Friday, December 31, 2010

Parkinson’s 101

Post 28
My hospital clinic offers an orientation class called Parkinson’s 101. It is an evening of informational talk and discussion for newly diagnosed patients. Doctors realize that their patients glaze over when they first hear their diagnosis. Much of what they tell us will be lost before we walk out the door.  Also, in this fast paced world, doctors don’t have enough time for hand holding.   
This is where PD 101 steps in. When I was ready to listen, I signed up for the evening gathering. I was lucky when they added a few more folding chairs to the already full event.  There were perhaps 40 people there, half of which were PWP, (People with Parkinson’s) the other half being anxious family and friends.
It was good to be in a room of the newly diagnosed. No one looked particularly afflicted. The speakers stressed that PD was manageable and certainly not fatal. We mingled and talked while snacking on sandwiches and cookies. We talked about symptoms and the cost of medication. I talked to people who, like me, had vivid disturbing dreams. I was no longer alone.
I got another man’s phone number, just to call and compare notes. We took home stacks of handouts, and drug company promotional gifts. Over time, I actually read the material. Now I visit the library and browse bookstores for new information. The evening convinced me that I should embrace PD, own it, and make it mine.  

1 comment:

  1. You write very well. It's like reading my own story. Thank you for writing this.

    Diagnosed 2009

    Mark Thorsell

    Apopka Fl