Keep on Smiling!

Keep on Smiling!

Hello there. I would like to introduce myself. Sounds strange, as this is something I would never have dreamt of doing until I came across the world of Parkinson’s with the help of a little technology. It’s true! I’m normally a ‘suffer in silence’ kind of girl. So when I first began sharing my life and feelings, I wondered how it would help not only me but also other people in my situation. That’s a real bonus if it does.

I’m so happy to be blogging for Move 4 Parkinson’s, as I was first introduced by a friend with Parkinson’s who now lives in Ireland. What a lovely community to be a part of. So positive and forward thinking and so much talent there too!

My name is Shelley, I live in the UK and am 51 years old. I’ve been married for 28 years. Wow, that’s a long time! I have three daughters and five grandsons. My family is my world and I know they are with me all the way. I’d first like to take you back many years. I can’t say I ever remember being ‘normal’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean!), I always had aches and pains. I also had a slight shake in my hands. But for me, that was ‘normal’. My mum used to say that I actually shook as a baby in my crib and as a child, I was always being taken to the doctors for various aches and pains but mum was told it was just ‘growing pains’.

Then fast forward to when I was in my late twenties. I was married, just had my first daughter and was working part time. I started to suffer with pains in my hands and arms, my legs and feet. I was finding it very difficult to cope. I was sent to see an orthopaedic surgeon, who then sent me to see a neurologist. I had various tests and an operation for Carpel Tunnel syndrome. Then I was diagnosed with CMT (Charcot-Marie Tooth disease). I was given medication and told to “go live my life!!”, which I tried to do as best I could. Finally, after much deliberation and sadness, I had to retire from working as I simply could not go on any more.

Then about five years ago I had a bad bout of pneumonia and my heart had to be stopped twice to reset it. A few months after that, I developed a very bad tremor. It came overnight, down my right side. Thinking it had something to with my CMT, I just carried on coping, until my family forced me to visit the doctor again.

The first time I went to see the neurologist about my tremor I saw him for about five minutes and was told that it was probably ‘essential tremor’. I was put on more medication but had to re-book an appointment because I wasn’t responding to treatment. I was then sent to another neurologist who carried out more tests. I had an MRI, some further blood tests and was then sent to London to see a top neurologist, who suggested I should have a DaTscan. It was last year in August that I was finally diagnosed with Parkinson’s after being told that three neurologists I’d seen weren’t convinced of the diagnosis until they had seen the results of the DaTscan.

Wow! I really couldn’t believe my luck. Not one but two diseases!! That’s probably why it was so difficult for them to diagnose me earlier.

I must admit, to start with I went very much into myself. I’m one of these people who likes to get things sorted and then move on, which personally, I believe I am now doing. Being able to speak to so many people on Parkinson’s forums and hear other people’s stories has helped me so much. I always think of my glass as being half full. Smiling through is the only way to go.

Sorry, no more clichés. 🙂

About the Author:

Shelley Edwards Move 4 Parkinson’s Blogger

Shelley Edwards Shelley is from Norwich in Norfolk, has been married for 28 years, is a mother of three and grandmother to five boys.
After being diagnosed with Charcot-Marie Tooth disease in her 20’s and
diagnosed with Parkinson’s in August 2012, she is still smiling with the support and positivity of her family.

13 thoughts on “Keep on Smiling!

  1. Elizabeth Mc Fadden

    Hi Shelley Brilliant blog well done. Shelley it was just so unfortunate that you were diagnosed with two illnesses, one is more than enough to cope with. Shelley I must admit I had never heard of c m t before knowing you. Keep smiling through is your motto and I believe that’s just what you’ll do. Take care Elizabeth

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