What to Do If You’ve Just Been Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a major blow for anyone. There’s so much information to take in and so many emotions to process. But if you’ve been suffering from symptoms for months — or years — you might actually feel a sense of relief. Now that your condition has a name, you can seek ways to alleviate your symptoms and slow the disease’s progress. 

There are therapeutic programs available to you as a newly diagnosed PD sufferer. You can create a Parkinson’s management plan with the help of your clinicians, which will probably include the following.

The Assignment of a Specialist

By teaming up with a specialist who can help you with your PD, you can take the first step towards maximizing your quality of life. If some of your symptoms are unresponsive to medications, there may be other treatment options available to you. And only a specialist will be able to point you in the right direction. While you can retain the services of your doctor, working with someone who specializes in movement disorders will be a huge help. You’ll gain access to a huge wealth of knowledge on all the potential therapies available. 

Time to Process the News

A PD diagnosis is always a huge blow. As well as dealing with the raw emotion involved, you also need time to process the information and become accustomed to life as a Parkinson’s patient. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and reference materials online. And the support of fellow sufferers could help you get through the early days of being a PD sufferer. To begin with, take a look at organizations such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the National Parkinson Foundation — where you’ll find lots of information about the disease. 

Confide in Others

Once you’ve had time to process the news of your PD diagnosis, it might help to tell the people closest to you, followed by your friends. And if you’re concerned about rumors in your workplace, telling your bosses and colleagues might be a sensible next step. 

There will be some emotional conversations between you and your loved ones. But this is part of the process. And these discussions are the perfect opportunity to educate family members and inform them of what lies ahead. 

Exercise Regularly 

Studies show that remaining active through regular exercise can help to improve Parkinson’s symptoms. One study revealed that just two and a half hours of exercise every week can slow the progress of PD considerably. Speak with your specialist about an exercise program that works for you. As a minimum, it should include cardio routines, stretching, and strength-building exercises. 

Maintain a Healthy Social Life 

Being diagnosed with PD can force many people to withdraw from their social circles. While this instinct is understandable, it should be resisted. The friendship and support circles in your life will make dealing with your diagnosis a lot easier. And continuing at work may give you a crucial focus area that has nothing to do with your disease or treatment plans. 

Some PD sufferers actually use their diagnosis as inspiration to seek new experiences. Joining clubs or hobby groups can be great escapism from the day-to-day drudgery of dealing with PD. Meeting new people and forging new friendships is a way of maintaining a positive outlook and promoting your own mental wellbeing. 

If you’d like to learn more about dealing with a PD diagnosis, call the specialists at Cendant today. 

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