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by Nicky Blakeney

I first realized something was wrong with me in the fall of 1998.

I began to avoid being with people. Things that I never noticed before started to make me very uncomfortable. By early 1999, I had to see a doctor. He prescribed medication for "nerves."

For a year or more, I saw him frequently. By the year 2000, I was barely able to function. My hands didn't work very well. I had trouble brushing my teeth and washing or brushing my hair. I stopped seeing the doctor. My steps had shortened to the point of sliding my feet. My hand-writing had become so small that you could barely read it. My days were spent sitting in a darkened room with my eyes closed. I would doze off throughout the day. My nights were filled with bad dreams and nightmares.

Around the end of August 2001, I had gotten to the point I didn't even want to see my children. I could not stand the thought of anyone coming to see me. Other than my husband and children, only my sister and one friend realized something was wrong. (My sister has since told my neurologist, "I was watching my sister die and you saved her life.")

Around this time, I told my husband that I couldn't take anymore. My old doctor, was in the nearest large town. Now, my husband took me to a local small town M.D. I saw him three times in as many weeks. The third time I saw him, in the course of conversation, I told him that I couldn't stop shaking.

He ask me to hold out my hands. I did and very shortly after, probably no more than five seconds, he said "Nicky, I believe you have Parkinson's."

I was so relieved that he didn't say "it's just your nerves." The implications of what he did say didn't register until sometime later.

He sent me to a neurologist who started me on meds for Parkinson's and within two weeks I was a different person. I wasn't well, but I was well on the way to being well or as close as possible!

I know as things are today - with no cure for PD - that I will always have it. But GOD is good! I am still on the medication my doctor prescribed that late November day in 2001 and even people in the medical field don't realize that I have PD.

I am a seamstress by trade and a crafter, so I keep myself busy with my crafts and I will always help people out if I can. I always remember "Pain is inevitable, misery is optional."

People ask how I get so much done. I jokingly tell them, "I am afraid to stop, I may not get started again."

Now on March 13, 2010, I look back at how far I have come and I thank my God for where I am.

Posted by Nicky Blakeney on March 13, 2010

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