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[back] Parkinson's and me Susie Chandy - 2002

Family photo: Susie Chandy (seated and third from the left) and her four daughters, together with son-in-laws and grandchildren

I am writing this article because Dr Chew Nee Kong my physician and writer of the “Doctor’s Column” asked me to write a few words for BERITA PARKIE. I also wish to thank PERSATUAN PARKINSON MALAYSIA for giving me a Certificate of Appreciation in October 2001 for donating four wheel chairs and my book A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST to the Association.

I first found that I had Parkinson’s disease in 1993 when I went to visit my second daughter Becky in Madras. Her friend told her that there was something wrong with me as I was very slow in all my movements. I did not think that there was anything wrong with me and told them that I was tired as I had just come back from the UK. Nevertheless they told me to go for a check up as soon as I returned to Malaysia. My sister-in-law Datin Dr Rebecca George who was working at the University Hospital got me an appointment to see Professor C. T. Tan. As soon as he saw me he told me that I was suffering from Parkinson’s!

I was not bothered one bit with this news, as I did not know then what this disease could do to me. I got all the books on Parkinson’s that I could lay my hands on and soon I knew what could eventually happen to me. But still I did not think that I would suffer from all those things mentioned in the books, as the only thing I could not do then was to tie my shoelace and put on my socks. I did not think that was anything to worry about. I was like this until about five years ago when I began to freeze and found it quite difficult to walk freely. So I had to employ a maid to look after me and she used to go with me wherever I went. But I still could do most other things on my own like bathing, dressing, going to toilet, and cooking at home. I used to be very good with children AND I loved to teach. But in 1998 I had to give this up as I could not concentrate. However, I continued teaching the Sunday school until last year when I had to give this up as well.

Today I can hardly walk and I need the help of the maid to do anything at all, and my voice has become so soft that none can hear me. And so I hardly talk and this has made me so depressed. I loved to look after children, but now I can hardly talk to anyone as they can’t hear me. I know I will be bed ridden soon. I should have expected this from the rate I have been declining. But still I am praying that with God’s help I will be able to do some impossible thing so that I would laugh and be happy again!