My 15-year honeymoon with Parkinson’s disease ended unexpectedly when my new physical therapist, Mia, completed a three-hour evaluation and recommended I start using a walker. Her words hit me like a ton of bricks, as I was totally unprepared for this conversation. For me, moving to a walker signified the beginning of the end. It was my line in the sand, a turning point in my body’s assault on me, and my first significant loss.
Seeing tears welling up in my eyes, Mia quickly assured me that her suggestion was based not on worsening Parkinson’s symptoms, but on cascading orthopedic issues, including spinal stenosis and sciatic nerve pain, that pose the greatest threat to my long-term mobility and independence. Surely we can try something other than a walker to address my gait issues, I pleaded.
Mia said nothing more about it until after our moderately paced walk up and down the corridors…
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