After being diagnosed in 2008, I continued to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist. When I retired at age 52, I took to the road, literally. In the following years, I walked over 1000 miles on ancient pilgrimage trails in France and Spain. My husband, Charlie, and I started cycling and pedaled three times on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) with the Team DPF/Pedaling for Parkinson’s team.
Deep Brain Stimulation and major back surgery in 2016 provided amazing changes in my physical and mental skills. I wrote a book about some of my adventures which was released in 2019. Completing The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease was certainly a victory for me.
Both my dad and my grandpa lived until they were 94. That’s a lot of years for me to live well. Recovering from back surgery and writing the book kept me off my feet for a while. Now I am recommitted to my health. Good nutrition and exercise are priorities. I approach each challenge with a positive view, never saying “I can’t” but rather “How can I do this”?
When I was first diagnosed, I wasted time being discouraged about my future. I wish I would have had a glimpse ahead to see how well I would live. So much good has come into my life in the way of friends, opportunities, and adventures that may not have occurred if I had not received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
“The more you move, the better you feel.” “You are what you eat.” “Attitude is everything.” “Love yourself.” “You are going to be okay.”
We hear these phrases so often in our lives that we take their truth for granted, but exercise, nutrition, a positive outlook, loving the body you are in, and knowing in your heart that everything will work out, are the keys to living well with Parkinson’s.
Read Carol’s Moments of Victory® submission here.