In June 2007 Northwestern University announced that Isradipine, a blood pressure drug - calcium channel blocker - looked as if it could stop the progression of PD. In another study patients taking it for their blood pressure had much lower rates of PD than expected . My new neurologist was dead set against me trying it, He said it would “be bad” for PD patients. It was a old drug already on the shelf, I just needed a prescription. I went to my GP and gave him the material I had downloaded about Isradipine. He said he had used it for years on his heart patients “that he didn't know if it would cure PD but he knew it wouldn't hurt anyone.” He wrote the prescription and I've been taking it over a year now.
Within two weeks after I started taking Isradipine (Dynacirc) my swallowing problem got much better, my voice improved a lot and I generally felt “better.” Also important was that I was able to stop Mirapex Now I am taking Azilect, CoQ10 and Dynacirc for my PD. Most of my progression has slowed and my PDRS (Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale) is a flat graph at about 15.
I started using a cane since using Dynacirc, but that's more attributable to my arthritis than PD. Using a cane made me even more noticeable but I needed the cane on that hard concrete floor at work.
Early in 2008 Home Depot decided to eliminate the Inventory Associate position world- wide. The four of us at the store where I worked were told suitable positions would be found for us. We each meet with the store HR person who told me that I was going to be a department head again. I felt good that they thought I could handle that again but worried about how I actually would perform.
I met with the HR again and she mentioned she was concerned about my “heath condition.” I told her that I had PD but that I thought I could function well as a floor associate, helping customers and answering their questions. She agreed and told me she would offer me a floor associates's job on a part-time basis. She needed to get my “demotion” (the step down from the department supervisor category) approved by the regional HR. I hoped it would happen before the store inventory, which was coming up soon. Inventory is stressful in a large store. It puts huge demands, physical and mental, on all department heads even the ones without PD.
A few weeks later the company announced it was also eliminating HRs in all but the biggest stores. That was the end of my attempt to step down from department head to floor associate, It was never mentioned again as the HR started spending most of her time looking for a new job although she did make time to find comparable jobs for the other three former IAs.
On the day of the store inventory I was fired for taking some mistaken shortcuts which another department head and I had made at his suggestion. He was allowed to correct his errors, I was fired on the spot for mine.