My Personal Journey with Parkinson’s: It’s Up to Me! – by Ken Rowes

I first really noticed the symptoms in 2005 when I found it was difficult to walk.  My right leg had trouble working.  I went to my family doctor who sent me to a neurologist. He told me I had Parkinson disease and he would prescribe pills if I wanted them.  That was the extent of his help.  I went home and told my wife, who was looking out a window at the back yard, that I had Parkinson’s.  She did not even turn around.  The blessing in all of this is that I got out of bad marriage that was over a long time ago. 

I was fortunate to get an appointment with a neurologist in Edmonton and that was a blessing.  I told my children, friends and co-workers about my situation.  At the time I was a Senior Vice President in a major organization. Fatigue had set in and I knew I could not keep working.  My boss told me that it was up to me to decide when I was to go, that he would not ask me to leave.

After I retired I moved into a very nice condo where I met Doreen. We started to hang out together and became good friends.  At the start I told Doreen that I had Parkinson’s and I did not fully understand the implications of that.  We stayed friends, however we fell in love too.  I proposed to Doreen in the swimming pool at the condo.  She said yes! 

I know that I am so blessed.  I was referred to the CRIS Clinic by my doctor and that was the start of my participation in PWR! (Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery).  I came home from those sessions and felt like I was bouncing off the walls with positive energy.  Something very good was happening to me!  The effects of the Parkinson’s seemed to be backing off.  Doreen and I joined Parkinson Association of Alberta (PAA) and have made many new friends there.  We receive great support from PAA and I am fully engaged with the PWR! Program that happens at the Edmonton Office.

I am in better condition today then I was in 2005.  I attribute this to:

  • Attitude
  • Proper medication
  • PWR! type exercise
  • And the support of family and Parkinson Association of Alberta

So how do I feel about all of this? My glass is half full, not half empty.

Doreen is the main reason that I am doing so well, as well as my own positive attitude, my children and friends.  I am trying to be the best that I can be and I believe that when one door closes another door opens!  I feel in control of the Parkinson’s not the other way around.  I believe that I am responsible for my own health and wellbeing.  It is up to me!

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