This is a pull quote
I was 68. My GP sent me to a neurologist. He said, "Walk over there to that corner," and I did. Then he said, "Walk back. Now, walk over again and walk back," which I did. He said, "You have Parkinson's."
That quick, and I asked, "How do you know?" He said, "You walked all the way over and all the way back two times and didn't move your arms. That's a sure sign of Parkinson's." I was 68.
I don't shake much - a little bit. My biggest problem is my gait and weakness. But it doesn't stop me.
When I feel weak, if I'm busy, if I have something I need to do, I work through it and keep going. I just have to do it slowly.
Sometimes I stand in the shower and start to turn around and can’t. I’ll look down at my feet and think, "Okay now, Jeannie, turn around." That's what they call frozen.
And I have Restless Leg Syndrome at night. That's worse than the Parkinson's as far as I'm concerned. When I get that I can't sleep.
I'm very active for my age. I'm 76 years old now and my mind is fine. I take ballroom dancing and line dancing at least three nights a week. I do it for exercise because I hate to go to gyms.
I've lived a very full life. I was a high school French teacher for 37 years and loved my work. And I've traveled a lot, in Europe and different places. I have a wonderful family. I had wonderful parents. We lived on a farm in southern Ohio.
And I help my son clean old houses up and paint and do all that kind of stuff. We've been cleaning some of the empty lots around here. They're pretty bad.
As I said I'm not giving into it. I'm going to keep up my activities and make sure that I exercise and live a full life. I’ve had a lot of good fortune.
I’ll just keep moving and keep a positive approach.