My Journey

Welcome to my page. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease 4 1/2 years ago (just before my 33 birthday). This past year, a group of my friends, family, and I ran in an endurance run to raise funds towards awareness and finding a cure for this neurological disorder. This year, we would love to organize a race soley for this purpose. I will share my story as I try to run, and give you details on how our racing plans are going. Thanks for sharing my journey with me:o)

Friday, October 5, 2012

At Last...

I haven't postede in awhile, haven't done much running. Stiffness got the best of me even with meds I went back on. Turns out it was the program settings. Now I am almost stiffness free and med free again...YAY!

So yesterday I went for my first run with new settings...much better! I am in serious need of muscle strengthening, but fact is I CAN RUN! The hurdle now is getting the BIGGER me motivated to get out there. It's gonna be a long road - but I'm always up for a challenge.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Whole Story

I realize that in three minutes it is impossible to put all the details of an 8 week journey. So I feel the need to elaborate. I have been getting alot of feedback from people about my bravery and the awesomeness of the whole thing, and while I really appreciate that, I feel it necessary to tell who the real brave heroes are.

They are my husband who never failed to make me feel like my decision to go through with this was the right one. He was by my side the whole time, praying with me, giving his loving support and being the best husband and father he could be. When he was all we had, he was all we needed.

My pastor and his wife, my friend, Karen. Who dropped everything to come be by our side the morning of my surgery - 5 am - and did I mention it was Karen's birthday?!

My mommy who came down to be with me and Matt to be there for us and help us through the scary parts. And My step-father for taking time off of work to stay with our 4 children so he could be a comfort to them and also a comfort to us knowing they were in good hands.

My great friends who brought the most thoughtful gifts. I love all of you.

The women in our church who came to sit with me when I got home so I could rest and not worry about anything. They loved our children when we needed them to, came to be a fill-in when I was in rehab for 8 days and provided our family with dinner and/or lunch for 2 weeks straight.

My friend Brenda who wouldn't think of letting me sit lonely in a hospital bed in Pittsburgh for 8 days by myself, so she came and stayed with me. And her husband Greg for being gracious enough to lend me his wife for one of the most trying times of my life.

My dad and Ann for taking the time out of their day to come to Pittsburgh to visit and bring me lunch and magazines.

The great friends I met in rehab who played the part of my physical therapy who always had such great words of encouragement.

The wonderful people who sent cards and gifts through the mail and the literally hundreds of people who prayed for me and my family

Our wonderful awesome cousin Cheryl and her family who graciously opened her home to us and allowed us to drag our NBC crew into her home for our interviews. Never once making us feel like we were imposing on them. And her daughter and son in law, Jerica and Kevin, for coming and running in the race with us.

My sister in law who helped me get my house in order so I would not have to worry about cleaning after my surgery. And Matt for keeping up with  it!

And anyone else I may have missed, your thoughtfulness was not unnoticed. Thank you all for your kindness.

I always say that I get my strength through Christ. My motto has always been I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And in this particular case the strength  he gave me was through the dozens of angels I mentioned above that he brought into my life. I am so thankful for all of you. I say it now and forever more GOD IS GREAT!

Monday, August 20, 2012

NBC Finally!

Well, tonight was the big night. Our story aired on NBC Nightly News. They did a great job getting our story out. I am truly blessed and I know that with God in controll all things are possible!

Here is a link:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Well, it's been awhile. Thought I would give an update. Matt and I did run the race in North Carolina with our cousins/friends Jerica and Kevin. We had lots of fun doing it and yes I even finished. Time was NOT what I would call good, but, i finished and that really is all that matters.

We then had our vacation in Myrtle Beach where I officially turned 40. I woke up at 5:30 am. strapped on my running shoes and ran on the ocean just like I had dreamed of doing. It was a miraculous experience!

