Editor's note: This corrects the caption on the photo of Allison Smith-Conway. The Foundation for Neurosciences Stroke and Recovery is not affiliated with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
NEWPORT BEACH — Total well-being requires a balance between body and mind, but Parkinson's patients undergoing surgery and treatment often struggle to find that harmony, a therapeutic fitness coach said this week.
"Every one of the doctors have a specialty and they're incredibly good at that specialty," said Allison Smith-Conway, executive director of movement disorders for the Foundation for Neurosciences Stroke and Recovery. "But, there needs to be follow-through. There's an emotional aspect of being diagnosed that needs to be addressed."
Smith-Conway, 33, was diagnosed with Parkinson's in March, but she had experienced rigidity and anxiety — symptoms of the degenerative disease which typically affects older age groups — for more than two years before her diagnosis.
"The way to have an ideal life is to find balance between medicine and surgery, and family and social life," Smith-Conway said. "Without all those things, your life is not in balance and [you're] not at your ideal health."