Colette, my wife and best friend was diagnosed with PD in 2005. As we heard numerous time from others, the signs were there for many years before. “Getting Old” we thought.
We were fortunate in that Colette reacted well to oral medication. Our life did not change much for the next seven years. During those years we heard many time “You don’t look sick”. We went on traveling, fishing, gardening and generally having a good time. We thought: “This is not so bad, we can manage this on our own”.
During those years, we made the big mistake of dealing with all of this on our own. We stayed at home mostly, going downhill mentally and physically. Perfect conditions for depression to set in. Numerous times we drove by Parkinson Association of Alberta’s Edmonton Office without stopping till finally this one time without asking my partner, we stopped and went in for a visit and a little sit-down session. We bought a membership and headed home. Unfortunately, Colette was not ready to participate so we lost more time.
Fast forward to September 2017. We received a phone call from the ladies at Parkinson Association of Alberta asking how things were going and offering to help where they could. Turns out we were at our all-time low and that phone call was like a lifeline. It was the wake up call we needed to accept help.
Our first day for the exercise class was like the first day in grade one for a child. Turns out it was the first step to getting my best friend back. We are now enrolled in our third session of Sit, Stand & Strengthen and Colette’s improvement is beyond belief. We have also learnt a lot from the support groups and the seminars offered at the center. We joined the singing group on Friday mornings and that is helping greatly with Colette’s speech. We have made new friends and we are enjoying life again. We have a new neurologist that is in the process of instituting an up to date medication regiment. Colette is much more alert, and her balance is much improved. Bottom line, things are looking up.
Next month we start our session at the Sherwood Park CRIS clinic and we registered for the September Step & Stride Walk. We now have team on our side. For anyone trying to deal with PD alone at home, that is a big mistake. There is lots of help available, all you must do is reach out. Parkinson Association of Alberta has been great for us and with a little effort on your part they can do the same for you.