An A to Z look back at the last decade

  • Acappella choir – I’ve been singing in an acappella choir led by the brilliant Gitika Partington since 2005. So, well over a decade now. The fact that I have been singing for so long says it all. It’s one of my favourite things.
  • Blogging – I posted my first blog in September 2016. I never thought I would still be blogging 90 blogs later – yes, this is my 90th blog!
  • Changes, Choices and Challenges – The last decade has been full of these.
  • Daffodils – My favourite flower, signifying my favourite season every year … spring – a season of hope.
  • Empathy – Something I am much more aware of and grateful for now, than a decade ago. I hope I am a bit more empathetic than I was then.
  • Family, Friends and Faith – I couldn’t have got through the ups and downs of the last decade without them.
  • Gratitude – I am grateful for the many blessings in my life.
  • Holidays – I am also grateful that I have been able to enjoy several holidays over the last decade including: various holidays with my best friend as well as a very different summer holiday in 2017 where I learned many lessons and made new friends – which led to Gemma and the three Angelas going on holiday together!
  • Inspiration – I’ve been inspired by many people over the last decade – including my friends, and many other people living with Parkinson’s.
  • Joy – I have experienced a lot of joy over the past decade. Happy memories include: a trip to Taizé towards the start of the decade (when I was still ‘young’), four Student Cross experiences (a walking pilgrimage to Walsingham during Holy week), time spent with family from abroad, celebrating my 40th birthday, being ‘bride’s assistant’ at my friend’s wedding, and many more.
  • Knowledge – At the start of this decade, I knew very little about Parkinson’s. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in October 2013, I now have a lot more knowledge of the condition and first hand experience.
  • Lessons Learned – I’ve learned so many life lessons through the challenges of living with Parkinson’s – and I’m always still learning. Through my blogs I hope to share some of the lessons I’ve learned in case they might help anyone
  • Medication – At the start of this decade, I rarely took any medication. When I was diagnosed, I took my first tablet to help with my Parkinson’s symptoms – knowing I would likely be taking some form of medication every day, from that day on. Today, I am taking about 12 tablets a day, that’s five different types of medication for Parkinson’s. _20180305_192624.JPG
  • NHS and Nurse Specialists – I am very grateful for the NHS. I’m very fortunate to have a very good consultant who I see yearly and access to a brilliant Parkinson’s nurse specialist. I don’t know how I would have managed my Parkinson’s without her. From my personal experience, I think everyone with Parkinson’s should have access to a nurse specialist. But I know that this is not the case, and I am one of the lucky ones.
  • Open – It took a while, but eventually I was ready to open up about having Parkinson’s. And through sharing my experiences and being more open, I have made connections with people that I wouldn’t have before.
  • Parkinson’s – I live with it every day. My blog ‘Living with Parkinson’s … my reality’ tells it how it is. My ‘Parkinson’s is’ blog is a much shorter description.
  • Quickly – At the start of this decade, I used to do things quickly. Having Parkinson’s has slowed me down. But it’s amazing how quickly you get used to this ‘new normal’.
  • Resilience – After my diagnosis, I made a choice to work on becoming more resilient so that I would be able to cope with whatever challenges life throws at me, Parkinson’s-related or otherwise.
  • Scrabble – My favourite board game. I was very excited recently when I got a double triple word score for the first time!
  • Twitter – I joined Twitter in 2016 and I find it a helpful way to connect with others with Parkinson’s and to be part of the Parkinson’s community.
  • Unexpected eventsNever say never – the last decade has been full of unexpected events – some bringing sadness and others joy.
  • Voice – A quiet voice is one of my many Parkinson’s symptoms. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to do LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Technique) LOUD – an intensive speech therapy programme designed especially for people with a quieter voice due to Parkinson’s.
  • Work – I am grateful that I am still able to work – though I reduced my hours to part time after my diagnosis.
  • eXperience – Okay, I’m slightly cheating, but I couldn’t find a suitable word beginning with ‘X’. I’ve certainly experienced a lot of ups and downs over the last decade, and I’ve found it very therapeutic sharing some of these experiences in my blogs.
  • YOPD (Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease) – An acronym I had never heard of ten years ago – now it affects me. 1 in 20 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s are diagnosed under the age of 40. This is known as YOPD.
  • Zebras at the Zoo – A happy memory of a lovely trip to Edinburgh with a very good friend.

I hope the new year and decade ahead bring you much to be grateful for, many moments of joy and lots of resilience to help you in any challenges you might face. May you be at peace with those around you, yourself and the world. Happy New Year!