There were small tell-tale signs five years ago. I was used to walking several miles a day and thought I was indestructible. But sometimes my left leg would stumble over small things and at night I often suffered from restless leg syndrome. I got annual check-ups at the doctor and he usually told me my heart and lungs were in great shape and he would see me in a year.
But five years ago the RLS was worse and I stumbled more often. I wanted to know what was causing the changes. I went in for an MRI. My brain and spine were checked.
“Are there any lesions or abnormalities?” I asked the doctor at my next appointment. “Nothing shows up. Everything looks great,” he replied. “However, I am referring you to a spine specialist. Perhaps he can find the problem.”
The next doctor ran a few tests but decided it was not my spine. “I suspect you are in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.” It was a relief to have a name for my unknown disease and his suspicions made sense to me. My older brother had P.D. and some of his earliest symptoms were the same as mine. The doctor didn’t think Parkinson’s was due to heredity but suggested that I needed to be checked out by a neurologist. A few weeks later I received my diagnosis from the neurologist. “You have Parkinson’s Disease,” he affirmed. “We’ll get you started on medications right away.” (To be continued)