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My Parkinson's Disease

Michael J Fox, living and working with Parkinson's Disease

Michael J Fox, living and working with Parkinson's Disease

My Story

Update on March 22, 2014

I just want to reiterate that this is MY story, no one else's.

Unfortunately, some rather unscrupulous people have decided to covet my story, to copy this article word for word and pass it off as their own. One thief, a harsh word but he deserves it, is even a Hubpages author who has copied not only my story but the work of many other hubbers on this site. He should know the rules apply here whether he is active or inactive. He has nothing published on his account.

I think Hubpages should be wary of these accounts who have nothing to their credit because they are probably part of the reason why there is so much stealing going on with Hubpages. I work on several other websites and I have never seen the amount of stealing as goes on here on this webiste.

So, unless your name is Mary McShane and you have a twin sister named Nancy, I do not see how this could possibly be your story. DO NOT COPY.

Thank you.

Sometimes you need assistance to get out bed.

Sometimes you need assistance to get out bed.

Handwriting changes are a sign

Handwriting changes are a sign

My Symptoms by Mary McShane

Published December 24, 2013, by Mary McShane

Imagine slowly losing abilities you take for granted in your everyday life.

Now imagine not even noticing you were losing them.

This is my story.

For over 30 years, my life revolved around public speaking, working professionally as a nurse practitioner, my writing, and singing in the church choir several times per week. My "other" free time was spent with Rob, my lifemate, with my family and friends, or working out at the gym. A busy life, to be sure.

Looking back to December 2011, an early symptom was a tremor in my right hand that seemed to get worse when I was sitting still, watching TV or talking on the telephone. As long as I was moving around, I rarely noticed a tremor. Soon after, my memory started to escape me ... things I did and places I frequented the week before suddenly seemed hard to put my finger on. Some days my balance was off, other days I was fine but my getting up from sitting down was affected. I'd have to catch myself when standing up to make sure I was ok in the standing position before setting off to walk.

From the textbooks and websites I consulted, some of my symptoms pointed toward Multiple Sclerosis and some pointed to Alzheimer's Disease. But being stubborn, I thought it was all in my head, that nothing was physically wrong with me except fatigue and overwork. I blew it off and muddled through, knowing my retirement date was coming in June 2012. I told myself that when life settled down, things would be back to normal.

All my life, I prided myself on my organizational skills - from putting together our family reunions, scheduling over 50 employees and keeping them all happy with those schedules, all the way down to using index cards to put sections of my speeches so they flowed nicely. I am organized to a fault and probably have a little Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) going on.

Okay, a lot of OCD. My busy life needed to be kept organized, so I guess OCD was a good trait to have. I kept a daily planner with schedules and appointments for each part of my life, whether it was my work hours at the hospital, my speaking engagements, choir practice or date night on Saturday with Rob. One look at my datebook and you knew what my week ahead looked like.

Toward my last year of employment, that datebook became my lifeline. I developed memory problems where I couldn't even keep the days of the week straight, always asking people what day it was. I thought for sure I had Alzheimer's Disease, or at the very least, dementia.

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My handwriting varied from day to day from real tiny to normal, fluctuating between legible and illegible. I found I was holding the pen so tight and never even realized it. Because I was so busy, I dismissed a lot of symptoms I should have been paying attention to.

But in March 2012, my voice suddenly became hoarse and I was tripping over my words, what many call word confusion. My breath would catch because the muscles in my chest would suddenly get rigid and stiff. My sister Nancy and my lifemate Rob, being concerned about many of my symptoms, pushed me to consult a neurologist now and not wait until my retirement.

This began the testing phase; one test after another was ordered. The neurologist kept an eye on my symptoms as we waited for test results.

I was not content to sit and wait. I had to do something to keep sane. To keep me alert to day and date, and to keep from "losing" my medical knowledge, I started a medical blog on Blogger, while still working my day job. It kept me accountable (a place to check in everyday and post) and it cut down my confusion on the day and date.

However, it also made me throw myself into the work. Many nights, the clock had no value and I often found myself in front of the computer for marathon hours, where late nights soon flowed into morning. Then I had to get ready for my work day, going with no sleep.

