Ralph

Member for

6 years 6 months

In 2007, I lost my sense of smell and felt extreme fatigue all the time. I was forced to retire early. I lost about 40 pounds.

My wife and I moved from North Caroline to San Antonio. Shortly afterwards, I started to shake on the right side of my body. Eventually, I couldn’t eat because my food would shake off the fork before reaching my mouth.

I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with Parkinson’s disease (PD). He referred me to a neurologist and neurosurgeon, who advised me to undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. In May 2012, I received DBS. The shaking went away, but the fatigue did not. I continued to take my medications and found out about support groups in my area. I have really gotten a lot from participating in these groups, which have helped me in dealing with my PD.

Last year, I lost my ability to speak. I had thyroplasty surgery to do some implant work on my vocal cord. It worked and I can now speak again. Going to speech therapy helped.

My caregiver is my wonderful wife who has been helping me so much during this trying time in my life. Without her by my side I do not know what I would do.

Well, that is my story. A lot has happened since PD. It’s hard to believe I told my PD journey in less than 260 words, but I imagine you already know what people with Parkinson's deal with. Thank you for reading my story.

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