My PD Story

Ray Hayden and his dog
People with PD

Ray Hayden

I was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at age 62, although I've had tremors (along with what I now recognize were other, less obvious PD symptoms) for many years prior. I was told by numerous physicians not to be concerned regarding the tremors; essential tremors are not uncommon, so I pretty much ignored the red flags.

In early 2020 I found that I was having an extremely difficult time initiating a step when walking, so I decided to check with my PCP. In February 2020, while doing my physical exam, a small town, country doctor noticed the twitching in my fingers. The tremors combined with my start hesitation resulted in a recommendation that I see a neurologist. The rest, as they say, is history.

After receiving my diagnosis, I did extensive research on the Internet and found the Parkinson's Foundation website to be outstanding. Their online information library was extremely helpful in learning more about PD, and I have assembled quite a collection of wonderful info about PD thanks to their resources.

We had a very nice little cabin in rural, northern New Mexico, but the medical care was lacking in the area for someone with PD. When I retired, we moved to the Albuquerque metro area. I miss the beauty, solitude and seclusion of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, but I found a movement disorders specialist in Albuquerque and she has been absolutely awesome.

I am basically learning how to overcome the challenges of being a person with Parkinson’s disease by having access to opportunities that were not readily available prior to relocating. I actually feel blessed, and I refuse to be defined by Parkinson’s. My life, even with the daily rigors of dealing with a progressive disease, has been very rewarding!

I am reminded of a quote which, for a person with PD, I believe are words to live by:
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."

The Parkinson’s Foundation is here to help. Explore Parkinson’s disease resources in our PD Library

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