By the week after my retirement party in June 2012, with no schedules to tether me, I got busy organizing my story writing archives, joined several other writing websites. I had so much I wanted to do and with my symptoms still being questionable, I felt I might not have much time to do it all.

One morning in the second week in June, I was having more trouble than usual getting up from a lying down position in bed. I couldn't roll over to sit up. I am 5 feet 5 inches, and weigh about 125 pounds, not much girl here to haul out of the bed! But I had to hold on to the headboard and end table, and struggle to roll over on my side in order to sit up on the side of the bed.

Getting up too soon caused me to lose my balance, so I sat on the bedside for about five minutes before venturing into the bathroom. The bathroom is about 6 feet from my side of the bed and I found myself holding on to the walls and door frame to get into the bathroom. I caught a look of myself in the dresser mirror and I looked like something the cat dragged in. My face was drawn, my color was awful and the tiredness I felt showed all over my face.

So this is what retirement looked like? I swear I didn't look like this the day before.

But Rob, my lifemate, tells me I did.

All About Parkinson's Disease

All About Parkinson's Disease

For about a month, he had been noticing that I was bumping into things and catching myself when I felt I was losing my balance. I noticed black and blue marks on my thighs and arms but didn't remember how I got them.

When he noticed a worsening tremor in my hands while we sat watching TV, I thought it was from overworking.

He would offer me a hand or arm to help me get up after I was sitting for long periods, I thought he was being gracious.

When he started filling in my sentences with the words I was fishing for, I thought he was just reading me good!

I do have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) which is treated with methotrexate since 1990. The drug takes care of my stiffening and swelling symptoms so I can function - eat, type, walk, write, daily living activities.

So when I got spasms in my hands or when they went stiff, I attributed it to RA. When I was hit with a fatigue I had never known before, I still chalked it up to trying to cram more than 24 hours in one day.

Before I knew it, I got hit with a barrage of symptoms. My voice first got low, then went completely hoarse and my sentences came out painfully slow. Doing a mile on the treadmill at the gym might as well have been ten miles; I just couldn't do it and still drive home afterward. It was exhausting.

By the end of June 2012, just walking in the house became difficult where I was holding on to furniture navigating from one part of the house to another. When I got to my destination, I forgot what I wanted.

It was one thing to have tremors, but when my memory became compromised, I got very upset.

I called the neurologist and told him I needed to know what was wrong with me. Now.

The Many Reasons Why Treatment Is Not Started Immediately

I take Sinemet and low dose steroids

WebMD Resources

My Diagnosis: Parkinson's Disease

In the medicine, there are certain conditions, disorders and diseases that doctors cannot or will not diagnose until a certain amount of time has gone by so they can document symptoms over a period of time. Typically with Parkinson's Disease, that time period is six months.

While going through all the testing to rule out other conditions, I threw myself into researching my symptoms. With each scan result (MRI, CT and PET scan), I became convinced that it all pointed to Multiple Sclerosis.

My first neurology consult was with a physician friend and former coworker in March 2012. When I didn't like what he told me (early onset dementia), I went to see another at a different hospital. This cost me valuable time in getting an "early diagnosis" but I didn't think all the bases had been covered with the first neurologist.

After getting second and third opinions from three different specialists, it wasn't until August 2013 that I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

As a medical professional, I was annoyed that I never even pegged my own symptoms at onset, or during months of testing and consults. This is proof positive that you should never diagnose yourself!

I now know that what I have lost is not temporary. There is a surgical technique to help with symptoms, but I am not at that point yet. Medication will help keep the disease from progressing and try to keep me comfortable. It will do nothing to help me gain back what I have lost. I am still getting used to the medication which causes me to sleep more now than ever before. I can tolerate being online no more than two to three hours at a time and my life activities have been greatly curtailed.

Look at the roundness of her face; it's similar to what I look like now. Listen to her speaking voice as interview goes on. This is my voice on good days

Some Famous People With Parkinson's Disease

Whit Bissell (1909–1996) American character actor

Whit Bissell (1909–1996) American character actor

Muhammed Ali, retired boxer

Muhammed Ali, retired boxer

Telling My Family

Two weeks ago, I finally called each of my sisters on the phone with the news I had kept from them for four months. They are going to see me over the Christmas holidays and I look very different than I did six months ago when many of them last saw me.

