"I'm all for being active" - Jagdeep's story

Jagdeep is 53 and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 2 years ago. Having always led an active lifestyle, he has quickly learnt how physical activity and exercise can help him manage his Parkinson’s.  

“The first consultant I saw asked me what I was worried about,” remembers Jadeep. “‘Well the obvious is Parkinson’s,’ I replied.”

Jagdeep first noticed a tremor in his right hand 2 years ago. To begin with, he put it down to just one of those things. Over time, it didn’t get worse, but when he held a cup of tea it would spill and he began to realise something wasn’t right.  

Jagdeep shared his concerns about Parkinson’s with the first consultant he saw. But after a DaTscan wasn’t clear, he was eventually referred to the National Neurology Hospital in London.

“Parkinson’s was still in my head, although I had been put at ease by the first consultant I saw,” says Jagdeep. He went along to the appointment by himself and was put through a series of physical tests.

Then Jagdeep explains: “The consultant sat me down and told me I had Parkinson’s. She asked if I knew anything about the condition and I had a million questions in my head.

“When I left the hospital, I sat down on a bench and cried. After that, I had to go back and tell everyone at home.” 

...if I can find something that can help ease what’s going on and carry on with life as normal, like exercise, I’m all for it.

'Being active is the best thing'

Before even discussing medication, Jagdeep’s consultant spoke to him about how physical activity can help manage Parkinson’s symptoms. This struck a particular chord with Jagdeep, who has always lived an active life. 

“Fitness is very important to me," explains Jagdeep. "When my brother and I were younger, we used to suffer from bronchitis and get attacks once or twice in a year. We couldn’t walk from A to B without getting out of breath.

"My brother would go running and told me to join him. Ever since I started running, I’ve not had any more problems with my breathing.  

“I have been exercising then since the age of 10. I have done marathons, bike rides, treks, and I have taught martial arts for over 30 years,” says Jagdeep. “I do wonder what would have happened to me if I wasn’t exercising.

“My consultant said being active is the best thing and even mentioned how beneficial boxing can be,” Jagdeep remembers. After doing some research, he started to think more broadly.

“I approached the local Parkinson’s UK group about running boxing sessions. I’m all for being active, especially if it brings a positive outcome. I’m happy I can pass on my experience and keep everyone active and socialising.” 

Jagdeep is skipping with a rope on a paved area. He is wearing black jogging bottoms with a light blue tshirt. His turban is blue.

Keeping faith

One of the things Jagdeep has had to come to terms with since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s is taking medication. 

“I went to a meeting shortly after I was diagnosed and one gentleman I spoke to told me he took 17 tablets a day. For someone like me, who has never taken any medication in his life until now, that was a bit of a shock to the system,” admits Jagdeep. 

“And even now, it’s the not knowing that is the hardest. How do I know the medication working? My tremor is milder, but it is still there. So if I can find something that can help ease what’s going on and carry on with life as normal, like exercise, I’m all for it.”   

As Jagdeep continues to do what he can to manage Parkinson’s and help others, his Sikh faith has helped him face up to the challenges. 

“I am quite a religious person. I was baptised Sikh. I believe in prayers and am a big believer that if God has put challenges in your way, you can tackle them. 

“But apart from my faith I am a strong person and have a strong family. I won’t let things get me down. I will always look for a way around things.”