After I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it was several months before I could say “I have Parkinson’s” without fighting back the tears. Three years after my diagnosis, I shared my first blog about living with Parkinson’s and I was overwhelmed (teary even) at the positive response and support that I received from friends, family, colleagues and even complete strangers. I’ve written over 100 blogs since then (this is blog 110), and I am still touched by all of the support and encouragement I have received and continue to receive.
As there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s and it is also a degenerative condition meaning that it gets worse with time, it feels very strange to be writing this – eight years after my diagnosis – and to be able to say that Parkinson’s-wise, I am doing much better than I was previously. This is all thanks to the fact that I successfully underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery a few months ago.
This time two years ago, I was probably at my lowest point ever on my Parkinson’s journey so far. A year ago, things were still bad but I was given hope as I started my DBS journey – hope that I could have a better quality of life, with a much smaller cocktail of medications and hope that my dreaded dyskinesia would disappear. And I am delighted and so very grateful that my hopes have been fulfilled. (I’m still so very happy that my dyskinesia has gone – yay!)
At first, after being ‘switched on’, I was constantly excited (and yes often teary-eyed) every time I was able to do something which I wouldn’t have been able to do before. But as I get used to my ‘new normal’, other life challenges and frustrations of daily life pop up, I sometimes forget, and I am very conscious that I do not want to forget the bad times. I am determined to remember my previous daily struggles, so that I remember how much I have to be grateful for, whatever else is going on.
This blog is dedicated to everyone with Parkinson’s who has had DBS surgery recently or who is going through the DBS process. I truly hope that it will help you as much as it has helped me. It’s also dedicated to everyone who needs a bit of hope right now.