Welcome to Debbie Meggs Donation Page~A New Kind of Me
One of my best friends from childhood, Gayle Maloney, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 18 years ago. Throughout those years I have been amazed by the grace and strength with which she’s faced her diagnosis and fought back against it. She has been an inspiration, not only to me, but to everyone she knows. When she began participating in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk years back, my husband and I would donate every year, holding her and her family in prayer as they raised awareness of the disease and funds for research. Each year, another best friend of ours and I would talk about trying to go with Team Nashville to New York for the event, but until 2016 we never could make it happen. Then, this past year, Julie made up her mind. We booked flights and hotel reservations and in April we joined Gayle and David. It was a wonderful experience seeing a community of people gathered together to raise money and awareness for a disease that had affected our very dear friend. God’s timing.
Over the past year and a half I began to realize that I didn’t feel quite “right.” Each morning as I got ready to leave the house I would grow increasingly frustrated because of the time and effort it took to put on my makeup. If you know me well, you know I wasn’t leaving the house without my makeup on. Eventually, I made an appointment with my general practitioner to discuss how I’d been feeling. He explained the tremors were likely a normal side effect of growing older, but again, I knew I didn’t feel quite right.Then in September, after the loss of a dear friend, I noticed the tremors were getting worse. When visiting my gynecologist, I mentioned the tremors and she suggested I visit a neurologist to make sure everything was okay. I was told by her office that they wouldn’t be able to fit me in with the neurologist for four to six months but a friend suggested I try calling myself. I did, and they were able to fit me in the following week. God’s timing.
The morning of my appointment, I was first seen by a third-year resident who asked many questions about my symptoms and completed a few small tests. I began to feel like I shouldn’t be there and I looked at the resident and said “I just might be a little bit crazy.” He looked back at me and said, “No ma’am, trust me, you’re not crazy. I just got off of my rotation on the psych ward.” One of the questions he asked was about my hand writing and whether it was getting smaller or harder to read. It was in that moment that it clicked, there was something bigger going on than I had imagined. Not too much later, the neurologist came in. Again, he asked more questions and had me perform a few small tests, one of which was a walk down the hallway and back. As I walked down the hall I was thinking to myself “I just rocked that walking thing” but when I got back to the neurologist, he asked if I had noticed that my left arm wasn’t swinging as I walked. I just looked at him and said, “What? What do you mean my arm isn’t swinging?!” He simply looked at me and said, “You have Parkinson’s Disease.”
After he uttered those words, everything was a blur. He talked about having a brain scan done or taking medication, saying that if the medication worked my tremors would lessen and we could be certain about the diagnosis. I left the office, my head spinning with worries about telling the people I love most.
It’s been a little over a month since that day and the medication seems to be working, for that I am thankful. A sense of peace has followed me throughout this process so far. Peace from knowing why I wasn’t feeling quite right, and peace in knowing that I am surrounded by a wonderful community of family, dear friends and a supportive church family. I find comfort in the knowledge that God is in control and wherever we go from here, He holds this part of my story in His hands. 2016 was a difficult year. With the loss of my second mother and our beloved family friend, Aunt Shirley in April and then the loss of our dear friend Steve Krumins in September, this diagnosis came during a difficult year of loss. As 2016 draws to a close and we look forward to 2017 and the new chapter it will bring, I am finding comfort in the knowledge that God holds this part of the story in His hands.
As we prepare for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk this year, it has added meaning for me. I look forward to returning to New York in April and walking alongside Gayle, this time with new understanding and motivation. I ask that you would consider joining Team Nashville in raising funds and awareness for this disease that not only affects the life of one of my dearest friends, but mine as well. Thank you in advance for your support and prayers, I am grateful beyond words.
Love and hugs to you all,
Who I'm walking for: Over 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson's. 60,000 people are newly diagnosed every year – one person, every nine minutes. Walking and raising funds and awareness for research is my chance to help.
Why I'm supporting the Parkinson's Unity Walk: 100% of donations go to research. The Parkinson's Unity Walk is the largest grassroots event in the U.S., raising funds and awareness for research.
Ways to support my fundraising efforts: There's strength in numbers so please join me. Donate, register to walk, and fundraise.
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