Hello! It seems I have 45 regular followers. Almost a cult! Hello to you. Up to 1300 + views in a few months. Hardly viral, but hopefully it helps others with PD and medics who want to see how it feels from the inside.
I used to do an ezine called LivelyMag which had heaps of hits but had to give up when I went back to UK to care for The Oldies and could no longer put the hours in. I thought the counter must have gone faulty when my hit total went over 10,000!
Ive been back in Australia for nearly four years now after 8 years away but have found picking my life where I left off has not been possible, partly because of the distances here. I didnt intend to be away so long, it just worked out that way. The hardest thing was missing the fun years of my four grandchildren growing up.
Over in UK I was the daughter and live-in carer. Back here I am the elderly paeent with her own carers! It has been a shock to the system.
I had been struggling with my own health but with a blind father with kidney failure and a mother with dementia life was full-on so it was only in the two years after they passed a year apart aged 89 and 91 that there was time to notice things were not good.
My vision was the main problem and that required eye injections every month. I was getting really slow getting out of cars, and walking was becoming stiff, but I was approaching seventy and we were all slowing down. The doctor remarked that my face seemed frozen of expression and said it could be Parkinsons, but that was all.
But I was missing my own family – two sons and four grandchildren- desperately’ as well as grieving for my parents, so, ready or not, I sold up, gave my stuff to the local church charity shop, packed 6 big cartons for shipping and booked my flight with the intention of finding somewhere cosy to rent.
I booked into Tantarra at Warners Bay for a week of winding down in lovely surroundings near my son and family who were so supportive. My daughter in law was amazing, and had got me all the sstuff needed to set up home. My son took me around to property viewings and dealt with paperwork.
Finding somewhere to live for a single person no longer able to drive was proving a nightmare, and all places on or near Lake Maquarie were in high demand.
I had two very nastly falls on the hard tiled floor of the first place, then found an older place in Highfields with highway traffic outside the front door, but a million-dollar view at the back. I became good friends with my 91 year old landlady next door, after a rather shaky start. I was there for eighteen months but could not settle.
I had a really massive eye haemmorrage only two months after returning but nothing could be done to save the last of the sight in that eye. I have just started having injections in my good eye. My present abode on a steep uneven slope was not safe with my vision.
Suddenly, out of the blue I heard of a modern, one-bedroom unit in Narla Village, Belmont North that was available. By now I had care support and my carer took me to view. I loved it on sight. Set in bushland with nice gardens, designed for older people and with lovely neighbours I settled in immediately.
I wasnt familiar with Belmont at all but Seniors are treated very well, and being minutes from lake views is perfect.
My new doctor referred me to a neurologist as by now I was having bad muscle spasms, was walking badly, and my left arm was jerky. My famous smile had stiffened up. Sleeping was becoming fitful with jerking legs keeping me awake. There was no pain relief.
The neurologist knew on sight that the symptoms were Parkinsons, but the damage in my spine, arthritis everywhere, thyroid problems and existing fibromyalgia led him to diagnose. Parkinsons Plus. Trust me!
That was last year, and medication has made a huge difference. Hardly any tremor, no jerking, easier movement. But I get tired easily.
I have done a couple of really helpful courses through the Parkinsons Clinic at Rankin Park Hospital that have taught me so much.
I go to a Dance for Parkinson’s class weekly because exercise is seen as vital to brain and body coordination.
I am in survival mode, I admit that. I have had to make a new life. My friends are all fighting their own battles too but we support each other.
I dont get out much socially but dont feel the need. We have activities on offer here in the village. I have my name down for a new Parkinson’s art class starting in Hamilton next month.
And I do my blog. The Clinic suggested we keep a diary and that is how I do it.
Which is where we came in.
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