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Parkinson’s – Helping to start the journey

Being diagnosed with PD is a huge shock to the system and there is no way around it. Although the information out there is confusing and sometimes inconsistent there are lots of people and resources available but it is overwhelming.

To try to ease the journey I have put together a guide – as I see it – of 7 things to focus on as you navigate the early days of PD. In the buildup to World Parkinson’s Day I am providing this as my limited contribution to hopefully someone struggling to adjust.

I have called it ASSERTS2 because at the end of the day you need to be active and drive the process, but there is plenty of support It is not a clinical guide and I don’t pretend it to be comprehensive and would appreciate feedback of course on it. I will adjust accordingly or delete it if I find something better. I hope in some small way it can help people think through how to get their gameplan together.

 

Attitude

•A glass half full (as positive as possible) is the key – it is not easy, it requires stamina and there will be ups and downs but you are not alone and there are ways of coping with it

Specialist

•You need to find an approachable and experienced specialist – a movement disorder specialist/neurologist expert on PD who can put the right medication into place

Support

•Don’t fight this on your own! Find other people and share experiences

•Involve your caregivers actively

Exercise

•The key!!! Keep your body and brain active – whether that is walking, swimming or running, whether yoga, tai chi, dance or boxing. It is absolutely critical

•Keep your brain active – it is a critical muscle – work is important

Resources

•Find the resources available to you in your region (rehab, physio classes) – they exist but you may have to hunt for them

•Start planning to the extent possible for your financial future which will probably look a little different to how you saw it before

Treatment

•Start using the available treatments such as medication

•Take good advice but speak to the right people because everyone has a different idea and it can be confusing

•Keep it under close watch and be prepared to react to changes as the disease progresses – change is important but each change takes time

Stress and Sleep

•For me stress and a lack of sleep are the biggest magnifiers of PD – find ways to destress and sleep as much as you can

For each of these areas there is a lot more to say but I wanted people to at least have the chance to think about their gameplan. I will refresh it at https://fightingparkinsonss.com/2024/03/12/asserts2/

About the Author
I live in Yad Binyamin having made Aliyah 17 years ago from London. I have an amazing wife and kids including a son in Special Forces and two daughters, one soon to start uni and one in high school. A partner of a global consulting firm and a Parkinson's patient and advocate.
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