Janice's Story

My name is Janice and I live with my husband in Sydney where we share our home with my son, his wife and their two young children (they occupy the top storey which is self-contained while we live below). I also have two daughters who live away from home.

I was a preschool teacher for 26 years (retired in 2014) and during this time I discovered that my true passion was working with pre-schoolers and setting up creative learning environments for them to explore through play.

My Parkinson’s journey began in 2009 when I was 56, and working at Preschool. I first noticed my handwriting was getting smaller and slower and shortly afterwards, a slight tremor began in my right hand. My GP sent me for a MRI and referred me to a neurologist who later confirmed it was Parkinson’s. I was fortunate that my symptoms were milder than others, and with medication, was able to continue working at Preschool until December 2014.

I miss teaching very much, but have written a number of stories in rhyming text which I hope to get published so I can keep that magical connection with young children and continue with a purposeful life. Looking after my two beautiful grandchildren while their Mum goes to University, also keeps me busy in retirement and young at heart. Future travel with my husband continues to be a special goal while my health remains good.

Initially, my way of dealing with Parkinson’s Disease was to totally ignore it and I told very few people about my condition (I suppose this was a type of grieving process I was going through as well as being worried about people’s reactions). It has only been recently that I have opened up more to others about my condition. This process has been therapeutic for me. Writing and submitting poetry and a short story on a website - Parkinson’s Poems and other Writings - was a major catalyst in making me realise that there were others like me out there coping with this disease and being open and honest about it. By going on Facebook, I found other helpful support groups such as South Tipperary Parkinson’s Support Group, Parkinson’s Australia Support and chat, Shake it up Australia, Parkinson’s Australia, to name a few… where I discovered helpful articles as well as being inspired by other Parkinson’s sufferer’s creative contributions. I have since made the most interesting and talented friends with Parkinson’s - who offer so much (including support/ good role models) in what they have achieved while living with the disease. I saw Medicine X on Facebook and volunteered to take part in the Parkinson’s Xplained Project and here I am!

I believe that medication, regular exercise, a reasonable healthy diet, a sense of humour, acceptance and openness about my condition as well as family/friend/medical support and hope for a future cure are the crucial or key elements that help me daily to cope with Parkinson’s disease and to feel in control of my life.

Partnerships

Medicine X would like to thank Parkinson's Australia for their collaboration on Parkinson's Xplained, and our sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim for making Parkinson's Xplained possible.

In Collaboration With

Parkinson’s Australia is the national not-for-profit body working for all people affected by Parkinson’s, through advocating for, lobbying about and effective communication of, their interests.

They aim to increase awareness of Parkinson’s and to increase support for, and investment in, research around the understanding and treatment of Parkinson's.

Kindly Brought To You By

Boehringer Ingelheim's aims to provide value through innovation and to 'Make More Health' - for patients, our people and our community. For over a century Boehringer Ingelheim have remained a family-owned, independent company and today operate in over 50 countries with more than 47,000 employees.

For more info about Boehringer Ingelheim please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com.au

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