Friday, April 15, 2011

My story, part 2

Part 1 ended where my former life ended, leaving a dream job, applying for disability benefits from Canada Pension (got turned down 3 times), trying to take care of a 5 year old and a 7 year old who still needed me to cut their meat when I couldn't hold a knife a fork, driving them to school everyday when I shouldn't have been driving anymore (thankfully they weren't with me when I totaled the van), and my husband was a truck driver working insanely long unpredictable hours. 
This was the darkest part of my life...

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.