Some of you who follow me on Facebook may already know, but for those who do not I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in April of 2013.
After suffering with severe nerve pain, undiagnosed and misdiagnosed symptoms for more than 15 years the news came after a special scan looked for dopamine in my brain and didn’t find much. That meant I was one of 60,000 people annually diagnosed with PD. My wife and I took the news with mixed emotions, mostly tears with a bit of relief, at least we knew.
I have for as long as I can remember had severe muscle cramps. I assumed it was because I worked out so hard as an athlete. I was told my body didn’t process electrolytes. I left minor league ball in my early twenties after having several elbow and shoulder surgeries, again I assumed overuse from baseball and football. Today I have had more than 30 surgeries mostly sports related and I have learned that severe muscle cramping and nerve pain are symptoms of PD. Most of my symptoms are non-motor and internal.
My neurologist told us recently that my earliest PD symptoms (left hand and arm weakness) had occurred in 1997. That was before I had tried out for baseball again. It makes sense to me now why after pitching a game in the MLB, I could hardly make my arm move to shampoo my hair.
My wife and I believe that God has great plans for us and although we do not understand this disease or why we are afflicted with it we know God’s got it all under control.