Parkinson’s Disease Patient and Physician
“For me it began at 27 years of age, a slight tremor in my right pinky finger, just as I was completing my residency in family practice and starting my career as a physician. At first I was more medically intrigued with experiencing a symptom that I had heard so many patients describe.
But then my concern grew as the tremor went from sporadic to continuous and that’s when I began to experience medicine from the patient’s perspective. The frustration at the lack of control I had over my own body, the desperation I felt when told of the diagnosis of Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease and the fear of the future. And through it all, relentlessly, the tremor progressed.
The effects transcended into my work, my social and family life. It made itself known from the moment I awoke until I fell asleep at night. All during aperiod of time that I felt I should have been in the prime of my life. A decade into my journey I began to realize that although I had no control over my diagnosis, I did have control over how I faced this challenge. This acceptance allowed me to move forward.”
Soania Mathur is an accomplished family physician who had to resign her practice as a result of her Parkinson’s disease. Now she is a dedicated speaker, educator and Parkinson’s advocate. She speaks passionately about the challenges of adjusting physically and emotionally and the coping strategies available to patients, both through medical and lifestyle tactics to manage the changes.
Soania is an active speaker with the Parkinson’s Society of Canada at patient-directed conferences and also serves as a resource for education projects. She works with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and serves on their Patient Council. She is an advisor for The Brian Grant Foundation and is helping them in the development of a comprehensive website, a resource for newly diagnosed patients, caregivers and family members including children. She is also writing a series of children’s books to educate the youngest affected by this chronic disease and to open dialogue between children and their loved ones. The books are being illustrated by Emmy-Award winning animator James Tim Walker.
What people have been saying about Soania:
- She talked from a personal perspective. Since she’s a doctor, it carried a lot of weight.
- Her honesty and use of everyday terms are an inspiration for all PD sufferers.
- Its a personal presentation with professional expertise.
- Toronto Star (June 13, 2012)
Follow Soania @SoaniaMathur
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