Thursday, April 14, 2011

My story, part 1

My name is Karen, and I have Parkinson's disease. I am 45 years old, and I have been out of the work force since I was 35 years old. 

I asked my neurologist if he could give me an idea of when I could be well enough to go back to work. He got this look of compassion on his face and told me that I most likely would not be returning to work.
That was a blow, to think that my teaching career was over. I didn't really feel that teaching was the right career for me, but I had also been working in the school library, and I very much enjoyed that. With both of my children in school now, I had been offered a quarter time position as the library teacher, and it was a dream job for me.
But one of my first symptoms was an inability to make my fingers do what they were supposed to do - so typing, shelving books, even holding a book to turn the pages was getting almost impossible. When I read aloud to students, it felt like my voice was getting stuck in my throat.
It was even getting hard to think! It was like my brain was in Jello. I was having what I now recognize as anxiety attacks, where it felt like the world was closing in on me. Sometimes the floor would jump up and smack me in the face.
I thought I was going insane. 


  1. This has to be an awful feeling.

  2. Hi Karen,

    Our similarities are striking. I was diagnosed 12 years ago at the age of 38. I've got 4 teenage kids (well, the oldest is 20 and the youngest is 12) and have been out of the work force for nearly two years.

    Still trying to get disability ...

    Enjoying writing ... have one book out and am about to publish my second.

    Looking forward to reading more about your experiences.

    God Bless,