Carla's Story - Page 7

what is P a r k i n s o n ’s Disease? SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 In the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of diagnosis. Because there is no cure, doctors are PD are diagnosed each year, adding to the one focused and dedicated to finding treatments that million people who currently have PD. In fact, it help control the symptoms of PD. is estimated that four to six million people around In recent years, there has been heightened the world suffer from the condition. awareness about the disease through well-known Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain actor Michael J. Fox, who (like Carla) was also disorder that progresses slowly in most people. diagnosed at a young age. What this means is that individuals with PD can Source: National Parkinson’s Foundation live for twenty years or more from the time of The awful truth SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 So, even knowing that something was potentially the bathroom and “up” with her health, Carla went to her first had the first of what neurologist visit, solo. Pat traveled frequently for I assume was many, his job, so she was often on her own for parts many good cries. I of the week. It wasn’t at all unusual. It was, know there are however, at this visit to the neurologist that the dozens of friends loss of her health and the potential gravity of her and family members disease first hit. who now wish we After reviewing her case, she once again heard could have been there the word Parkinson’s from a physician — which is harsh and knocks the wind out of you even when delivered with compassion. It broke my heart to later hear her relay the story that on leaving the doctor’s office she stopped in with her so she didn’t have to come to the horrible realization of having this disease on her own. -5-