The topic that I have chosen for my health buzz is called Parkinson’s disease. I chose Parkinson’s because my grandfather has been suffering from the disease for 2 years now, and it has affected our families in physical, mental, and emotional ways. Although my grandfather is the only one with the disease, the symptoms have hurt all the people in our family in different ways. From little things like his hand and fingers moving without him noticing, to his legs giving out and falling down. This is not only hard for him to feel, but hard for us to watch. We have been able to figure out that this disease also causes his sleep to disrupt, making the disease not only hurt him, but make him uncomfortable and tired. He also has trouble moving from place to place, and has stiffness and resistance in his muscles and limbs. Many people don’t notice the effects that this disease has on the victim, and the people around them. This issue is relevant to me because it doesn’t just affect me and my family, but it affects millions around the globe. This doesn’t affect teenagers directly, but may affect teens emotionally when they see loved ones suffer. Also, Parkinson’s disease is expensive, averaging 2,500$ a year for medication, and 100,000$ for therapeutic surgery per person. This may force teens to drop out of school to support their loved ones, or invest time in jobs to help pay for treatment.
First of all, what exactly is Parkinson’s disease? Well Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that mainly affects the motor system. These symptoms are caused by the death of brain cells in your midbrain. This disease has various effects on the way your body moves. These symptoms include, tremor, slowness of movement, stiffness, and postural instability. Tremor happens when your limbs are at rest, and only affects a single limb. It can make the victim’s fingers roll without them even noticing it. Slowness of movement, or hypokinesia, makes the sufferer’s initiation of movements slow and late. Stiffness is when there is continuous resistance and contraction of the muscles, affecting the whole body and not allowing the body to move. Postural instability happens in the later stages of PD, leading to frequent falls and impaired balance.
When I first heard of Parkinson’s, I thought that it was a minor disease that only had some effects, and could easily be cured. Now that I have witnessed what it is like to suffer from the disease, and what it can do to you, my thinking has completely changed. So many people are being affected by this, and their lives can change rapidly. The symptoms are so hard to bare with, and the emotional hurt can affect so many loved ones. I have learned that this issue is so much more devastating and life changing. I think that this can have a larger effect on the people around the sufferer, because it is emotionally hard to watch a loved one deteriorate.
My thinking in Wellness has been influenced because I know that you can’t always think that there is a cure. As of now, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s, which is really depressing for our family. But this has only pushed me to care and support my family even more. Just like in class, there is never always a definitive answer, and you have to push harder to get it. This disease is something that all of our family is doing our best to cure, and we are doing our best to make my Grandpa Dong feel better. This disease should not be taken lightly. It is important to help and care for the sufferer, in any way possible. So many people around the world are suffering from this, so we must be serious. You should always spend time with them whenever you can, because you never know when you’ll say goodbye.