LISTEN: Gladstone dad fights killer disease with humour

THERE will come a time when Chris Roscoe will struggle to walk and move.

It's not something that usually plays on the mind of a 54-year-old and his family, but that's the reality for Mr Roscoe and his wife Wendy.

It's because in May last year he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's.

On face value they look like most Gladstone families, both juggling work, raising children and Chris spending his spare time playing golf.

Gladstone couple Wendy and Chris Roscoe are still coming to terms with his diagnosis of early onset parkinsons.
Gladstone couple Wendy and Chris Roscoe are still coming to terms with his diagnosis of early onset parkinsons.

He's yet to suffer from tremors or "the shakes", which people typically associate with the condition.

Put simply, Mrs Roscoe said, "it's a waiting game".

"He's really good at the moment but lots of the symptoms haven't developed and there's no way you can tell when they will be."

The symptoms Mr Roscoe has developed are an REM sleep syndrome, lack of energy, loss of smell, depression and slower movements.

Mrs Roscoe, a qualified nurse, said she always thought Parkinson's was mainly a movement disorder - but they quickly learned it was much more.

Mrs Roscoe explains what it's like as a carer:

 

 

"Parkinson's is not that well understood.

"I noticed Chris was fairly slow in getting in and out of the car, going through doorways.

"Being a nurse I had met one of our clients with Parkinson's had similar symptoms, that's when I questioned it with our doctor."

"One of the symptoms that Chris has is the REM sleep disorder.

"That can be quite tiring as a carer, because it can keep you awake at night," she said.

Some nights the syndrome will lead him to will yell out, punch and kick.

"It's not every night, but some nights are certainly worse than others."

The disease, which is typically diagnosed to people at least in their 60s, can take a toll on younger people.

Doctors can't tell the Roscoes if or when his symptoms will worsen.

Every six months they visit specialists in Brisbane for tests and appointments to find out how long they can keep the disease at bay.

"We do tend to joke along with it because it's still early days," she said.

"You carry on, you have to.

"We're very appreciative of the fact he's stabilised and he's still able to work."

Wendy Roscoe shared her story on The Observer's Facebook page recently when we asked who you would take on a romantic holiday to Port Douglas.

"There is only one person to take and that's my hubby. He as diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease last year at just 54, we may not get many opportunities to go away soon," she wrote.

The competition is still open, and if you would like to enter click here



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