My Parkinsons

I say my Parkinsons because this is my experience of it. I`m hoping my story may help someone in a similar situation.

First the good news about Parkisons

Medication is available. The aim is to reduce the effect of the symptoms. There is no cure.

I took the prescribed medication and was receiving relief from the symptoms within 4 hours. It was wonderful!

How I found I had Parkinsons

I have been treated for many years for a heart problem. I responded well to medication and I continue to see a specialist.

I went to see him again after a break of several years.

When I was putting my shirt on he remarked on how slowly I was moving, comparing me then with what he remembered from previous visits.

After a short conversation in which he pointed out other things, he made it clear he thought I may have Parkinsons and should see a specialist.

Despite being pretty sure I knew what was coming, it was a shock when the specialist confirmed Parkinsons.

It had been bad enough going for the appointment - realising I was in the building where 'old people' go for treatment!

There were only a small number of people I needed to tell, but I felt pretty emotional each time I had to do it.

It`s much easier now.

My symptoms of Parkinsons

When Parkinsons became an issue I discovered I had a good many of the symptoms and had, for some time, associated them with other causes.

Stooping

My sister, who had not seen me for years, was shocked to see me stooping over (she didn`t tell me at the time that she was shocked)

I had noticed it gradually myself but just shrugged it off as something that happens as you get older.

I would find myself crouched low, stirring a cup of tea and wondering why I felt I needed to be so near it! This still happens.

Very small writing

I have always written in fairly small writing, always trying to get as much as possible in a small space.

Without my noticing it, my writing had got even smaller.

Slow movement

Slower movements in general. Like getting dressed or doing household duties. Picking things up, moving about or geting your money out.

I noticed this sort of thing but rationalised - I like doing things more slowly these days.

You may find other people a useful guide...
They easily get impatient with you, while you`re thinking why all the rush for something so unimportant!

Muscle stiffness and soreness

I found I had terrible pains in my shoulders and lost a lot of strength.

Some months before I had been exercising whilst holding small weights. Although I felt nothing at the time or for several months after, I put that down as the cause. Now I`m convinced it wasn`t.

Around the same time I developed a very stiff and sore neck. It became quite difficult to turn my head - been sleeping awkwardly!

I remember my thigh muscles feeling stiffer and tighter. I massaged them a bit and put that down to sitting down too much.

Awkwardness when walking

I became aware I was having some difficulty walking. Neither my arms nor my legs seemed to be doing the right things.

I`ve always been a fast walker so this was a bit of a surprise - but I had an explanation!

I had some orthotics which I was using sometimes and not others. That served to explain difficulties with my legs.

I told myself that all the work with the weights, which included running with them, had somehow affected me as I had noticed that I tended to keep my arms by my sides rather than swinging them.

Reduced ability to regulate body heat

This was a big one for me. For perhaps 10 or 15 years previously I had difficulty regulating my body heat, especially in bed.

I knew it was to do with heat but I put it more down to being 'fidgy' because of something I had eaten or the feel of the sheets.

In all that time I dealt with the problem by getting out of bed and lying on the floor. I even did this while we were visiting my sister - at Christmas... in England!

Shortly before diagnosis it was getting pretty bad. I`d go from bed to the floor, to the lounge, to the floor, not getting to sleep before 2 or 3 in the morning.

Looking back I now realise I felt as though I was burning up inside.

Difficulty swallowing

I had some difficulty swallowing. I didn`t know that. I explained my fits of coughing as having got something on my tonsils - easily done!

I`ve got Parkinsons

There is no test for Parkinsons. You see a specialist and they assess you. It`s pretty quick. He told me I`ve got it.

The specialist prescribed some medication with the aim of reducing the symtoms.

Within 4 hours of taking it I went to bed and had the first good sleep in ages!

My other symptoms, muscle pain, soreness and stiffness are greatly reduced - helped by remedial massage which I recommend.

My shoulders and neck were particularly bad. It felt as though my muscles had lost much of their flexibility and needed to be softened up.

By chance I chose to visit Chris Chin. He was really good.

If you suspect Parkinsons... go and see someone about it.

You may soon feel a lot better.