Parkinsons Derby Branch Member

Diagnosed January 2010, First Medication prescribed August 2010.

During the summer of 2009 I noticed a slight tremor in my left arm after general physical activity, which I assumed to be a trapped nerve. Some weeks later whilst playing the electric organ my fingers started slipping off the bass chords and sounded rough even by my standards!

My GP referred me to Burton Hospital because of the long waiting list at Derby due to the transfer of departments from the D.R.I. to the Royal Derby Hospital at that time. A year later I was able to transfer to Royal Derby and have since taken part in most Therapeutic Activities on offer through either the Specialist Rehabilitation Centre or the Derby Parkinsons Group. 

At first I was reluctant to learn more about Parkinson’s until one day I had a chat with the only other person I knew who had the disease. This lady had an interesting theory. Picking up on my regret that the keyboard playing was getting worse, she pointed out that to continue would only lead to depression or lack of confidence. On the other hand taking up new interests could give encouragement by each time showing some improvement, however little. I thought this to be interesting and just when I was pondering the pro’s and con’s it was announced that Parkinson’s Derby were going to form a Singing Group!

Being part of this group has proved the theory, even though it took several weeks to progress from a croak to a singing note! Nick-named “The Movers and Shakers" it has proved to be a great club with some good sounds and a lot of laughs.

With regard to day-to-day living, I think improvisation is the key word because every action and thought is a lap or two behind everybody else. As I am a left-handed person it is not too difficult because I have been used to adapting all through life. The tremor means  that I am unable to write now, except sometimes early in the morning. Thank goodness for Computers and Pin Numbers.!

It is difficult to describe the mental and physical feelings at the body end of the tremor. A weary type of tiredness, needless anguish over minor tasks or meetings

causing more prominent tremor movements, a degree of panic or a shortage of confidence in what “before Parkinson’s” were ordinary situations.

Specialist Medical Attention and membership of the Derby Parkinson’s Club both provide ways of dealing with problems and I am very satisfied that all that can be done is being done. Good new friendships have helped to cement a way forward with humour and purpose. 

Thank you!