I'm beginning this post with "Once Upon a Time..." because all good happily-ever-after stories should begin with "Once Upon a Time".
Once upon a time, there was a lovely woman named Debra. She was quiet, kind, and a little shy. Life went by, and sweet-Debra met and married her sweetheart, Marc. (My big brother)
They lived and loved and had many happy moments together...
Over time, Debra started having health issues. Voices in her head, depression, anxiety grew in intensity and tortured her daily. These overshadowed other symptoms of tremors in her hands and muscle weakness.
For ten long and painful years, Marc, Debra, and I searched for help. Doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist were consulted to no avail. They focused on her mental condition and gave little attention to her physical symptoms - which also grew worse over time. Treatments came and went. Some helped for a time, but all quickly proved to be ineffectual. All the while, Debra's symptoms worsened and she suffered.
Finally, with Debra's muscle weakness causing her to fall on a daily basis, we despaired that she would survive this year. The culmination of all this came this weekend when she fell on the concrete driveway and busted open her head. Off we went to Urgent Care - no concussion, so they bandaged her and sent her home. Saturday and Sunday were punctuated with more falls, until Marc and I took her to the ER at Mountain Point Medical on Sunday night.
After some tests and being examined by the ER doc, Debra was admitted to the hospital. Enter the neurologist-extraordinaire, Dr. Reiser! She examined Debra, ran more tests and said "This looks like Parkinson's Disease to me." She prescribed medication for that condition and within 24 hours, we started seeing improvement. Little did we know that Debra's mental condition was also a common facet of Parkinson's Disease. Those ailments have also improved with her new treatment.
Four days later - Debra's speech is less slurred. Her beautiful blue-eyes are clear and sparkling. Debra is able to walk more steadily. The muscle weakness has diminished significantly, and the tremors in her hands have lessened. In four days, it feels like Debra is coming back to us.
While we recognize that this diagnosis does not mean an easy road for Debra, it gives us hope. Her previous doctors were starting to consider that she might have ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or MS (Multiple Sclerosis), both of which would eventually cause her death. Parkinson's is progressive, and we know her symptoms could get worse over time; but people live with this disease for years and live active, happy lives.
After TEN YEARS of searching and watching Deb suffer, it feels like she's been given a new lease on life. Seeing the improvements in her condition over the last four days renews our belief that Miracles truly happen!!!
Once Upon a Time there was a lovely woman named Debra...and she lived happily, MIRACULOUSLY, ever after!