Monica was involved in a balance study

Name: Monica Röhr Sjöqvist
Does: Retired.
Research participation: Participating in the balance study for Parkinson’s disease at ten weeks.

Monica Röhr Sjöqvist is participating in a study on balance training for people with Parkinson's disease. Photo: Lindsten & Nilsson

As told to Maja Lundbäck, first published in the magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap, no 2, 2017

“We are five women and two men who are involved in the research study about balance training. We all have Parkinson’s but with slightly different symptoms. We laugh and have a really great time together, in fact the therapists also have fun.

I’m in the study because I wanted to feel better, be stronger and not fall down as much. It‘s good that it’s the body that has to work. I got my diagnosis in 2010, but have probably had the disease since 2004. I’ve managed pretty well but I have poor balance, which means that I often feel restricted. But when I found out that the main exercises in the study would be done with balls I thought: Oops, how am I going to manage this? I’ve never been particularly good with balls but how wrong I was. What gave me most, besides the social contact, was in fact the balls. They allow me to dare to exceed limits that I had set for myself.

Over the seven weeks that the course has been going on I have felt increasingly stronger and more secure; it might be my imagination, but it’s as if I’m getting more and more control of my body. I feel like I’ve also got more energy. I’ve fixed all the wardrobes at home and have involved myself more in my husband’s dementia home. It’s a pity that the study isn’t continuing but I hope I can take part in another.”

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