Three years and counting

purpose concept on signpost

Three years ago today I received the official diagnosis – “You have Parkinson’s Disease.”  And so began my journey as a PwP which included starting this blog a couple of weeks later.

A lot has happened in the last three years including the visit to Kripalu, going to the University of Florida Movement Disorder Clinic for a second opinion, attending Partner’s in PD meetings in Atlanta and Ft Lauderdale, going to the Grand Challenge in Parkinson’s conferences in Grand Rapids in 2014 and 2015, and switching to the Vanderbilt Movement Disorder Clinic for my PD care. And then there is the ongoing Sarasota experiment this year!

If you look back through the three years of posts, you will notice that I was much more of a blogger early on with 12 posts in 2013, 25 posts in 2014, slowing to 19 in 2015 and all but stopping with six in the first seven months of this year. I’d like to say things will improve but as I have added responsibility for a several PD related websites I don’t think it will improve much.

In addition to this blog, I also maintain the PK Hope is Alive support group website, our local Kingston support group site and we have developed the Tennessee Parkinson’s Disease Resource site in an attempt to gather as many of the resources as we can in one place. We hope that this site benefits the entire PD community in Tennessee.

Enough excuses, it has been a positive three years so let’s talk about the pluses!

One plus of travelling to the various conferences and other meetings is I have met so many inspiring PwP’s who have lived with Parkinson’s for longer than I but are staying active and not letting Parkinson’s define them. Seeing them and keeping up on ongoing research in Parkinson’s gives us hope that a way to slow the progression or even a cure is possible in the next 5 – 10 years.

The change in medication to Levadopa/Carbidopa has produced a marked reduction in my symptoms which allowed me to up my exercise routine which has also reduced the symptoms and improved my overall health.

Our Sarasota experiment is progressing well, I have been doing Pedaling for Parkinson’s while there and using the on-site fitness center to keep up the exercise routine plus the robust Parkinson’s community there includes Parkinson’s in Motion  dance classes, boxing classes and yoga classes and we are hoping for another “Let Your Yoga Dance” with Megha this winter.

As for the future:

We will return to Sarasota around the first of September for a bit before we go to Portland for the World Parkinson’s Congress.  We are really looking forward to this meeting which brings together PwP’s, care partners, and researchers from all over the world to discuss the status and the future of PD.  We hope to renew old friendships and make new ones during the four day conference.

We will continue to participate in clinical trials and serve as Fox Trial Finder Ambassadors and I will continue to blog, hopefully more regularly than I have been.

And finally I want to say thank you to the best care partner ever, my wife Mara and to family and friends who have provided tremendous support on my journey with PD.

Tom Eckhardt – follow Tom’s blog

 

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