My name is Julio Angulo. I am a person with Parkinson’s disease (PWP), a degenerative neurological condition. I was diagnosed in 2009. Two years earlier I had been found symptomatic for Essential Tremor.
I am a retired psychologist. During my working years I functioned in academic, clinical and forensic settings. I am originally from Chile, South America. I have resided in the U.S. throughout my adult years. My spouse and care partner is a social worker.
My story as a person with Parkinson’s resembles the narratives of many PWPs. I was shocked and disoriented by the diagnosis. I experienced heightened anxiety and disturbed moods. I lamented the deterioration of many of my physical abilities and its impact on the quality of my life. Inertia settled in. I distanced from others.
After a period of weeks, self-pity gave way to self-compassion, I stopped ruminating over what I had lost and focused on the abilities I still had left. I expanded my factual knowledge of PD. I considered the aspects of my life I could change and those I could not. Based on that inventory, I restructured my life goals and the purpose underlying them. I regained my focus and vitality. I began to move forward, in spite of PD . To my reckoning this disease, like an uninvited guest, was not going to move —at least for a while; but I could.
I am clear, however, that I did not break out of inertia alone. I had the unending support of family and friends. I was also aided by the competent interventions of my health team and the wise counsel of fellow PWPs. I am grateful
Significantly beneficial, too, was my embracing the PD community.
- I began to volunteer and engaged in PD advocacy. I joined support groups.
- I participated in a creativity project sponsored by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. One of my paintings ( I had never painted before) was featured in PDF’s 2014 Calendar. One of my ceramic pieces was selected for the 2015 calendar.
- I became a member of a Parkinson’s community board and assisted in fundraising efforts.
- I work closely with the Hispanic Outreach program of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center, in Arizona, and co-founded Vida Positiva, a PD newsletter published entirely in Spanish.
- I presented at conferences and symposia on psychological issues faced by PWP’s.
- I began to blog in Spanish for Vida Positiva and in English, for the Northwest Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of Seattle, Washington.
- I accepted an invitation by the Parkinson Disease Foundation in New York to join PPAC, Persons with Parkinson’s Advisory Council.
- Recently, I agreed to join the Patient Advisory Committee, Parkinson Center, Oregon Health Science Institute.
I was selected by the World PD Coalition to be one of their official bloggers for the 4th World Congress to take place in Portland, Oregon in September 2016. I will also be one of the speakers at this event.
This website, MovingForwardWithPD.com is an expansion of my advocacy work. On a monthly basis, my blogs and other entries, will bring to the reader’s attention important issues or interventions impacting the quality of life and ultimate wellbeing of both the English and Spanish segments of the PD community. One section of this website, consequently, will be offered in Spanish.
Since I straddle two cultures, two languages, and therefore two world views, and since I am a psychologist and a person living with PD, my blog posts will likely reflect a multi-layered perspective.