Name: Elaine Woods
Home: Cairns, Australia
Born: 1943
Parkinson's Status: Patient
Diagnosed 1998
Major Symptoms: Balance and tremor

Elaine and daughter Michelle
Elaine and daughter Michelle

Elaine wood is an artist, a mother, and a whole lot more. It seems as though that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to, including turning TV sets into fish tanks. She loves to stitch, and, until recently, was an enthusiastic gardener. Now 61, she has been coping with the effects of Parkinsonís Disease for six years.

She first began to realize that things werenít quite right when she fell a few too many times in the garden. She found that she was growing less steady on her feet, and she was stumbling more than she thought was normal for her. She also recalls having ongoing bouts with tennis elbow.

Now, as Parkinsonís Disease has been slowly running its course, she becomes exhausted frequently and has become increasingly anxious about going out. Eating out is a problem. Not only is it sometimes difficult to cut up and eat her food, it is difficult to negotiate in and out of restaurants, where tables and chairs are situated too close together. To combat the effects of the disease, she has been using meditation, raiki, and massage.

Another effect of Parkinsonís disease has been her weakening voice. She finds that people talk over her, or donít take the time to listen, or have her repeat what she says when they donít hear her. She finds this frustrating and would like people to be more patient when she is trying to communicate. She doesnít care how many times she has to repeat what she has said, the most important thing is that she is heard.

She encourages the public to learn more about the disease and to be patient.

ďThere a couple of basic things that I have trouble with or canít do with the speed with which I once did them, for instance opening up my change purse at the market,Ē she says.

Elaine also encourages others who have been diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease not to let it stop them. After being diagnosed with Parkinsonís, for example, Elaine and her daughter Michelle booked a trip to Singapore.

How the disease effects the family Michelle works with her mom. Hardest thing for Daughter is to watch the degeneration and mood swings Sister is petrified 3 sisters and brother

She is also looking for and using her creative mind to find tools to make her life easier. Talk about the various tools she is using. Foam pad to hold pencils and pens. Uses bigger handled tools, canít turn round handles. Hard to remove caps

Here new lifestyle is not as high-speed and energetic as it once was, but she is still able to spend a great deal of time stitching, one of her favorite hobbies. She has promised to create and stitch a piece for Parkinsonís Disease.