I’ve been asked “have you given up writing” as I haven’t shared a post since the new year. I will continue but took a break from the blogging world to take the time to adjust to receiving an unexpected diagnosis. Let me start at the beginning and let you know how I’m doing now.
After getting a good health report at my annual physical last fall, I casually mentioned to my nurse practitioner that I was having occasional tremors and a constant burning pain in my left hand. I also mentioned that my husband had noticed that I seemed to be moving slower. She referred me to a neurologist who did a series of tests and right before Christmas I was diagnosed with Parkinsonism. Parkinsonism refers to a group of neurological diseases that cause Parkinson’s type symptoms, with Parkinson’s Disease being the most common. It is a disease that causes damage and loss of nerve cells in the brain which creates a decreased level of dopamine. The result is that your body movements become slow, small, stiff, shaky, and unsteady. As we get older, we might expect to have some health issues but before now, having Parkinson’s would never have entered my mind.
The disease itself is hard to diagnose but after further tests I’ve been told that everything is pointing in that direction. To rule out other conditions with symptoms that imitate Parkinson’s, over the last two months I’ve been given medicines that are commonly used to treat Parkinson’s by correcting the dopamine deficiency in the brain. If I respond well over the next two months, it will confirm a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, because other conditions with similar symptoms do not respond as well to the medications. So far, there has been significant improvement in my walking and no tremors. While the disease is not curable, it’s also not fatal. My husband and I both agree that there are many more diseases that are much worse and we will both learn how to deal with this.
While trying to adjust to this diagnosis, I stopped my writings. I wasn’t creating any new recipes, I found simple cooking tasks in the kitchen took longer and started letting my husband, who is a great cook, make more of our evening meals. Now that I’m doing better I realize that one of the best things I can do for myself is to restart my blogging but maybe not post as often as I did last year. I get a lot of happiness from sharing my travels and recipes with others and you, my readers, will keep me motivated and feeling appreciated.
Finally, after two years of not traveling, my husband and I recently returned from a two week cruise in the Caribbean with four good friends. It was just what I needed, a total escape from months of worrying about medical problems I have been experiencing. So now you know “where I have been” and hopefully you will stop by for a visit when I share my latest travels and recipes with you soon.