How Early-Onset Parkinson's Changes Everything - Mark and Nadine's Story
"My life changed in 2012. I loved my job; I was a real people's person and would travel overseas for work. On one of those trips, I noticed a tremor. I'd be sitting on the plane, and my right leg would start shaking, and I couldn't stop it.
My doctor thought it was just restless leg syndrome and told me not to worry, but then I noticed a tremor in my left arm. That's when I started to think; maybe it was more serious. I was referred to a neurologist.
I was 44, and I was told I had Parkinson's. I couldn't believe it.
Treating my symptoms were a bit tricky. It took time to find the right medicine for me. One gave me side-effects, so I had to get off that one and try a new one.
While I was getting used to the new medicine, my symptoms started becoming more noticeable. Everything slowed right down. I could only shuffle. I would trip over. I had sudden and intense pain in my legs. My arms stiffened, and my body was just always tense.
But changing my medicine was better for me, as I had been developing some compulsive problems with online spending; shopping and stuff like that, and once I got used to it, my symptoms were easier to manage, and I stopped compulsively spending, thankfully.
Parkinson's can change your life. I can no longer work, I've tried. I even tried juicing Lime scooters, but it was too exhausting for me. For a while, I was falling out of bed a couple of nights a week, and my wife, Nadine, would wake up in a fright.
We called Parkinson's New Zealand for help. They looked after us, listened to us, helped me stop falling out of bed, and made referrals. They also helped me get a trolley that I can put two cups of coffee on..., and they won't spill!
Parkinson's is a journey. It's different for everyone. I know support is there for me whenever I need it. I also know how lucky a man I am to have Nadine with me on this journey!"
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