Everything has been great. I did however go back on meds for stiffness. I realized that if I wanted to live normally, hang around the house and chill with the kids, no meds works just fine. But with my stubborness to not give up running races and training, and being on the go chasing 4 kids, I was unable to accomplish what I need to so we are on Amantadine. It seems to be helping with stiffness and balance issues. I was alittle bummed that I needed to go back on something, but I am not looking at this as a failed mission. I am sooo much better off than I was, this is just helping me be even better!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Working hard

Saturday will be here bfore we know it. I've been working really hard to get myself in shape for the race. Running 3 mi, doing ewgobs of stairs, and today hill workout. I m sure this isn't gonna the easiest race I've ever ran. But it will be probably the most worked for in turn the best race ever ran by me. It will be a milestone that I will never forget. And I am so happy I get to share this experience with my awesome family <3.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

10 more days... there are 10 more days until the big day. The day I run a 5k in North Carolina. The day NBC comes and watches me run this 5k for their finish to my story. The day I prove....i don't know what I will prove - lol. All I know is since last wednesdsay I have only been able to accomplish 2 mi in a single run, with lots of walking involved. In fact, yesterday I RAN 1 mi then walked. Not really getting closer to my goal with this.

But today - today is the turning point in my training. The moment where the light switched on in my dopamine producing head and it occurred to me that I needed to step it up. So this is the day I RAN - no walking- 3mi! I felt great. My legs didn't fall off. I didn't collapse in a ditch. I didn't wander off into the weeds never to find my way back home because the birds ate my bread crumbs...none of these things happened. I proved to myself I can do it. It is definitely a mind over matter issue and today I realized I DO MIND, and IT DOES MATTER!

I even waved at a group of motorcyclist on my run. They of course must have thought I was insane because they didn't ackowledge my wave. I understand though. They didn't realize that like them, I was enjoying my freedom. My chains are gone. The Lord has set me free. PD no longer restrains me!

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 mi run...July 2, 2012

Ok, so...I have 12 more days till the race and today was my first no walk 2 mi run...YAY!! It is definitely alot of mental challenge as much as physical! I had to keep cheeriing myself on...come on angie, you can do it - lol

Funny thing....I had a dream the other day that I ran a 3mi run in 22:52 - wishful thinking right?! Well today, I ran my 2 mi run in .... u guessed it - 22:52! pretty creepy, huh. But I will tell u this, as slow as that time is, I found myself feeling just as triumphant as I did in my dream running 3 mi in that time.

Small accomplishment, but huge mile stone! So grateful God has given me the opportunity to find myself and enjoy these small things in my life all over again! It's not too often we get a second chance!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Let the running begin!!

Today I finished my first week of running...well, first half week! It was not an easy task. This getting back into shape is not as easy as you'd think! I'm a little surprised, because b4 surgery i could run 3 mi no problem - of course that was with xtra meds to prevent foot cramping not to mention i was incapable of running any faster than 11 min per mile. But now I cant even finish a 2 mi run with out walking...breathing is not fun. meds and no cramping. And I am able to move both arms and am capable of going much faster than 11 min miles (which is prob why i need to walk around mi

I have 14 days to get used to this new body, lose 10 lbs and finish a 3 mi run. Wonbo Woo may be coming to witness us run a 5k on our vacation and I want to be able to finish. Soooo, the challenge is ON! Wish me luck!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Off all parky meds!!

Well, it has been 4 days since I took my last parky med. And I am doing great! I went to the neuro yesterday and got an adjustment, and it took care of the stiffness and tremor...Funny thing. 2 weeks ago the dr in rehab told me that I probably wouldn't be off all of my meds, but she could certainly get me off of the one causing me so much grief. I looked right at her and said 'you don't know me very well...I will be off all meds very soon'...hehe - never underestimate a parky on a mission!! God is Awesome!

