Spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease


She was giving her +2 final examinations when Banita Khanal experienced difficulty making it unable for her to write. The condition worsened as this 19-year-old began facing difficulty balancing her body, putting on slippers, among others. People even said she was walking like a robot.

Though Khanal, 33 now, did not know it but these were the early signs of Parkinson’s Disease. She was not cognisant and furthermore she suffered from anxiety.

“It was difficult to move my body and I suffered tremors too. But I had no idea I had Parkinson’s Disease,” Khanal shared adding, “I also felt difficulty in facing the mass. I went for a check-up and was given medicines for anxiety.”

At the age of 24, she got married, and her condition became tough.

“I was a newly-wed and had to wear saris. It was all the more difficult to walk in a sari. I was a new daughter-in-law and I was introduced to many people, but when people came to meet me, I used to get nervous,” she added.

After much struggle and hardship, she went to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi for her treatment two years later.

“I could not walk properly,” she shared of the pain before going for the treatment adding, “I was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease at a very young age and I didn’t dare tell my in-laws. I felt like I was dying as it was difficult to cope.”

At AIIMS she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the young age of 26. “I cried when I was informed about the disease and told that there was no cure for it, and that it was progressive,” she revealed.

A Master’s in Business Studies, Khanal however gave up the idea of working in banks after her diagnosis. She has opted to work as a content writer for which “I use a laptop as it is difficult to write with a pen on paper”.

She uses the same “natural talent” of writing — picked up during her time as a new mother when her newborn child was taken away from her as she was suffering from pneumonia — to make people aware about the disease.

“I don’t know when a tremor will come on, and when it comes, I can’t help it. There are times when I can’t even walk a few steps. People keep on asking what is happening to me. This is what I really want to change. People should at least know that is Parkinson’s Disease,” she added.

As Khanal delved deep into the disease and saw how people are unaware of it, she felt, “I must do something to change the scenario”.

“People go to shamans for the treatment of the disease rather than seeking a medical help,” she pointed out. “Awareness about the disease is necessary as there are people who find it difficult to write. People should at least know what Parkinson’s Disease is, what the symptoms are, and how yoga and physical exercises help.”

With an aim to raise awareness about the Parkinson’s Disease and support fellow sufferers, she with a few other people have “planned to register an organisation Parkinson’s Support Nepal (PSN) in the beginning of the next fiscal year”.

She said, “People are unwilling to talk about the Parkinson’s Disease. They are hiding it. It’s time for us to come forward and speak about this disease so that we can raise awareness about the disease, help the caretakers and the patients.”