able to function on his own? I had question after question spinning in my head. I had no idea how is life was going to change, how our lives was going to change witness him going through this over the years.
Over the past six years my father life has change. My father is no longer working, he grinds his teeth, he has tremors, and stiffness in his face. My father still able to walk and handle things on his own, but slowly we know he won’t be able to do that. Parkinson Disease does not only affect the person diagnosed it affect the family as well. No one want to see a love one go through the process of losing their motor skills.
If you know someone going through Parkinson Disease share your story…
Here is some of the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease:
- Tremor or involuntary movements—One or both hands or limbs may exhibit an involuntary trembling, which lessens when the person is using the affected part. Involuntary movements of the hand are common, and the person may seem to be “rolling” something between the fingers.
- Rigidity of muscles; slowness of body movement—Posture may be stiff or stooped, with diminished movement of the arms and legs.
- Shuffling gait—The person may take small, cautious steps, or may alternate slow steps with rapid ones.
- Loss of facial mobility—The person’s face may seem to be expressionless.
- Speech difficulties—Speech may be slow and expressionless, and the voice a low-pitched monotone.
- Impaired balance—The person may have difficulty balancing or sitting up straight.
Deteriorating handwriting—The person’s writing becomes cramped, smaller and more difficult to read.
For More Information…
The National Parkinson Foundation website is a good source of information and resources about treatment, support and research.
The Parkinson’s Disease Information Page offers information on Parkinson’s disease, causes, treatments, support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.