It took nearly 10 years before I received an official Parkinson’s diagnosis. I saw specialist after specialist, endured countless prescriptions, and had many MRIs and surgeries, but no one could figure it out. I was finally diagnosed after visiting a movement disorder specialist. Since the medications weren’t controlling my symptoms, I underwent deep brain stimulation six months later.
I don’t let Parkinson’s define me. I’m still the same Julie I always have been, for better or worse. I may not be able to do some things and tasks as before, and some things I do at a slower speed, but there are still plenty of things that I can do and have planned for my future.
I think it’s important to educate the public, physicians, and nurses about Parkinson’s. I also want to inform people with Parkinson’s and their care partners about the importance of diet, exercise, and medication management. As an Ambassador, my goal is to help everyone navigate this journey with Parkinson’s and to make the voices of the community heard by bringing key issues to decision-makers.