Memories of a Parkinson’s Diagnosis Spur a Flood of Feelings

Reactions, repercussions, and responses to the day of my husband's news

Jamie Askari avatar

by Jamie Askari |

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We vividly remember very few days in our lives, and the rest of our memories tend to blur together. I’m always amazed at how accurately I remember specific events from childhood, like witnessing my neighbor’s house burn to the ground when I was around 7 years old; I can still recall feeling the intensity of the fire’s heat and hearing the embers crackling. Yet I have no idea what I ate for lunch today.

The most important days in our lives, hopefully the good ones, are the memories we can still picture accurately in our minds. For me, those beautiful memories include my wedding and the births of my three children. I often think about these spectacular moments, especially if I’m having a rough day.

Another memory that sticks out in my mind is the day my husband, Arman, was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD).

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We were at the neurologist’s office, and I remember the doctor asking Arman to draw a circle on a pad of paper. I can’t recall many other moments of that appointment, but that circle on the paper seemed to be an essential piece of the puzzle. The neurologist soon confirmed that Arman’s symptoms were consistent with Parkinson’s.

This memory, as you might guess, does not take my breath away with happiness and joy, as the others do. Instead, thoughts of that day fill my mind and entire body with feelings of dread, doom, anxiety, fear, confusion, sadness, and anger.

As I’m a Type A person who always has a detailed plan, the diagnosis immediately derailed my visions of our future. But more importantly, my mind began racing, thinking of how this disease would affect our young children and their own futures. And then there was the disease itself: How would PD wrap its nasty arms around my husband, and how fast would this disease progress?

So many questions and so few answers.

I had to pause, stop letting my emotions get the best of me, and get back to the basics. I gave myself a virtual slap across the face. (Does anyone remember that in the movie “Airplane!”?)

I’ve always been a positive person and have strived to instill that quality in my children, leading by example. It was essential that I maintain this attitude for my own well-being and for my kids and Arman. In those memories from my wedding, I promised to take care of my husband in both good times and bad, and he promised to do the same for me. Not only were we in love, but we had a solid partnership in our marriage. We had successfully overcome many obstacles in our young lives together, and we would get through this.

We pledged not to let this disease break us; we would handle it together, one step at a time. One day at a time. One pill at a time. One symptom at a time. One surgery at a time. One fall at a time. One smile and one laugh at a time.

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


Richard Hunter avatar

Richard Hunter

I Thad a column published last Sunday by our Mail Tribune. It touched this very topic… my sfeelings and emotions of the day I was diagnosed with PD. You may find it interesting…here is the link;

'Shaky guy in the mirror' embraces diagnosis, destiny

(Via Mail Tribune)



A beautiful article, just a great tribute to you and your family.

Mike avatar


When I look at my life, marriage to a wonderful woman has to be my most significant day. We have had loads of wonderful experiences over the last 30 years. Lots of travel, retirement, a new home and good family time. We have also have had difficult times. Our diagnosis with Parkinson’s is something we have shared since 10/20. In August of last year I contracted Corona Virus.
You know what they say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. God has not left us. He will not leave. Blessings, Mike


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