Nicky Pywell - Diagnosed with Parkinson's at 29
35, is married with 4 children.
Since being diagnosed with Parkinson's at 29 she has had to give
up her work as a gardener.
Image right: Nicky at home with 3 of her children.
Photo courtesy of the Leicester Mercury
"I was working as a self taught and self-employed gardener which
I loved. It had taken me a while to find work that was meaningful,
and I enjoyed everything about it.
"This particular day I was using a hedge trimmer and I thought I
had just pulled a muscle. My left arm felt stiff.
"I went to a walk in clinic and they gave me anti-inflammatory
medicine, but it didn’t go away. Then my left arm began to shake,
and my left leg began to drag so much that it affected my
Too young to have Parkinson's?
None of the neurologists thought it could be Parkinson's because I was so young.
"Over the next 3 years I saw 3 or 4 different neurologists. None
of them thought it could be Parkinson's
because I was so young.
"I had stopped gardening by now, which was distressing, and I
was struggling to cope with 3 young children and not knowing what
was wrong. By this time I was taking anti-depressants.
"Then we moved to a different area. I got a job across the road
as an activities co-ordinator at a residential home, but was
finding it increasingly difficult to walk and hold things in my
hands. I was stooped and shuffling like an old person.
The right diagnosis and the right medication
"My new GP sent me to a different neurologist, at Leicester
General Hospital. They admitted me to the ward, and Parkinson’s was
"The medication they put me on worked
very quickly and I was able to walk out of hospital. I felt that
things were finally getting under control, with the help of my
"Giving up my gardening career was one of the hardest things for
me. Now, I’m taking each day as it comes. I’m keen to try some
stand up comedy and am currently writing a script."
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