Monday, May 28, 2012

My first week home after 'power up'

Well, I have been home for 1 week and it has been amazing! It feels so great to be able to move at will and to sit still at will! I am so very grateful! I am sleeping through the night, so I no longer am so tired I can't keep my eyes open during the day! I can get my housework done in a few hours as opposed to the ALL DAY  it took be4...I'd take meds, wait for sickness and tiredness tp subside, then I'd clean alittle, take more meds and start the routine again - 4x a day. Now, I wake up, clean the house, done by 9. And on Friday I was able to sit outside while the kids swam in their pool,while I read a book... I cannot remember the last time I did that! Life is great - I got a second chance and I think I will cherish all of the things I can do now that I haven't been able to do these past 7 yrsl                                                                      ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 2 The tweaking process

ok, so yesterday I was programmed, and I still had a pretty good tremor, and a twitchy right leg. To be expected. Can't be perfect right off the bat.

So, today was a pretty decent day. Despite my homesickness and my many tears shed today, I am able to look at this day as a milestone for my rehabilitation. This morning, I played the wii for occupational therapy - fun fun! And now that I am not so stiff, waaaaaaaay more enjoyable! of course, I couldn't beat Gregs high score in bowling....don't know who the heck Greg is, but his high score is going down! Gotta leave my mark, and next time, I will be Angela and not Brittany! lol

My physical therapy was fun. We went outside today and stepped up and down on park benches. Then a group of small children with 2 caregivers came to our area and ate chips and ran in fun to watch - I really really miss being mom. Then Mike, one of my PT's ran with me acrossed the street. Not too far, but so good to be mobile. Then I rode bike for 10 min,

After that, I came up to my room and was tweaked! My tremor - gone. My right leg, less jittery, and I'm not so sure it is jerking cuz of habit or the parkyness...hard to tell. But at any rate I am alot more calm when I sit. And I never did get stiff today and I am off requip. Feeling really good cuz I am not tired, or nauseous...both big time bonuses!

My afternoon PT was great. I walked on treadmill 2.5 mph for 15 minutes without cramping! YIPPEE! Then we did some tricky yoga typ superstar times at the pt gym...

 Bethany making sure it is safe....

 mike showing off the running man

 and there I am, doing the SUPERSTAR all I need is my cape!!

Can't wait to get home to my family and put all of my new found mobility to good use!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 1 of programming

Well, it is finally here. I spent a couple hours this morning being programmed. I feel pretty good. I can definitely type alot faster and easier, which is the awesomest! I am not stiff and my tremors are minimal. My right leg is still alittle jittery, but who cares! They are taking me off requip and adjusting from there. I did get my foot dystonia after 13 minutes on treadmill, but I had absolutely no meds in me, just turned on the stimulator. So, i'm hoping that with a few more tweaks, that will disappear.

I am having fun in physical therapy. It is only a half hour or so, but i get to pretend that I am an athlete again....such a great feeling. I cannot wait until I am able to run again. If this all works out the way I hope....Runner's world, here i come!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PT Superstar! was a good day. I am feeling less like the wounded zombie woman and more like that girl that has to be the BEST at everything! I woke up this morning and went to Occupational therapy, then speech therapy (which I passed with FLYING COLORS), then to Physical therapy. One of my therapists is actually from ERIE! go figure!

So, after PT, I came back to my room, visited with my great friends Greg and Brenda, ate lunch and the yummy shake they brought me - can u say mooooooooo...- skyped with my awesome family, and took a nap. when  I woke up I got to talk to the person who will be programmimg me. She told me that I can still do my magnets! yippee....So Magnaracco incorporated - BACK ON!

So, anyways, I went back to PT, walked on treadmill for 15 min, did some walking evaluations, then the awesome SUPERSTAR big step yoga exercise. That was fun. and I didn't even fall - yay....So, all in all it's been a good day. Programming is tomorrow. Cross your fingers!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Today I had the second surgery for the DBS. I think this hurt worse than the first one! Stinks when you have an incision in just the right spot that moving your arms anywhere results in pain. But anyways, tomorrow I start my rehab, then wednesday I will get programmed. I seriously cannot wait. She is going to take me off of requip first. Thank goodness. I don't think I'll miss it - lol.

