Parkinson's Fighters: Sylvie & Jos

“When I was 45, I had problems with one of my shoulders and felt that something was wrong with my body. I almost could not get out of bed and stumbled often. Everything felt as slow and cumbersome as in a trance. At first, nobody thought that it could be Parkinson's disease. When I once saw myself on a video from my vacation, I was shocked. I thought my husband put it in "slow motion" - but that was really me! Only a few months later, a neurologist made the right diagnosis. After that, I had to change course. I was relieved that I finally knew what I had. But after I had researched on Internet to learn more about the disease, I was already worried about what was going on. As a mother, I had always taken care of the daily routine and was a perfectionist most of the time! All of a sudden, it was no longer like that. Household tasks were done differently by my family than how I was doing them. Since then, I had to learn how to maintain my composure. The most disturbing thing, however, was that my closest confidants had talked to each other about me and the illness - but not with me. I've always tried to discuss with them, but they did not want to hear about it. They said I had only one topic: the disease. It was their way of dealing with it. But for me, it felt as if Parkinson always entered the room with me and people did not see me anymore. However, I was still myself and wanted to be perceived that way and make my own decisions.

My marriage did not survive Parkinson’s disease. I've been looking for new creative tasks and hobbies: I've written poems and a book, and started painting. This way I can process my emotions! From the 10th of August, I will be showing my paintings together with other patients in the Rehazenter in Luxembourg - I am proud of that. Painting helps me deal with sadness, but also to capture beautiful feelings. For a while now, I have been with a new partner who also has Parkinson's. I understand him better and vice versa. We know how to help each other. Of course, sometimes questions arise as to what will happen if we are both in need of care at the same time. But I do not want to worry about that now, there will be a solution. We take life step by step!”