Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My HD Years Part II

The Neurologist did a lot of tests to rule out things like ALS (Amyoltrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs Disease), other parkinsonian diseases like Wilson's, PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsey), MSA (Multiple Systems Atrophy.) The diagnosis was that I had Parkinson's Disease.

I was already taking CoQ10 for Parkinson's from reading about it. The neurologist told me to continue taking 1200 mg per day, He said if I took too much at one time my body would just piss it away. I'm still taking 600 mgs twice a day 4 years later and if I miss a dose my body lets me know. It's difficult to describe how I know except that I simply don't feel “right” and symptoms begin to recur.

When my tremor started to get more noticeable at work, about a year after my diagnosis, I spoke to my doctor about additional treatment and was prescribed Amantadine 200 mg to take in addition to the CoQ10. As are many people with a PD diagnosis, I was concerned about job security. PD falls into a legally grey area which meant that I wanted to reduce my visible symptoms as much as possible.

Although I had decided not to tell people at work that I had PD, eventually some people recognized it. Some people had relatives or friends with it. So “they” knew and moved me to a job more suited to my condition, but we didn't talk The gave me an inventory control job where I wasn't as noticeable and had regular hours. I continued to stress about job security but the inventory associate job they gave me was perfect for me to continue hiding my PD and my somewhat diminished capabilities.

By now my PD was more obvious: my left arm was very stiff, I dragged my left foot, my speech was softer and sometimes I couldn't find the words I wanted to say. I started taking Mirapex and Selegiline. Selegiline did nothing for me, Mirapex was good; I wish that I could still take it but it caused compulsive behavior which made me want to watch porn on the Internet a lot and spend too much time thinking about women. It also gave me vivid dreams and very vivid hallucinations. The hallucinations were often so vivid that it could be difficult to distinguish between reality and the hallucinations. I worried what continuing to take Mirapex would do to my mental condition.

addendum: 4/02/11
There is a new Parkinson's study using Naltrexone to reduce impulse control disorders which developed as a side effect of taking dopamine agonists:
Naltrexone for Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's disease.

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