Living with Parkinson’s: Newly Diagnosed

The initial stage of Parkinson’s is characterized by particular symptoms and it’s important to know the signs and get specialized treatment to minimize the advancement of the disease.  According to Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly one million Americans are currently living with Parkinson’s and have had to make significant lifestyle changes.  More than 10 million people worldwide suffer from this progressive nervous system disorder.  So how do we deal with the news?  The patient is not the only person who suffers; their loved ones are impacted as well.

Parkinson’s Foundation emphasizes areas of focus upon diagnosis: Treatment, management, resources & support, and finances. There are multiple treatment methods for Parkinson’s so it is important to work with your physician in creating an effective treatment plan.  Treatment options include physical/ speech therapy, assembling a care team, medication, lifestyle modification, deep brain stimulation, rest, and exercise.  Every case is unique so assembling the right care team is vital. Managing symptoms is another key area of focus for Parkinson’s patients.

There are times when you may feel overwhelmed with symptoms but there is help. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has done incredible work in spreading awareness about Parkinson’s, fundraising for research, and providing its followers with resources.  Additionally, the organization has a concise list of ways for financial planning.  As a chronic condition, your insurance will play a major role in your quality of life and how you manage the disease.  We know that with any challenge comes a financial burden.  Depending on your health insurance provider and plan, you may need to discuss better options to suit your specific needs.  Some aspects to consider are government programs, workplace, and private insurance.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone.  In fact, the entire world is with you in finding a cure and advancing research because so many suffer from the disease. There are also a variety of treatment options, resources, and opportunities to talk to people who are going through the same thing.  Finding a support group in your area can help you cope with the news.  Some of these groups provide one-on-one counseling so that you may privately express your concerns.  At HHN, our team of professionals will provide educational literature, a comfortable setting for treatment, and comprehensive care.  We’ve treated hundreds of patients with Parkinson’s and understand the concerns that come with being newly diagnosed.