After you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it can seem that your life has taken a turn for the worse. And while life with this progressive disease certainly isn’t easy, it’s not impossible.

Take a look at what real people from our Living with Parkinson’s Disease Facebook community and bloggers who have Parkinson’s are doing not only to feel better, but also to live better.

While I can still do things with my hands, I don’t have the energy to focus on the work. My imagination has slowed as my thinking has slowed. I know part of this is my medication, but not all. It’s been a gradual decline in my work. I can still knit and felt and make books. I just can’t make them like I want to make them. It’s the difference between having legible handwriting and doing calligraphy. Craftwise, I’m at the legible handwriting stage. I’d rather stop for now than make things I’m not excited about. … Someday, when I have more time and energy, maybe I’ll try something totally different. I don’t know what it will be, but I’m already thinking about the possibilities.
Terri Reinhart, living with Parkinson’s and blogger of My Parkinson’s Journey

 

Exercise can help, and a physical therapist can show you the right exercises that will improve your strength.
Rosemary Carney, living with Parkinson’s

 

After 14 years, a bit of brain surgery, a devotion to exercise, and a simplification of life following the loss of my wonderful but stressful job, my experience leads me to believe with a bit of luck, some discipline and maybe a bit more luck, a person using the information and interventions we now have available can live a life that is full and rewarding. I know this is possible, because I live it.
Peter Dunlap-Shohl, living with Parkinson’s and blogger of Off and On

 

I had this procedure [deep brain stimulation] done back in January. I am very pleased with the outcome. … I’ve got my life back.
Jim Tolan-Hanson, living with Parkinson’s

 

I can experience a severe tremor in my right hand, which in the day makes it difficult to use my right hand for writing [or] cutting vegetables while working in the kitchen, and my fingers are too shaky and stiff to play my accordion. And at night, my tremor wakes me up and interferes with my sleep.

I am working with my neurologist on how to solve these ongoing [Parkinson’s- and deep brain stimulation-related] problems or if the problems can’t be solved, how to cope with “this is as good as it gets.
Kate Kelsall, living with Parkinson’s and blogger of Shake, Rattle and Roll

 

Maybe I’m playing name games with “exercise” and “moving.” But I feel like what I started doing recently may really be slowing down the progress of my Parkinson’s disease. My home gym from the start has been my bedroom. The equipment? The bathroom sink, the railing at the bottom of my bed, and the Harvard chair. But now I exercise throughout the house and throughout the day. The kitchen has become a favorite venue. I use the counters and sink for stretching and doing standing pushups. I get to work as I wait for the microwave oven bell to tell me lunch or dinner is ready.
John Schappi, living with Parkinson’s and blogger of Aging and Parkinson’s and Me