“So when I came home and I went to my regular GP, I suppose I sort of thought he would take me and say, wow you’ve always been so healthy and I never see you, let’s really make sure we really cancel out every single thing you might have. But instead, he said, I think you’re being very anxious, and you’re at a stage in your life when that can happen, just go home and relax and you’ll get over it. And I can understand that, but I got progressively sicker, to the point that I couldn’t drive - and we live in a rural area, and I had a pre-schooler at the time...

So my struggle with my health was it just went from black to white, from super healthy, always trusted my body, could do super hikes, do anything, to really feeling a bit vulnerable and afraid of what it might do. I started to notice the shaking in my left hand. So that was a lot of stress so I just figured perhaps it was the stress. I went to the doctor and said I’ve been under a lot of stress and I’ve got this tremor. And she said well if it was stress or coffee the tremor would be in both hands. But it’s just one hand. … So I went along to the neurologist, and he said you don’t need an MRI. I know what you’ve got, you’ve got Parkinson’s disease.

I said to him, do you have any books or anything I could read about this? And he said, there are some good websites, but look, we won’t talk about it now. You go and have your MRI and come back in a week and we’ll talk about what you have to do. So I went out into the waiting room, having just been given that diagnosis and I went home by myself in the car and called in at Borders and got a book about Parkinson’s disease had a cup of coffee and read it and then went home… That was the biggest shock for me, just how inadequate at dealing with people some specialists are.

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