#Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's

So today I want to share with you a serious topic that is very personal to me. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) has affected me and my family for a long time now. My father was diagnosed about 12 years ago with this disease. He was only 40 years old at the time. Everyone is always surprised at the age that he was diagnosed.

For a long time my father would down play his diagnosis and make me feel as though he could be cured eventually. But that is definitely not the case, if you did not already know, there is no cure for this horrible chronic disease. I was only a teenager when my father was diagnosed so I believed anything he told me. I had always been a daddy’s girl. Also my father didn’t have the “traditional” symptoms of PD. I thought that all persons effected by PD had tremors. My father did not and still doesn’t. So I never really looked into the disease or asked about what his doctor’s were telling him. He would go to his appointments, get his medications and then just tell me whatever he wanted me to know.

I truly regret not asking more questions and getting more involved with my fathers health early on. But now that I am informed and have gone to doctors visits with him and now I feel a lot better being in the loop.  My advice to anyone that has a parent or relative that is living with PD is, Get INVOLVED. They need an advocate. They need to be kept positive that there will be a cure.

What I feel people don’t know is that Parkinson’s looks different for everyone. Not everyone that has this disease is like Michael J. Fox or Mohammed Ali. My father actually doesn’t have any tremors. So if you saw him you wouldn’t know what he has. But my father is a strong man and a very strong Christian. I know that this disease will not overcome him, he will overcome this disease. This disease does NOT define him.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

-PD is a progressive and chronic movement disorder.

** Nearly 1 million people in the US are living with PD. Estimated 10 million worldwide.

What causes Parkinson’s?

-The cause is still unknown.

To find more information about Parkinson’s Disease and how you can get involved on helping to find a cure, you can visit these websites:

  1. www.pdf.org – this site has great resources for those affected by PD, has helped me so much.
  2. www.parkinson.org
  3. www.apdaparkinson.org
  4. www.michaeljfox.org
  5. www.unitywalk.org – I am personally apart of this charity. ‘Team Hernandez’ is the name of my team if you would like to join us in this walk for Parkinson’s awareness. Below I have attached a link where you can donate.

#NursingSchoolJourney

I started my journey to nursing school when I was 21 years old. I had just had my second child and I knew I needed to continue my education. Not only for myself but to give my children a good life and be a good example to them.

At the time I started college I was living in South Carolina (I was born and raised in New York). I decided to move there because living in New York at the time was too expensive for me and I wanted to live comfortably. Thanks to my amazing mother that helped me with the move, I was ready to start school. I decided to attend a local technical college. It was the least expensive choice and they had a good track record.

Before I even started my first class I researched every class I needed to take and planned out  my whole college career. I knew what type of nurse I wanted to be and everything I needed to do to get there. But as we all know too well , “while we make plans, God laughs”. My very thought out plan did not go as planned.

When I started school I needed to take a lot of pre-requisites and that was totally OK with me. Unfortunately I am not a gifted mathematician, so I had to take some extra math classes. My goal was to take all the pre-req courses I needed to complete my BSN at a university. The competition to get into the nursing programs in all the colleges that were near me were SUPER competitive. Everyone had a 4.0 and a degree already (talk about pressure). That was not me unfortunately, I was a stay at home mom with a new born and a toddler. Getting time to study was hard for me but some how I passed all of my classes. I was in the middle of the semester of my second year of pre reqs and bomb went off in my life. I had to leave school and move back home to NYC.

I was so disappointed that my life plan was just shredded to pieces but I needed to keep it together for my boys. At this point in my life, I had to put my school dreams aside for a little while so that I could provide for my family. I had planned to get into a school in New York as soon as I arrived but again “We plan and God laughs”. That didn’t happen. My short break from school turned into three years away from school.

The reason why it took me so long to get back to school was that I just got comfortable making money. But after so long doing something that I didn’t love, it really started taking a toll on me. So after so long of not being in a classroom, I registered for classes at a community college near me. I transferred some of my credits  but only a few transferred to my new school. This was very upsetting to say the least but I just needed to keep moving towards my goal.

After two semesters in school in New York I was accepted into the LPN program. I was ECSTATIC when I got the news of my acceptance. What I have worked on for so long was finally coming into action. The semester was very grueling. So much to learn in such little time. I worked my butt off and I even left my job to focus on studying. I really was giving this nursing program my ALL.

clinicals
clinicals

Then life threw another curve ball at me. I got severely sick in the second month of school. I was in the emergency room twice and then admitted for 3 days. The worst part of it was that the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me! On top of not knowing what was wrong with me, I needed to be on my ‘A” game at school and I felt like I was dying. I still made it to class to take exams so that I wouldn’t receive a 0 for not taking the exams. I got the class notes from my amazing classmates that stood by me while my health was failing me. Finally I started to feel better and I was back at it, giving my nursing program all I had.

After all that hard work and after studying every spare minute I had, I didn’t make it to the second semester of my program. I was devastated to say the least. I did make the score I needed in one of the classes. The way the program works is if you receive less then a C+ in any class you fail out of the whole program (HARSH).

I am sharing my story to let you all know that no matter what life throws at you, you just need to keep moving forward. No matter what happens to me and how ever many curve balls life wants to throw at me, I will keep moving towards my goals. So I am going to start a new program this Fall 2016. I will not give up!

#FUTURENURSE #NURSINGSCHOOLJOURNEY