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What to do while waiting for a diagnosis


Waiting for your Parkinson’s diagnosis can be a stressful time. Between navigating a complex healthcare system, managing the anxiety that comes along with waiting for answers and keeping up with the responsibilities of your daily life, things can start to feel overwhelming.  

While you may not be able to eliminate the stress entirely, here are three things you can do to help you feel more in control while waiting for your diagnosis. 

Focus on your wellness

You might be feeling stressed and anxious during this time and focusing on maintaining your wellbeing is very important. This applies to both your physical and mental health. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a balanced diet. Meditation and relaxation may serve as good ways to lower your stress levels, and exercise may help with this as well. If you find yourself overly anxious and are having trouble controlling it, be sure to mention this to your healthcare provider.  

Stay organized

Navigating the healthcare system can be tricky. Staying organized will help to ensure that you get the most out of your valuable doctor appointments. Be sure to think carefully about what you want to ask your physician in advance by preparing a list of questions.  

Creating a resource file is something that can be very helpful. In this file you can track relevant things related to your health such as dates and time when specific symptoms occurred. You can also save everything you’ve learned and read related to what you’re experiencing. This level of detail might be helpful for your healthcare providers when making a diagnosis. Creating a wellness plan and saving it here is also a good idea! 

Lean on your support systems

Some people tend to become insular when dealing with health issues, and this is also true for individuals waiting for a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Move at your own pace and talk about things when you’re ready, but don’t feel like you need to keep everything bottled up or hesitate to share your struggles with loved ones. Even if you don’t want to discuss it, try to maintain your social habits, see your friends and don’t be afraid to lean on those who care about you. It is always ok to ask for help.

At their core, these tips aim to help you manage your wellbeing and maintain a positive outlook. You can’t control the outcome of your diagnosis, but that never means you’re powerless. If you’re having trouble coping, therapy can be an excellent resource to help you work through your feelings.