Diagnosed, Now What? Preparing for the Parkinson's Journey.

Updated: Mar 23

As our parents age, they may be faced with any number of diagnosed chronic conditions. In my dad's case, it was Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. I can remember vividly the day we had confirmation that dad did indeed have Parkinson's Disease in August of 2012. While I thought I knew what the journey would be like given my grandmother had also been diagnosed and lived with Parkinson's Disease in the 1980s and 90s, I still felt so overwhelmed. I had so many questions.

I immediately put on my research hat - searching and asking - What is PD? What are the symptoms, treatment options, and programs? Can it be inherited? What does the future hold? And, what questions should I even ask? How much has PD changed in the last 30 years since my grandmother faced this same thing. What advancements have been made?

We can easily become overwhelmed. In Chapter 1 of Sunsets and Silver Linings - Caring for Parents with Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia, A Daughter's Perspective, in addition to telling our story of how we sought medical advice when getting a diagnosis, I dive deeply into the following topics that I researched.

  1. What is Parkinson's Disease and what are the key symptoms?

  2. What tests and imaging might be used to help conclude a diagnosis of Parkinson's?

  3. What is the difference between Essential Tremor and Parkinson's?

  4. How do Anxiety and Depression fit into the Parkinson's Diagnosis?

  5. What type of doctor(s) do you need to see if you start exhibiting Parkinson's Symptoms? When should you see a doctor?

  6. What causes Parkinson's Disease?

  7. Does Parkinson's exhibit any risk factors?

  8. Are there any complications from Parkinson's that I should be aware of? And if so, how are they treated?

  9. Is Parkinson's Inherited? Will I get Parkinson's as a son/daughter of a parent diagnosed with Parkinson's?

  10. What are the typical medications used in the treatment of Parkinson's?

  11. Are there alternative treatment methods to medications such as surgery, ultrasound or types of exercises and diet that help?

  12. How can I help delay the progression of Parkinson's?

  13. Can my parent still work with Parkinson's?

  14. What are the key resources where I can learn more about PD that I can trust?

  15. What medical information should I trust?

There can be many more questions we ponder throughout the journey, especially after a new diagnosis. One of the best things you can do is to take a deep breath. Realize that everybody on God's green earth is going to deal with something in their future as they age - this just happens to be the path chosen for us. Speak with your doctors, and tap into key, trusted resources from the Parkinson's Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, or your local Parkinson's Association chapter. Each of these provide amazing tips and resources for navigating a new diagnosis.

You may be weary to learn what the road could be like. It is true that it can be quite daunting and emotional with the research we do. But you must learn that by moving toward acceptance and embracing how you can live well with Parkinson's, you will be better prepared - logically and emotionally. There is a village ready and willing to support you! You just need to learn how to tap into it.

If you want your adult children to better understand Parkinson's, or you are an adult child trying to learn more for a parent that has been recently diagnosed by Parkinson's, check out Sunsets and Silver Linings to learn more about our journey.


While I wish I could give it away for free, I have to pay my printers. Proceeds of this book will be given back to Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia organizations.

A Note from the Author: While this book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hardback, paperback and e-reader formats, I encourage you to make your purchase from the link above from my publisher, Xulon Press. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both take more than 60% of the proceeds from the sale of any book. By purchasing directly from the publisher for the same price, you are able to help others more with PD and LBD with a higher contribution from royalties. I'm sure many other authors would also appreciate this approach as well.

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