My face is rounder due to steroids and other medications. Other parts of my body have "plumped up" (hands, belly, feet) and will likely take them off guard. I am painfully slow doing simple things. My tremors are very exaggerated at the beginning of the day and as the medication kicks in, by the end of the day, my fatigue is all one sees. My voice is probably the most noticeable thing and because I struggle with volume, I often lose my voice by middle of the day.

I still need to work on time management to work on the computer. Levodopa (my medication) does help to deal with most of my symptoms but it doesn't prevent more brain changes that are caused by the disease.

Although I doctor hopped and wasn't very cooperative in timely appointments for MRI's, CT's and laboratory studies, my present doctor tells me that my disease is one that progressed rapidly from onset. The hoarseness and trouble swallowing that is usually seen in later stages is what I presented with on my first neurology consult with this doctor. By that time, I had been to two other doctors, and wasted valuable time.

My twin sister, Nancy, has known, of course, since the day I found out. She lives three hours away from me in Kissimmee, Florida; I'm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We see each other at least twice a month, talk on the phone minimum five times a day, and chat online even more than that. We will be 67 years old in January.

She likes to remind me that, as my twin, she knew something was brewing with me.

The changes in my voice were bad enough, but the tremors are worsening while trying to regulate the medication dosage. So this changed my whole game plan for getting through the Christmas holidays with my sisters.

You can always keep quiet to hide your hoarse voice, but hiding tremors that occurred anytime they wanted to was almost impossible.

When the doctor told me my diagnosis and what I was in for, of course I told Nancy first. She is my twin. But I had to work myself up into telling the rest of my six sisters, who live all over the eastern coast - in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.

Our family Christmas is at Nancy's house this year in Kissimmee and each responded that they will be there with their families.

Since telling them, all my sisters are being very supportive. Some call more often than they did before, others send little notes and cards in the mail. I know they just want to feel like they are doing something, and I do appreciate it. But if this is a harbinger of things to come, there has to be a different game plan or I'm going to go nuts! I need them to treat me like they always did, not with kid gloves. I'll wait and see how the holiday visit goes.

Actor & Comedian Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly today

Billy Connolly today

Sample of Some Famous People With Parkinson's Disease or Parkinsonian Syndrome

Still Living

Billy Graham (b. 1918), American evangelist (Died September 25, 2014)

Michael J. Fox (b. 1961), Canadian-American actor

Bob Hoskins (b. 1942), English actor (died April 29, 2014)

Janet Reno (b. 1938), former Attorney General of the United States (1993–2001)

Linda Ronstadt (b. 1946) , Grammy award -winning singer

Billy Connolly (b. 1942) Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor

Casey Kasem (b. 1932), Former Radio disc jockey and voice actor. (died June 15, 2014)

Now Dead

Salvador Dalí, Spanish artist (1904–1989)

James Doohan, Canadian actor (1920–2005)

Francisco Franco Spanish dictator (1892–1975)

Adolf Hitler, German dictator (1889–1945

Pope John Paul II (1920–2005), Polish cleric, Pope of Roman Catholic Church

Deborah Kerr, British actress (1921–2007)

Charles Schulz, American cartoonist (1922-2000)

Terry-Thomas, British character actor (1911–1990)

George Wallace, former governor of Alabama (1919–1998)

Edward Winter, American actor (1937–2001)

Sir Michael Redgrave (1908–1985), British actor

Eugene McCarthy (1916–2005) American politician

Whit Bissell (1909–1996) American character actor

Robin Williams (1951-2014) American actor and comedian

All the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

All the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Keeping a therapy or exercise routine is important when diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

Keeping a therapy or exercise routine is important when diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease is a disease that affects the muscles that control how your body moves. Some studies say it is genetic, inherited from family members, but no one in my family has it.