The worst part about this whole thing is I am 2 hours away from my kids and wonderful hubby for a week. I'm gonna miss all the activity and the noisiness that can only b found in a crazy happy house filled with 4 children.

Most of all I miss my love. He has been such a blessing. God truly blessed me and the kids when he gave us Matt. <3

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 2 after surgery

Well, today was an ok day. Didn't do much. Just sat around while other people took care of my kids - kind of a hard thing to do. I am getting lots of help and lots of visitors, and lots of food...whooo hoooo! It is kind of nice to just be able to sit and do nothing. I think tomorrow will be a less painful day. Looking forward to second surgery.

I am blessed

It has been 3 days since my surgery and I probably have become the most spoiled 39 year old in the world! All of the visitors, phone calls, cards, gifts, and FOOD! OH MY!! I am overwhelmed with the outpour of consern for me  and my family. Truly amazing. I cannot even begin to tell everyone how really and truly thankful we are...but I will spend the rest of my life trying!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The hardest part is over...or is it?!

Well, I am home from my dbs surgery. We were kindof celebrities through out the whole thing. I was contacted by NBC Nightly News and the wanted to do our story. Of course we said yes...who wouldn't want the opportunity to tell their story. So, Sunday the NBC crew  consisting of our camera man Jerod - awesome guy with awesome shoes! - and Wonbo Woo, an emmy award winning producer, and a very guy. came  to our house to follow us around. The morning was not so productive as I had everyone ready to go the church and fed before they got there...which usually doesn't happen! But then they came to church with us and that was fun! So many wonderful people at my church hugging and telling me they will pray for me touched my heart <3

From there we came back to the house and ate lunch, played outside and THEN...
 Head shaving time!

After this, we dropped all of the kids off, picked my mommy up then headed to Pittsburgh. Plenty of rest, up and at em at 3:30 in the am - hospital at 5, surgery at 7 - met camera crew then headed to our room...time to put the halo on!
 this they had to screwed to my head

this thing was super heavy! Ready set surgery!

I cannot begin to tell you how or why anyone would want to think up such a torturous procedure! Seriously, i'm thinking this is what they would use in a torture chamber...if it wasn't such a cruel and unusual punishment. But seriously, the benefits will be so much worth the craziness of it all. I am really looking forward to the end result.

When all was said and done, my awesome wonderful handsome hubby was smuggled into recovery to see me

 Best hubby ever!

We got a pent house suite in the hospital...well as penthouse as u can get! lol Had a last interview with nbc then a nice group picture with our new friends from NBC

All in all it was a great day! Now to rest and do nothing till next surgery. This doing nothing is definitely going to be harder than the surgery!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beginning of a new chapter

As everyone who knows me knows I was dx with Parkinson's disease almost 7 yrs ago at the young age off 33. In these past 7 years it has been full of many many blessings, and some down right sad, hard to take disappointments. I have gained many wonderful relationships with amazing people, a wonderful closeness with my Lord, and two more wonderfully made children. I have also realized what I've always known, God has blessed me with the most amazing husband.

In these past 7 years, I have watched many things leave my life, my job I loved and worked hard to achieve, my ability to run without cramping, can only play my violin for a short time before I can no longer hold it comfortably. My house is always in shambles, and my memory is spent.

On Monday, we are headed to Pittsburgh for a wonderful exciting adventure! I have been blessed with  the opportunity to have DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) Surgery. While this is not a 'cure' it is an opportunity to possible get ANGIE back, or close to it! I am excited and I know that my Lord and Savior is in control. Those who wait upon the Lord Shall renew their strength - they shall rise up with wings as eagles...they shall RUN and NOT BE WEARY....I am truly truly blessed!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pregnancy and pd

I found this blog I started during my first pregnancy after pd dx. Found it interesting. The blog is incomplete but some info is always better than none!