Jan’s Parkinson’s Story

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease two years ago. My symptoms I think are still minor and people cannot believe I have Parkinson’s. But of course, I can feel the symptoms, they are just not visible to others.

I thoroughly enjoyed the PD Warrior 10 Week Challenge. Right from day one, I was recognising what my challenges were, with the exercises presented to me. I realised my balance and coordination were a big part of my problem.

I was having difficulty multitasking. For example, walking, talking and turning to talk to a friend when walking, feeling dizzy and unbalanced in certain situations, such as navigating my way through a crowded room. Hills make me fearful, due to a feeling of poor balance.

Going to the movies has been challenging too. Negotiating stairs in semi-light, and negotiating my way past people to my seat as well as sitting for a long time, then pulling myself up to stand is not easy. But, I am very lucky that I have remained very fit and healthy over the years. Exercise has always been my enjoyable place.

I used to walk, run, attend the gym, and in later years biking. I had a very physical job as a nurse. I didn’t do a lot of stretch exercises. So, I was fit but not flexible. My Flexing exercises were done quickly to get them over and done with.

Following my diagnosis of Parkinson’s I felt I should include exercises to challenge my flexibility and core strength. I am having one-on-one Pilates sessions fortnightly and a weekly Pilates class, I also attend a boxing class once a week.

We have a small gym at home which I also use on rainy or cold days or days I just want to mix it up a bit. Doing the 10 Week Challenge has surprised me. I have the flexibility and strength I believe are so important when living with Parkinson’s. Pilates has helped to consolidate strength and flexibility.

I have a daily routine of exercise that lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. I have the privilege of time because I retired following diagnosis. I was happy to see boxing added to the PD Warrior’s exercises. I attend PD boxing exercises once a week. The PD exercises are more challenging physically and mentally.

The physical multitasking exercises of exercises has been challenging and frustrating because I have taken a few days to get it together. Then I feel an achievement when I bring it together and I realise how important these exercises are for PD.

I am a Potter, doing fine handwork making flowers and creating figures this seems to help my dexterity and so far my tremor is very minor. I also think knitting helps. Adding the PD ball exercises I think is so important to increasing the strength and mobility of hands.

Anxiety plays a big role in my PD therefore my potter is my relaxing place and I use my hands, which calms the world. I am very motivated therefore will continue the exercises from the program of PD warrior. I will add here I do have days off but on those days off I treat myself with one or two exercises. Every day when I step out of bed, I have a little routine that lasts about 10 mins. I believe they are essential to waking my body so I can move more freely in it.

I have good days that my husband and I celebrate when they arrive. We have bad days like everyone but they help us celebrate the good days.

Related Articles

September – Stephen Knox

Stephen attends our ARC clinic weekly for PD Warrior group sessions and you will also recognise him from our Thursday online gym sessions.
He is tenacious in his commitment to exercise and fighting Parkinson’s and does an outstanding job putting into words his Relationship with Parkinson’s…
Past, Present and Future, by Stephen Knox:
“Writing a story about something that occupies your past, present and future…

January – Julio d’Escrivan

Julio is the perfect example of dreaming big and not letting Parkinson’s Disease put a ceiling on what you think you can achieve. Remember your goals and achievements are specific to YOU. Your marathon might be successfully walking around the block. Your Ironman might be climbing a set of stairs with more confidence. I hope you find Julio’s story as motivating as I did:
I am a composer of music for audio=visual media and a Senior Lecturer in Music and Sound for The Screen at the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire…

June – John Lake

Looking back, some indicators of PD had been there for maybe up to two years before my diagnosis in April 2019. Principally my hand writing (I am R hand dominant) was becoming more and more laboured. Some eight months earlier I had decided to learn the violin, so the clincher became that I could not bow smoothly with my right arm, which became increasingly frustrating for me and my teacher. My father was afflicted with Parkinson’s late in his life, so all added up, the diagnosis was just a confirmation of what I already suspected.


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