Nikita Krielaart

Member for

2 years 2 months

I am 23 years old, and I have had Young Onset Parkinson's disease (YOPD) for three years.

My story could be a movie.

I was in my last year of studying to be a pedagogic worker and after, I planned to study psychology, but my future changed in 2018 when I was on Christmas holiday.

I was excited to take ski lessons. I have always loved to learn to new things.

NikitaOn the morning of my first day of ski lessons, my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I wasn't able to hold my cup or eat cereal. At first, I thought that it was just nerves, but throughout the holiday, the tremor got worse. I had trouble putting the keys in the door to unlock it, tying my shoes, buttoning up my blouse and unzipping my bag.

At the end of the holiday, I also had trouble walking because of muscle stiffness and slowness of movements, so I went to the doctor.

I was diagnosed with an essential tremor, but things got worse from there. I started thinking slower and had less expression on my face. I went to the neurologist for several scans and blood test. Then, I started with Levodopa and we were all flabbergasted. The tremor disappeared and I could walk better.

That’s how I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

I started to live day-by-day trying to understand Parkinson's and its effects. It's mind-blowing, how this disease works one moment you can walk, another moment you can't move.

NikitaI like to learn about Parkinson's and want to spread my story to inspire, and encourage others to talk about Parkinson’s, too.

I watch the Facebook Live sessions with Dr. Michael Okun and other webinars on various topics like diet, exercise, non-motor symptoms and COVID-19 as it pertains to Parkinson’s disease.

I really like to listen to music. It helps me move better and think more clearly.

My advice is to live by the day! See what works for you each day, and if it’s too much, just check back another day and see what you can do then.

I wish you all the best. Know that you are not alone.

For more information on Young Onset Parkinson’s, check out these Parkinson’s Foundation resources: Young Onset Parkinson’s10 Helpful Young-Onset Parkinson’s ResourcesNavigating the Challenges of Young Onset Parkinson’s.

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