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"The Beginning"

by Peggy Willocks

Where does this story begin? It begins at the beginning - the very beginning. I don't believe in predestination in the sense that our every move is prearranged by a higher being. But I do believe that our Creator has an ultimate purpose or "plan" for each of His creations. Yes, we may procrastinate, stray, or even run from His plan; but His predestinated purpose WILL be accomplished.

This is a story about three ladies, each of whom had her own special way of dealing with a chronic illness. It just happened to be coincidental that all three were raised with the same religious background. They all three were somehow affiliated with careers in Education. All three were stricken at an early age with a chronic illness, and all three had first names beginning with "P," and all three had the middle name of Ann. Was it coincidental that they all three shared the same diagnosis - Parkinson's disease?

Pat, the eldest of the three, had been diagnosed the shortest time when the three "found" each other. Yet, Pat's disease progressed more rapidly and progressively, ultimately resulting in the designation as one of the *Parkinson's Plus diagnoses. Patricia was next in chronological age, but had been diagnosed nearly 11 years when the friendship was initiated. Peggy, the youngest by only a couple of years, was the last to be diagnosed, with rapid progression, and aggressive treatment. Each lady's family circumstances were very different, yet they found strength through their diversity. In fact, what would appear to be the weakest situation for survival by society's standards, turned out to be the strongest. Once this friendship was established, the bond was without a doubt not a coincidental happenstance. The threesome could be likened to "three peas in a pod," as the old adage goes. Each personality brought its unique touch to the relationship. This story is true - the only fantasy is the author's perspective as to how it must have been in the beginning . . . the very beginning.

*Parkinson's Plus: A diagnosis in this category of atypical Parkinson's is usually given when the same symptoms as that of Parkinson's (and often minus the tremor) are accelerated with no other explanation. Also, the Parkinson's Plus diagnosis is made when there is little or no response to Parkinson's disease (PD) medications. More sophisticated testing has been revealed recently through SPECT and PET imaging and metabolic studies. (Source: ) Because of the acceleration of symptoms, it is believed that neuronal cell death occurs much more rapidly than does with idiopathic PD. Below is the breakdown of disorders assigned to the designation of Parkinson's Plus:

(For more professional-related information, see: )

Other disorders often categorized under Parkinson's Plus are:

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift..That's why it's called the present!