Bob’s awareness of Parkinson’s Disease comes from experience

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month.  It was featured in an article in the Yankton Press & Dakotan – but since I have first-hand experience with the malady, I will write about the P&D's piece with some semblance of accuracy.

The contents of the article should have given me advance warning of what I could expect.

My hand writing which was always so precise got smaller and smaller.  It was a symptom of which I should have recognized.  Gradually it got worse until my writing was hardly legible to me.

I should have known something was wrong when I couldn't be heard when I spoke to Phyllis, and she said "what" more than usual.  

Then my legs began to give away and I was falling over backwards.  It was very obvious that something was not right!  

Now I'm confined to a wheelchair, and it's plain to see that I have Parkinson's Disease.  At first I was diagnosed as having Parkinson's Look Alike mostly because I've never had tremors.  Gradually it has developed into an affliction for which I couldn't find a cure.

I wanted to continue this column, and the only way I could do it was to dictate it to Phyllis (which turned out to be slow going).  It keeps getting harder to find something to write about.

I should attend the workshops which the P&D suggested – but it's difficult to go when I don't attend church services or otherwise leave the house very much.

 It's a horrendous disease which I'm doing my best to overcome and cope with – but I'm losing the battle piece by piece.

Meanwhile, we'll keep the column going as long as Phyllis can put up with it.

© 2010 Robert F. Karolevitz

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