What has your journey been like since your Parkinson's diagnosis?
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 Davis Phinney/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 will be released in mid-March 2019. The completion of The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease was certainly a victory for me.
How do you live well each day?
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"?
What do you wish you would have known when you were diagnosed that you know now about living with Parkinson's?
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.
CAROL CLUPNY'S PHILOSOPHY
What do you wish everyone living with Parkinson's knew about living well?
"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. Actually, they hold the keys to living well with Parkinson's. Exercise, nutrition, a positive outlook, loving the body you are in and knowing in your heart that everything will work out are keys to living well.
Carol Clupny is one of the newest members of our cohort of Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are "living well leaders" who share resources and information throughout their local and regional communities to help people take action and improve their quality of life with Parkinson’s. Connect with one of our Ambassadors and begin your journey today of living well with Parkinson’s!
SHARE YOUR VICTORY
Each month, we spotlight someone from our Parkinson’s community who embodies living well today – what we call Moments of Victory®.
Your story, like Carol’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.