After a second carpal tunnel surgery proved ineffective in solving my hand dexterity issues, I underwent further testing with a neurologist and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012. A technology teacher at the time, I depended heavily on my hands to do my work. Worried that my diagnosis would have a negative impact on my job, I kept my Parkinson’s from my colleagues and students for four years. As my symptoms progressed, it was harder to hide my speech, walking, and handwriting decline, and I went on disability in 2016.
With more time to use the resources he was beginning to discover, I began attending local meetings and support groups, joined several exercise classes for Parkinson’s, and researched the support available in this community. Becoming aware of several people who had Parkinson’s allowed me to connect with many new faces and build meaningful friendships. After hiding my diagnosis for so long, I felt great relief and resolved to share what I learn with others.