Five years ago, my parents died of heart disease within three months of each other. I have one sister who has Multiple Sclerosis, one who survived Breast Cancer, one who has Crohn's Disease, one who is an insulin dependent Diabetic, several take Cholesterol medications, I have Rhematoid Arthritis, Nancy has Degenerative Disk Disease and Rhematoid Arthritis. There are eight of us all together ranging from age 60 to 75.

Parkinson's Disease is considered a neurological disease affecting men more than women. Although the primary symptoms are listed above in my story, other symptoms come along as excess baggage. They include:

  1. stress
  2. confusion
  3. anxiety
  4. depression
  5. excess salivation
  6. loss of sense of smell
  7. increased sweating (unlike hot flashes!)
  8. slower, quieter speech with a flatness to the voice
  9. skin problems
  10. urinary frequency and / or constipation problems

All of these things come with more medication and of course, side effects from those medications can be expected.

A support group for the patient and the caregiver are often suggested, especially as the patient's disease becomes more progressive. The level of care will change as will the stress level in the household. It helps to have support in this area.

Dosages in medications will be adjusted periodically, according to symptoms and latest test results. It is important to stay active in some way, even if it is not the way you used to be active (at the gym, walks, employment, church). Doing some small activity is better than doing no activity.

The National Parkinson Foundation is a good resource as is Michael J Fox's website as listed above. Please visit my friend Writer Fox's hub on Parkinson's Disease for an update on early symptom testing.

Another Interview With Linda Ronstadt

I will keep writing as long as I am able, which I expect to be for quite a long time.

Thank you for reading and for your support.

© 12/2013 Mary McShane

If you see this article anywhere on the web, please leave a comment with the name and URL of the website. Thank you.

If you see this article anywhere on the web, please leave a comment with the name and URL of the website. Thank you.

© 2013 Mary McShane


Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on September 26, 2014:

@chateaudumer, I'm glad your wife has you to help her and that the medication is helping her. Thank you for reading and for your comments.

David B Katague from Northern California and the Philippines on September 25, 2014:

My wife was diagnosed with PD last year. I am her primary care giver. I am planning to write my experiences, pains and tribulations as the caregiver on this site. I enjoyed reading your hub and the references cited in your hub. I hope you are feeling better with medications. There is a new medicine called Azilect that my wife is taking. It appears to help her cope up with daily living.

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 09, 2014:

@loveofnight, Thank you for coming to read it.

Loveofnight Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on April 30, 2014:

you did an awesome job with this evergreen hub, it is filled with very interesting and useful information. thanks for the share

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 06, 2014:

@Writer Fox - I am linking your hub to mine because I think the more information people have at their fingertips, the better. I thank you so much for sharing my hub and for your very kind comment.

@ sujaya yenkatesh - thank you for reading and for commenting.

sujaya venkatesh on March 06, 2014:

need of the hour ma

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on March 06, 2014:

You are very generous to share your personal story here and I think it will help many other people with Parkinson's or people who suspect that they might have the disease. The resources you list are excellent. Voted up and shared!

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 31, 2014:

@Jean Bakula - Thank you for your kind comment and good wishes. Getting medication regulated is the biggest part of management. I'm getting there week by week. :)

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on January 31, 2014:

Thanks for describing this illness and getting the word out about it. I hope you can get some comfort and help from your many symptoms. Best of luck to you.

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 22, 2014:

@PegCole 17 - thank you so much for your kind words. This week in Florida has been very tough with the fluctuating weather. One day down in the 20's and the next in the 60's, then rain, wind and back to 20's again. I'm learning that the weather affects me greatly, more so than it does with my RA which I've had for years now. With movement (or lack of), with memory issues - it's been awful lately. My sister says it is because we just turned 67, I'm hoping that's it! Because I don't want any bad reports or more medication changes when I go back to the doctor in 2 weeks. I guess the hardest part when first diagnosed with any new -to-you disease is getting the medication regulated. It's been 5 months now, I wish it would get regulated already! lol Enough of my rant. I thank you for your comments and visiting my hubs, and for following me too. Have a good week. Mary

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 22, 2014:

Yours is an awesome story. I like the frank matter-of-fact approach you have taken about your illness and sharing what you know will undoubtedly help so many others. I wish you all the best with the difficulties of your ever changing health. My heart goes out to you along with my deep appreciation of your courage.

