My husband has been diagnosed at 40 yrs old with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia. It has been a very chanllenging disease because it has been a very aggressive disease at his age. He has undergone the DBS surgery to help give him some mobility back and treat the tremors on the left side but now he is experiencing mild tremors on the right side. After 11 months from surgery he is just now returning to work part time. He has slurred speech at times, loss of balance still at times, stiffness, memory loss, etc.
It has been very sad but so thankful at the same time that we (our 12 yrs old daughter and I) can be here to help him through out this process.
Wow, what an amazing outlook you maintain through such a difficult process. It's remarkable what the human body and spirit can endure to allow a person to continue on with the "normalcy" in his or her life.
There are many resources, including this site and the Parkinson's Society to assist you with understanding the disease as well as support for you and your daughter; if you need help locating any, please let us know. Make sure that the two of you take care of yourselves as well, it is easy to get so enthralled with caring for someone that you get to the point of exhaustion and no one benefits from that.
If there are any specific needs you have, please post and we will do our best to help you with them. If not, thank you for using this to help others that may be in similar circumstances. Sometimes just knowing you're not the only one dealing with this and having a place to express feelings you may not be able to in other places is just enough to help!
It is very scary being diagnosed with this disease at any age, but at 40!, what you are your family are going through is very tough. A very close family member of mine was diagnosed with Parkinson's this past year. Of course everyone's symptoms are different - he had the blank stare on his face, the shuffle in his walk and difficulty with his speech. The medication they put him on has worked wonders (Sinemet)! I of course am not saying whether anyone should or should not take this medication - only sharing what I have observed with my family member. Now here is the "kicker" about what we learned about this medication. Our family was going on a vacation and he had been taking this medication for a few weeks. The morning we were going to leave the medicine did not seem to be working. We called the Doctor and what we learned about the timing of taking the medication made all the difference in the world. Of course everyone should follow their doctors advice, but we were told that he should try to take the medicine on an empty stomach (I think 30 minutes - an hour) prior to eating. It worked! Timing and dosage on this medicine seem to be very important. I do not know the pharmacology on it, but I am sure a doctor or pharmacist could explain it. As far as the memory loss, (and you may have already done this), but always ask your doctor about any side effects that can be caused with all medications (combinations of medicines and how long someone can take them until possible long-term side-affects may be produced). A great resource is WebMD on the internet. Also, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation is good and they will send you print materials as well (www.pdf.org). I am reading Michael J. Fox's book, "Always Looking Up" and it does give some good perspective on a younger person's experience with this disease. It is a good read whether you believe his political views or not. Take care.
I admire you so much for your patience and compassion. it's very difficult to look after a loved one with serious illness, and it needs a lot of love on your part to look after him/her. im sure you will be truly blessed