It started exactly one year ago. In five days, I would find out what I had spent five years searching for.
Day 1: Monday June 13, 2016
I headed to Queens Square in London on a quest to find one thing– a name. The name had remained a mystery for five years, but as I got closer to my destination, I wondered – did I really need to know this name? What if I found the name but couldn’t handle it? What then? I considered abandoning my pursuit, but it was too late now – I had flown all the way from Johannesburg for this.
I arrived Queens Square 15 minutes early for my 3PM appointment with Prof. Kailash Bhatia. After his assessment, he said I had to visit Harley Street on Thursday before he could give me a name.
Day 5: Friday June 17, 2016
I was back at Queens Square with a report from my visit to Harley Street the day before. Prof. Bhatia, the neurologist I had travelled from South Africa to see, looked at the results of the DaTscan (a type of brain scan) from The Harley Street Clinic Molecular Imaging Centre, he then looked apologetically at me, and he gave me a name – Parkinson’s disease.
Several people were distraught when I told them the name, but for me, a name meant I no longer had to wonder why my muscles were rigid, stiff and weak, or why my hands trembled, or if my shrinking handwriting had anything to do with these symptoms. A name meant I now understood what was contributing to my forgetfulness, apathy, anxiety and depression. A name meant I now knew what my problem was and I could finally point, aim and shoot at it.... And from that name, another name - ParkinStand® - was birthed.
Welcome to ParkinStand!
I am DELIGHTED to have you here. If you haven't done so already, please browse the website to learn more about ParkinStand and why it was established. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you stay up to date on exciting new content!
On so many occasions, I have fallen and risen, only to fall again. Through much pain and heartache, I have learned so much on this journey with Parkinson's disease. I have also had the privilege of meeting incredible people who are fighting, pushing back and redefining the boundaries of chronic illnesses.
I can't wait to share all that, and more, with you!