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Living with early Parkinson's disease

The following story describes the life of Mrs. A, who has the early stage of Parkinson's disease.

In the morning, Mrs A finds it increasingly difficult to get out of bed, as her muscles always seem to get stiff. Getting dressed takes longer than it used to, as she finds it difficult to do up buttons. She now prefers clothes with zippers, or her husband has to help her.

She has found that her handwriting has become much smaller than it used to be when she was marking books and writing reports. She often doesn't bother with the crossword puzzle anymore, as she can't seem to think of the right words. In the afternoons, she often falls asleep in front of the television, instead of doing things out in the garden as she used to do.

Lately, Mrs A has noticed that when she is just sitting in her armchair, her right hand seems to shake for no apparent reason. The shaking stops when she is using her hand. When she gets up from the chair, she is only able to move quite slowly.

Mrs A prefers going to bed early, as she feels increasingly tired. But when she is in bed, she finds it difficult to turn over. She accepts that all these changes are an inevitable consequence of getting older, but she feels depressed that she is unable to do some of the things that she previously enjoyed or took for granted. She is becoming more reliant on her husband.

Her story highlights

  • The early symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be vague and can go undiagnosed for some time.
  • Even early stage Parkinson's disease can affect your quality of life. You may find that everyday tasks become difficult.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can improve your quality of life.
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