I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in April 2014, a few months after my husband of 46 years passed away. Because of his illness, I didn’t notice the changes in my own body: my gait had become awkward, sometimes my right leg shuffled, and my body had become stiff. All of which I soon discovered were symptoms of Parkinson’s. After coming to grips with my diagnosis, my optimism helped me commit to doing anything I could to fight back.
As a retired professor, I jumped right into devoting my time to researching Parkinson’s and discovered that exercise was a proven treatment to stave off my symptoms. Now, I make sure exercise is a part of my daily routine, no matter where I am. I discovered that connecting with others was also a significant part of living well with my diagnosis, so I started a Parkinson’s support group in 2016. The group of over 45 has become my family over the past four years. I enjoy spending time with my friends by going on walks, grabbing a meal together, or attending events at our local senior center.
Living well means having a positive attitude and doing all I can to fight Parkinson’s. I wake up every morning and make a conscious decision to have a good day, and then I do.