Today I met the specialist Parkinson’s Nurse who works for my specialist for the first time. My husband was with me, as I wanted his support and also so that he can tap into her support in the future if he needs to.
The Nurse – Helen – did a few physical tests on me and the good news is, she said I am doing well and tolerating the medications well. She will therefore talk to the specialist about increasing my medications and she seemed confident that doing this will basically return me to ‘normal’ for a significant period. I’m happy with that!
We talked about things I can do to help myself and eating a healthy diet – such as ‘The Mediterranean Diet’ – is helpful for general health and well-being, not just for this diagnosis, but for anyone. She has also reinforced the positive benefits of exercise – not just a casual stroll – but exercise ‘that you will enjoy and therefore keep up’ on a regular basis. Exercise that gets your heart rate up is best. I talked to her about our recent holiday and finding I could climb some reasonable hills, but that afternoon needed to rest. She confirmed what I thought and had instinctively done, which is the importance of listening to my body. Doing what I can do to remain as fit and as active as possible, combined with rest when my body tells me to.
She also said something particularly interesting in relation to mobility aids. She has recommended – particularly if a person has had good posture – the use of Nordic walking poles rather than a frame, as a frame can lead to a more stooped posture. Something I hadn’t thought of previously. As I have used walking poles when tramping for some time now, this would probably work for me.
So, all in all, a good experience meeting Helen and I feel I have the beginnings of a good support team who will have my back and who I can depend on and trust to support me. The most important support person though was at my side – as he always is – my husband. It was important he was there as he is – and always will be – my primary support and he too needs to connect with Helen and others who will support not only me, but him. We are a package deal!