April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, so I really want to write a little about this disease. I am doing this not just because it is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, but also because someone very close to me is suffering with this disease. My step father is battling Parkinson’s with as much strength as he has and will not let it defeat him! Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that can lead to progressive deterioration of motor function due to loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.
We all learned many years ago about Michael J Fox announcing his personal battle with this disease at the young age of 29, but so many others are fighting this disease! Parkinson’s affects 1 million people just in the United States, but also affects more than 10 million worldwide. Typically the onset of Parkinson’s is at the age of 60 and it affects men 50% more than that of women. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation there will be 60,000 each year diagnosed with Parkinson’s. That sounds like an astonishing number of people who have to deal with this disease and there is still not a cure as of yet.
There are five stages that take place with Parkinson’s disease.
Stage 1: Symptoms are mild and do not interfere with quality of life.
Stage 2: Symptoms will worsen and daily activities become more difficult and take additional time to complete.
Stage 3: This is the mid-stage of the disease. Symptoms may be loss of balance, move slower and falls are common. During this stage, symptoms impair daily activities more so than before.
Stage 4: Symptoms become more severe and assistance walking and performing daily activities is needed.
Stage 5: This is the most advanced stage of this disease. The individual is unable to walk and will need full-time assistance living.
Now despite these various stages with the proper treatment people can live a full and productive life. The life expectancy for those battling Parkinson’s is no different from someone without the disease. Of course things can happen, but as long as the person living with Parkinson’s is following the doctor’s recommendations and has a strong support system, they will survive another day!
This was just my introductory post about Parkinson’s. In the next posts, I will talk about the various symptoms and treatments available. Like I already said, there is not a cure for Parkinson’s available yet, but there are things that can be done to slow the progression down. I know that every chance I get, I try to stay on my step father to ensure he is taking his medicine as directed. I know it is not easy for him to get the exercise that he should, but I feel he does what he can. Now that spring is here he is able to do yard work and make his lawn look beautiful. For him having a nice looking yard makes him very proud!
I hope y’all had a nice Wednesday and your week has been great! Thankfully the weekend is right around the corner and we can do what makes us happy! As y’all know I have another doctor’s appointment tomorrow where I will be fighting for my rights to have a life as pain-free as possible. We will see how that goes!
I hope y’all have a great and relaxing evening! I always appreciate you taking the time to visit my site and I love to read your comments! I will respond to all of your comments as soon as I can! Sending y’all lots of love and comfort!