30 Days of Parkinson’s: Struggling to Get the Diagnosis

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30 Days of Parkinson's

Photo courtesy of Twila Yoder

Day 26 of 30

This is Twila Yoder’s story:

My name is Twila Yoder. In January 2020, at 50 years old, I responded positively to treatment with levodopa, so that makes me rather new to this scene. With a history of multiple health problems, I had neurological symptoms for quite a while before I realized something new was happening. I can now look back and remember things being off-kilter when I was 45.

In May 2019, I noticed a left-foot drag that, coupled with the other weird stuff that had been going on, made me concerned. Since my maternal grandfather had Parkinson’s, I read the Wikipedia article on it, just to reassure myself. Well, that didn’t work.

I soon started with a round of doctors and tests but also experienced a rapid progression of symptoms. About six weeks after knowing I had a serious problem on my left side, I developed trouble with the right leg, too, and soon couldn’t drive safely. My own recent research indicates this rapidity is likely the result of my diabetes combining with Parkinson’s. 

My life was crumbling around my ears, but I had a neurologist who kept telling me to come back in three months, without doing anything to help me. In fact, from my own research, I was sure he wasn’t even giving me the full exam, having never watched me walk the length of a hall. He kept saying he didn’t see Parkinson’s, even when I had just reported almost every major marker he listed, except for the classic tremors.

As a deeply committed Christian, I was praying for help and direction when my husband brought me a paper he’d salvaged at the publishing house where he works. That paper indirectly led me to an alternative doctor who treats Parkinson’s using a unique protocol.

Though not symptom-free, I am so much better and thankful to have my life back!

Parkinson’s News Today’s 30 Days of Parkinson’s campaign will publish one story per day for Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPAR, or go here to see the full series.