Kindly tell us a bit about yourself and your husband.
My name is Abiodun and my husband’s name is Abayomi, I am a Nurse. My husband worked for an Insurance company before its closure, and he became unemployed.
Kindly share his story with us briefly, from getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease to treating the ailment.
The symptoms started manifesting about 15 years ago when he presented with generalized pain, dragging of the left foot while walking, being unable to stand upright, and shuffling movement difficulties in getting out of the chair. Pain could not be relieved with analgesics, and that made him seek medical attention.
The first diagnosis was cervical and lumbar spondylosis by an orthopedic doctor in LUTH. He was using a cervical collar and lumbar corset as part of the therapy with physiotherapy for 2 years, all in LUTH. With all these, there was no improvement.
I talked about it with one of the neurosurgeons at my place of work, who wrote a referral letter to the neurologist who made the diagnosis in August 2010. He underwent a number of tests, and he started taking drugs to treat the symptoms.
Did you get the right diagnosis from the initial stage of diagnosis? How did you handle it and the information that it has no cure?
We handled the situation with a positive attitude. Though it was hard initially because of the cost of the medication, which was even fair financially at the time compared to the present situation, For several years now, the expenses of the medication have been supported by the Funmi Fashina Foundation through the Neurologist Doctors: Professor Okubadejo and Dr. Ojo.
Can you share some peculiar challenges you dealt with as a care partner, from providing care for your husband and being available physically, mentally, financially, and otherwise?
We have been tackling the illness courageously by overcoming the “why me?” syndrome. Physically, I try my best to be with him as often as necessary, having his medication available at all times, and attending healthcare visits. Mentally, I provide him with the support he needs, therapy, and dispelling some negative thoughts and emotions that can make him feel sad about his condition. Financially, we are supported by the Funmi Fashina Foundation, as mentioned above. I also make him feel happy; I keep his mind away from the illness by discussing other positive aspects of life.
How have you been managing treatment?
He takes his medication regularly, engages himself in daily exercise and continuous physiotherapy, and takes plenty of fruits to prevent constipation, as this can cause a lot of discomfort. Also, staying positive has been our way of managing the treatment.
How do you both stay motivated and maintain positivity despite the challenges posed by Parkinson’s disease?
Our determination to live happily and to overcome the challenges is our motivation.
What fun activities are you able to do despite the limitations that Parkinson’s Disease causes? Please share some happy moments.
We attend social and religious activities when necessary.
Do you have any advice that will be of help to Parkinson’s Disease patients or care partners? Please share them.
Patients should cultivate a positive attitude toward life, use their drugs regularly, exercise regularly, and engage in social activities. Their family members and loved ones should try to provide support where necessary like making their medication available constantly, protecting them from stigmatization and avoiding the discussion of negativity with or around them.