I was told I had Parkinson’s by a general neurologist in November 2019 at age 48. My diagnosis was made in less than 10 minutes after I had been told for years that my symptoms were due to stress, aging, menopause, low thyroid, and low iron levels. The neurologist handed me a prescription and told me to come back in three months. After doing my research, I sought the support of a movement disorder specialist. Unfortunately, after meeting with my MDS, I was told that I most likely had drug-induced Parkinsonism. After this conflicting diagnosis, I stopped my medication and hoped for the best.
In summer 2020, my symptoms became increasingly worse. After extensive testing, I was put on carbidopa/levodopa and responded immediately. After several months of monitoring, I was told once again that I had Parkinson’s. After a scary, frustrating, and exhausting process, I learned how to be my own advocate.
Today, I begin every day with a positive outlook on life. Before my feet hit the floor, I tell myself it is up to me to make it a good day. My priority is my two teenagers, watching them grow, learn, and experience life. I also prioritize exercise every day, whether it be a hardcore workout at the gym, a yoga class, a long hike, or just a stroll around the neighborhood.
Currently, I teach Yoga for Neuromuscular Disorders at the local YMCA and am energized by my work with the Foundation. I want to help others who are at the beginning of their journey understand that living with Parkinson’s doesn’t mean your life is over. In fact, it can be a new beginning!”