I doctored for over 6 months trying to find out why my right arm and hand didn’t move when I walked. My right hand couldn’t move back and forth when I washed my hair as fast as my left hand could either. I also was having some trouble with my right toe dragging when I walked. I was referred to the Mayo Clinic. On December 30, 2009 I had my appointment at the Mayo Clinic and within an hour of going into my appointment the Dr. told me I had Parkinson’s disease and of all the neurological diseases you can get Parkinson’s was the best, because you do not die from Parkinson’s disease. This statement will forever stay in my mind, “You do not die from Parkinson’s disease." She then told us to go home and do as much research you can on your computer about the disease and within 6 months you should see a Neurologist.
I had an Aunt who had Parkinson’s for over thirty years. She was always positive about living with the disease and lived a very active life. She encouraged me to have a good diet and exercise. This is also what our research told us about the disease.
I started seeing Dr. Tanya Harlow and now see Sarah Matcha, Nurse Practitioner. She oversees my medication and emphasized how important it was to take them every day and on time. I was also encouraged to take the Big and Loud program which I did and I feel it has helped me tremendously. I have been doing a weekly big class and also I do it at home. My goal is to do it daily. I have also been going to Dr. Ala Smith who is a Neurological Chiropractor for the past two years. She specializes in training the brain to use more of its available motor functions. I also do exercises she prescribes on a daily basis. This all takes dedication, but, I have experienced positive results and have regained a lot of my functions that I had lost and now feel like me again.
I am 66 years old. I am a crop and livestock farmer and continue to operate it full time. Staying active is key. I exercise, take my meds and approach life with a positive attitude. This formula has helped me cope and live with Parkinson’s disease. I also have a very supportive wife who reminds me to stand up straight and pick up my feet when I walk. Together, we have a goal of living life to its fullest.