About me

I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a child, and a love of reading was instilled in me from an early age. I am passionate about writing, and hope you enjoy the books I have written. Whilst most of you sleep soundly in your beds, like many Parkinson’s patients, insomnia dictates, so during those hours that sleep eludes me, the house is tranquil and quiet, an atmosphere perfect to immerse myself in writing. My life has been a series of strange events, which have without doubt contributed to my creativity. To publish anything is to bear one’s soul to the world. It is to stand naked and let everyone see who you really are. I have poured my heart and soul out on paper and I hope to share this journey, immersing you in a story, capturing your attention and firing the imagination. Through my writing and public speaking I hope to bring greater awareness to the general public about living with chronic disease.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Parkinson's is a brain disorder

When I speak to people about Parkinson's, they immediately think of tremors or shaking. If they have a little knowledge of the disease, they may also know about the rigidity of muscles and general difficulty with movement. What I find is often overlooked is the fact that Parkinson's is a 'brain disorder', effecting the nervous system, which also includes biochemical changes that bring about mood changes. It seems unclear if depression, which affects roughly half of the patients, is due to suffering a chronic degenerative disease, or if it is actually part of Parkinson's itself. Statistics show that men are more prone to depression than women (87% men - 13% women). However it isn't just depression that I am talking about today, for there is a whole range of emotions that come into play.

Denial at initial diagnosis, especially for those who are still working and want to continue their career is very common. Worrying about colleagues or bosses finding out; despite this reaction being understandable, denial is a serious issue and should be attended to. There are other mood changes that are not spoken of much or considered troublesome, yet ask someone with Parkinson's, and if they speak truthfully, they may give you a very different story. Fatigue, as simple as this may sound, can be severely underrated and effects any body movement. Just standing or moving around can be draining (and here I speak from personal experience) and due to this, one can become withdrawn and less outgoing or social. Anxiety also plays a role in mood changes which can be put down to various causes, but nonetheless, feeling anxious is unpleasant. I find that when my medications are not working (usually because I have forgotten to take a tablet at a specified time) during an "off" period I become very anxious as my symptoms emerge in full force. No one except a fellow sufferer can appreciate how uncomfortable this feels. Patients can become apathetic too, and if you are a caregiver and notice your loved one is showing signs of simply not caring about anything and has become lethargic, inform your doctor as soon as possible. As a caregiver you may notice things that others do not, and that the sufferer is unaware of. If someone appears to have "given up" and talks of death, this is serious - please seek medical advice immediately; do not wait.

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