Thursday, June 4, 2009

Coping with Parkinson's Disease

So Far So-So and That's Not Bad for PD

I've been pretty lucky with Parkinsion's. I've been diagnosed for 6.5 years and I haven't been too disabled. Some motor symptoms. My left arm doesn't swing , my foot drags a little, my stride is shorter, voice is softer, slight swallowing problems once in a while, stiff neck and shoulders, only an occasional tremor on my right side - and moderate tremor on the left side.

A few months ago I had problems getting to sleep but I've overcome that. I have had good success with a eucalyptus blend room spray and the addition of a heated mattress pad...a favorite of Mongo's brother, Blakey who hops into bed as soon as I'm awake. The pad helps me with muscle stiffness.

What bothers me the most now is frequrnt urination causing me to wake in the night sometimes as ofter as 3-4 times. When I'm worried about bladder control during the day because I'm going to be out of the house at a meeting, I've found that a Saw Palmetto blend helps me for 2 to 3 hours. Although my doctor controls how much I can take which precludes taking it at night.

I don't like the way I look when I am walking around with my cane and shuffling gait, but I can still walk without a walker. Though I know that day could come at any time. Walker - Wheelchair. I'm not sure how much better my walk would be without arthritic knees...I like to think that it would be much improved. I have thee pre-arthritis videos that show just a foot drag but no pain.

I worry the most over how much my memory is deteriorating now and the occasional symptoms on the "good side" of my body. I think I've done as well as I have because the only meds I take are Azilect, DynaCircCR and CoQ10 and other supplements. I don't take any of the standard PD drugs.

When I lost my job a year ago I tried to keep myself busy and my mind occupied with exercise and writing this blog with my wife. But there is no question that I first went through a period of depression. I remember in the 60's when my father was employed in a large aircraft factory where he had worked for over 25 years and when General Motors closed it down, many of the workers died within the next few years, including my father.

I feel a little depressed like many other Parkinson's patients, just knowing that dementia, psychosis could be our possible futures but I'm trying to live as fully as I can with every day I have left.

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