I am participating in Moving Day® Cleveland, benefiting the Parkinson’s Foundation Ohio Chapter, on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Wade Oval in University Circle because, as you might already know, my husband has young onset Parkinson’s Disease.
Mike’s journey with Parkinson’s Disease began with a weird finger twitch in 2007 (at the very young age of 40). Because the twitch was not going away, he decided to see a family practitioner who attributed it to a random virus. The following 10 years were a roller coaster ride, riddled with increasingly odd symptoms, unexplainable stiffness and fatigue, too many sleepless nights to count and an increased inability to attend our children’s extracurricular activities or social events with friends and family. Mike and I sought the expert opinions of countless physicians specializing in diseases such as ALS, MS, PD, etc. and he underwent a battery of tests with the end result always being the same-a continual lack of diagnosis.
Shear exasperation set in and not surprisingly, his quality of life, both personally and professionally, continued to decline. He felt defeated and began to wonder if his friends and family, as well as the medical community, thought this was somehow all in his y head. He became stubborn, refusing to put himself through further testing because the outcome was always the same and had decided he would just try to “tough it out”, whatever it was.
As if the physical symptoms were not enough, the emotional trauma of this 10 year saga also took its toll on both of us. In 2017, refusing to give up, I finally convinced him to give it one more try. I decided to change medical institutions and scheduled an appointment for Mike to see a movement specialist at University Hospitals. Moments into his very first visit with Dr. Kilbane at University Hospitals, it became obvious that she suspected he had Parkinson’s disease. As awful as this diagnosis is, Mike felt a sense of peace to finally have a name for what he had been battling all these years and though we both knew there was no cure, there was indeed hope in knowing that there were treatment options.
In early 2017, Mike immediately began treatment with medications and over the following 18 months, his medication load increased to an all-time high of 27 pills daily. The medications came with their own debilitating side effects and on December 31, 2018, Mike underwent deep brain stimulator implantation surgery.
So far, currently five months post surgery, Mike has been able to decrease his medication load by approximately 70%. He feels better than he has in at least a decade, we are both so grateful for the miracles of modern medicine and he is finally looking forward to enjoying his life to the fullest once again.
The event will be a fun-filled, family-friendly event for all ages and abilities. We will be able to enjoy a variety of movement activities like yoga, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, boxing, stretching and much more and celebrate the importance of movement in our lives.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the Parkinson’s Foundation. Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and I encourage you to get your friends, family and coworkers involved.
Why Move for Moving Day?
Did you know that someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every 9 minutes in the United States? No one should have to face Parkinson’s alone. That is why the Parkinson’s Foundation provides a community of support to give people the resources and help they need to live well with Parkinson’s.
Support our mission to help every person diagnosed with Parkinson’s live their best possible life now. Your gift will help us fund better research, better treatment and better lives.