Liv­ing a full happy life with Parkin­son’s

Midweek Visiter - - Age Concern -

LIV­ING with Parkin­son’s by Enid aged 64 Enid is a good friend of Age Con­cern.

She was di­ag­nosed with Parkin­son’s dis­ease in 2012 and this is her in­spi­ra­tional story about how she is liv­ing a full and happy life with Parkin­son’s. “I was 58 years old. “In a way it came as a relief to have a di­ag­no­sis be­cause I had strug­gled with the symp­toms for two years.

“I had first no­ticed a tremor in my left hand in 2008.

“At first the doc­tors thought it was Essen­tial Tremor be­cause my nan and un­cle had suf­fered with that.

“The symp­toms of Parkin­son’s dif­fer from per­son to per­son, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to di­ag­nose but once you get the right med­i­ca­tion, it makes a huge dif­fer­ence with how you cope with ev­ery­day life.

“I had been a pri­mary school teacher for all my work­ing life, a job I loved, but the last cou­ple of years had been ex­tremely dif­fi­cult.

“My writ­ing had be­come very small, I had tremors in both hands and my gait was awk­ward.

“I was granted re­tire­ment, on health grounds, in 2013.

“At first, I had a feel­ing of worth­less­ness.

“I had al­ways been in a car­ing pro­fes­sion, hap­pily mar­ried for 36 years, two beau­ti­ful daugh­ters but I still felt use­less!

“This wasn’t like me; I had al­ways been a very pos­i­tive per­son so I had to give my­self a good talk­ing to!

“Once my med­i­ca­tion was sorted things be­came a lot brighter. “I started to look for things to do. “I joined a choir, the Royal Court Com­mu­nity Choir.

“Pre­vi­ously, I had never even thought of be­ing in a choir but there were no au­di­tions for this one and it was free so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m so glad I did. Ev­ery Mon­day night from 5-7pm, that’s where you will find me.

Then about three years ago, I saw on the BBC an item about Dance for Parkin­son’s.

Fol­low­ing on from the pro­gramme, I did a bit of re­search and found that Liver­pool was one of only five places in the UK which ran Dance for Parkin­son’s classes! You can guess what hap­pened next! I’ve been at­tend­ing ever since. It does me so much­creas­ing my con­fi­dence, im­prov­ing my mem­ory, teach­ing me about bal­let and, if the Na­tional Bal­let are per­form­ing in the North West, we get the chance to see a pro­duc­tion of what we have been do­ing in our ses­sions.

The cour­ses, which take place at the MDI (Mersey­side Dance Ini­tia­tive) op­po­site the Ev­ery­man Theatre, are well at­tended and en­joyed by men and women.

When I was first di­ag­nosed with Parkin­son’s, I be­gan to think about get­ting in­volved with re­search.

I told my con­sul­tant about my in­ter­est but noth­ing came of that.

Then, in early 2017, my sis­ter heard a fea­ture on Ra­dio Mersey­side.

A lady, Deb­o­rah Mor­ris, was talk­ing about build­ing a re­search com­mu­nity of peo­ple who have a long term health con­di­tion and want to get in­volved with NHS re­search.

To cut a long story short, Deb­o­rah be­came my men­tor and I be­came a Pa­tient Re­search Am­bas­sador.

If you are in­ter­ested in help­ing med­i­cal re­search (you don’t need to be liv­ing with Parkin­son’s) then I would urge you to con­tact Deb­o­rah.mor­ris@ or let Age Con­cern Liver­pool & Sefton know by call­ing 01704 542 993 and they will pass on your con­tact de­tails to Deb­o­rah”.

The Royal Court Com­mu­nity Choir is one of the most in­clu­sive in Liver­pool. There is no au­di­tion and peo­ple are al­lowed in re­gard­less of abil­ity.

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