The earth has revolved around the sun one more time. It’s April 2022 and it has been eight years since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I had been experiencing symptoms at least three years before but I was treated for depression, sleep disorder, over active thyroid, anxiety, over active bladder, enlarged prostrate, kidney failure and pseudo dementia (whatever that is). After being tested, probed, prodded and scanned I retired from the Seattle Police Department and moved to Bend, OR.
In April 2014 my neurologist said, “I have good news and bad news. Bad new; you have Parkinson’s Disease. Good news; it’s not a death sentence.” It took me a little time to understand what he was saying but now it’s clear.
Every day I fight against the progression of the disease. It isn’t easy, but I do it. I struggle to get out of bed, fight to gain my balance and go the bathroom. When I look in the mirror, I see the toll Parkinson's took from me in my drooping eyes, hunched shoulders, mask like expression and lack of a smile. My bones and muscles scream, “don’t make another move!”
I tell myself, “You woke up and was given the opportunity for another day. You will not waste it.” I open my eyes wider, smile bigger, rise my arms high above my head and start moving my legs. I start my daily exercise program and go about my day fighting Parkinson’s Disease.
I fight Parkinson’s Disease with the assistance of Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (PRO). They provided access to programs like, Tia Chi, Dance classes, Boxing, Swimming, Physical Therapy, Support Groups, Kayaking, Zip Lining, Hiking, Snow Shoeing, Speech Therapy and much more.
The mission of Parkinson's Resources of Oregon is to empower individuals to meet the challenges of Parkinson's Disease through information, education, personal support and advocacy for a cure.
Their services are focused on clients living in Oregon and SW Washington, but they work with families throughout the States as needed. They have offices in Portland, Bend and Eugene Oregon.
PRO as an organization step into the void that is left between medical care and living one’s best life with chronic illness. In support of medical care and therapies, the agency helps families understand the complex illness and more importantly, take actions to mitigate symptoms and plan for an ever-changing future.