11 Years, 5 Months, 4 Days...... January 15, 2009 (Age 44) - June 18, 2020 (Age 55)
My first DATSCan was performed on 11.15.2013 initially diagnosing me with Parkinson's Disease. Five years later I convince my new neuro to perform a second comparative DATScan. Below is the proof. My right side putamen shows up pure black on the scan from being void of any dopamine transmitter activity (which is why the entire left side of my body is in continuous tremor). The left side of my brain (which controls the right side of my body) is still hanging in there with trace, minimal activity. It confirms without a doubt, I have PD. So much for my most recent (idiot) neuro, Dr. David McDonald (of Neurology Associates of Ormond Beach - avoid them at all cost). At my last appointment he told me to be quiet and listen. It is his opinion that my tremor is fake (his precise words were "the fakest tremor I've seen in my entire career") and that I just need to get off my meds and see a psychiatrist. I think it's him that needs therapy and a course on how to improve his bedside manner.
Dr. Aragon is preparing me for the long haul. Time to stop the rollercoaster and finally get serious. He is regulating my meds to get me stable. It took 4 in-patient stays after my combined former doctors tried unsuccessfully to wean me off all my meds. Dr. McDonald tried to do it in only ONE WEEK - all my meds (are you kidding?). Even I said, "hell no" to that suggestion. I hope they are happy that all it did was find me unable to walk, shower, dress or care for myself. Finally an angel, my brilliant NP, Monique Medina found me the right expert in Dr. Aragon. Parkinson's sucks.
In 11 1/2 years of living with this, I've learned never to give up and never give in. This entire time, each doctor I visited just needed to do what I asked for: re-scan me again. Thank you Dr. Aragon for believing in me and for using your power to get me back on my feet again. Thanks to him I did yoga this morning, swam laps in my pool, took a nap, showered, fed myself and typed out this entry. I've even begun working. I found a job working from home as a Customer Support Rep so I am no longer isolated. My movements were more fluid today. My mood is upbeat. I will win over my nemesis - my own brain. Another day to celebrate. 16,217 days before PD; 4,172 after - only 21% of my lifetime. We've got a long way to go and a lot more to accomplish. I have a world to conquer.
Let's beat this together....
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"Lisa Chalker is One Face of Early Onset Parkinson's Disease. Come along on her journey from symptoms to diagnosis; through treatments and therapies. There are highs and lows, miracles and heart notes, and the determination to never, ever, ever, ever give up on the power of HOPE."