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 14, 2014:

@wabash annie - Thank you for reading. It is an illness that I have only recently been learning how to deal with along with the medication side effects that require more medication to keep them in check. Michael J Fox is the face of Parkinson's Disease in our world today, establishing a Foundation for research and development of treatments. I admire him for putting his fame and money to good use, that will ultimately make a difference in our world and help patients who are dealing with Parkinson's Disease. Thank you for your comment, the follow and your support on my other hubs.

wabash annie from Colorado Front Range on January 14, 2014:

Such a powerful hub. This is such a difficult topic about a dreadful illness but you presented the information so well. Among others, I do admire Michael J. Fox for taking part in The Good Wife ... an excellent example for all of us. Thanks for writing this!

Kenneth C Agudo from Tiwi, Philippines on December 30, 2013:

This hub is very important and helpful. I have an OCD and I find it weird and annoying. I was exaggerating every time it's attacking again. Good job

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 28, 2013:

@DzyMsLizzy - You are correct - not working outside the home makes it much more stressful.

I assumed you meant that you didn't work outside the home when you said "sole" caregiver.

Your sole caregiver role is a "concentrated stress" because you have no respite away from the loved one you are caring for. The link I gave you shows 10 tips for spousal caregivers, although many of the "tips" involve leaving the home at some point while another caregiver comes in.

Since that is not possible for many people, there is also an online group for Caring For Spouses on the 10 tip link that might be of interest to you. You have to register as a user on site first to ask to join the group.

Sometimes online is the only respite available because there is no one to come into the home to give you a break so you can go out of the home.

I hope you know I meant no slight when I made my assumption. Take care.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 28, 2013:

While you are correct in assuming that I don't work outside the home--IMO, that makes it all the more stressful, as there is no 'away' time at all. Thank you very much for the link--I've bookmarked it for repeated reference.

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 28, 2013:

@RichardMawby - Thank you my good friend. For years, I have used music to relieve stress and to escape my hectic workday issues if only for an hour or so at a time. Now retired, I still use it for relaxation and to escape pain and fatigue. Meditation takes me to all new levels of escapism and even brings me much fodder for writing.

While I refuse to add high dose pain medication on top of the PD drugs, it is how I deal with the pain at its present level - through imagery and music, which is working for me at the moment along with steroids and some ibuprofen.

If and when it ever gets to the point where I have to resort to pain medication in higher doses, I don't expect that I will ever abandon my music or meditation techniques because to do so will be losing a part of my soul.

One has to immerse oneself into the music (or meditation) to know what I mean, and right now my words are jumbled again, but the clearest way I can put it is that when I am in that other "space" it is the most beautiful place to be that encompasses your total self.

Thank you for your comment and kind words. Best wishes for a Happy New Year. Keep writing!


Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 28, 2013:

@Vellur. Thank you for your comment and for following me. I am hopeful that the New Year will be productive in my hub publishing and that my health will be easier to deal with now that the medications are getting regulated. Happy New Year to you and yours. Mary

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 28, 2013:

@FlourishAnyway - My sister with MS lived with me for three years while she was in several drug trials at the beginning of her treatment for MS back in 1982. They were all experimental, and we don't know which one is responsible for leaving her completely debilitated from the disease, requiring dependence on caregivers now at age 64. Her twin survived Breast Cancer, twice now. I am sorry you are struggling with MS and hope you find more good days than bad. I wish you a happy New Year. Thank you for your comment.

Richard Mawby from United Kingdom on December 28, 2013:

Aw I have just read this post after you mentioning on one of your comments. So sorry to hear of this Mary, I guess it happens to the best of us...

Imagine if during times of forgetfullness are times of travel to other places beyond this physical plain, imagine if your concsciousness is actually on a journey, one which our physical self cannot retrain memories of. It is an interesting notion, and one that crossed my mind with those who suffer from memory loss such as dementia.

To the physical world, and another's perspective, it looks as though that person is suffering, their phsyical body losing control and their minds wander... but what is intangible and hard to distinguish, is the possability of a higher consciousness that has begun to journey prematurely to one's physical death, in which case to the individual, it may simply be the beginnings of something new and adventourous.... just a thought...

I already have serious OCD ( in the sense of always checking things that most people do naturally such as locking doors or checking something has been done ) and memory blanks as my mind is always wandering and its as though I have different partitions where I can recall certain memories if I am in different states which gave me such an idea... But I think that is simply due to an overactive mind that continues to explore the possability of everything. Maybe such conditions are not actually a disease, but as mentioned above, a time when our eternal consciousness is setting out upon its journey and detatching prematurely from our mortal self.

Anyhow, I hope you can continue to write for a long time. Take care Mary and best wishes. Richard.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 28, 2013:

I appreciate your sharing your personal story and including the helpful video of Linda Rondstadt and listing the names of so many famous people who have struggled or are struggling with this disease. I am sorry you are dealing with this. I struggle with MS. From what I know about neurological diseases they express themselves as complex tapestries throughout families. Your depiction of relatives with related neurological diseases is similar to my own. I wish you the best in all you do.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 27, 2013:

How very scary for you, and how brave to share your personal details with this disease.

You apparently have a good support group in place with your large family. I sure hope I don't travel this road--I can't afford to, as I don't have a support system; in fact, I'm the sole caregiver for my husband, who has severe heart disease.

You are right about trying to self-diagnose, however. What's the saying about a lawyer representing himself having a fool for a client, is often also said about doctors.

I'm no medical professional, but the field does interest me, and I'm probably more familiar than a lot of lay persons in with medical terminology, and good a researching. I attribute much of that to my too-many-to-count visits with my husband to the ER, and sitting around there, observing, as well as sitting with him for hours on end, day after day, when he's been an in-patient.

I wish you well, and many more productive years to enjoy your retirement in the best way you are able. Hub Hugs to you!

Voted up, interesting and useful.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 27, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this with us and educating us about this disease. Happy New Year!! May all your wishes and dreams come true! Take care.

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 27, 2013:

@brakel2, Thank you for your comment, Audrey. Yes, I actually do have a good support system, a loving partner and close knit family. It took me a couple of days to write this hub partly because I tire easily on this medication which is still being adjusted as symptoms change and partly because I am not really good about sharing my private life to the online world. After telling my sisters, I decided that maybe someone might benefit from reading about my early symptoms and my experience with Parkinson's Disease. I also hoped to show that by my procrastinating in getting medical attention, readers (or their family members) who might be dealing with similar symptoms would seek treatment sooner. Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing my hub. Mary

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 27, 2013:

Hi Mary. Thank you for writing this hub so full of information to help others. You explained your progress step by step as your symptoms began. This hub was probably difficult to write but helpful to you and others. The hub is chock full of other information, almost like a research paper. You must be proud for completing such a project. My wish is for you to keep writing and be well. You have a good support system. Blessings. Audrey. Pinned and shared.

Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 27, 2013:


Hi Bill, Thank you for your kind words. Yes, this article was very difficult to write, although writing it was cathartic in a way. I published it and literally walked out the door within an hour to make the trek to my sister's house for our family Christmas. I guess I used it as a way to gear myself up to face all my sisters on Christmas. Our holiday was wonderful, after we got done crying about the state of affairs. One we got that out of the way, our celebrations went on as they did any other year we gathered together for Christmas. Thank you for your ongoing encouragement. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you also.


Mary McShane (author) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 27, 2013:

@Jodah, You are right - it could happen to anyone. Dealing with this disease is all very new to me. Since I wrote this hub, online friends I have never met have emailed me on Facebook to say either they or a family member also has Parkinson's Disease and their symptoms started similarly to mine.

By the way, I wrote this hub two days ago and went away for the holiday to my sister's house. So I apologize for the late moderation of comments. Thank you for your comment and vote.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2013:

This type of article is so important, Mary! Awareness and education are huge factors in helping other find early diagnosis and treatment. Bravo for telling your story. I don't know if this was hard for you to do or not, but I applaud you for doing it.

blessings always my friend, and Merry Christmas!


John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 24, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this Mary. It is good for us all to be aware of the symptoms as it could happen to anyone. Also to know the famous people who have suffered. Voted up.

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