HE’D RARELY HEARD OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE WHEN HE WAS DIAGNOSED

Sure enough, I’m closer to 80 than 18, “getting old” as they say, but those homely excuses for not bothering with duties and chores that need doing didn’t explain my problems the past year.

I just figured not being able to pick up dropped car keys or pocket change without
getting down on all fours was the price you pay for hitting three-score-and-ten. But what is this business of having to grab the arms of my recliner chair and pull myself out far enough to just arise upright?

 

Struggling with my Symptoms

Getting up in the morning is also now work for a carnival contortionist. I used to
sit up in bed, put my feet on the floor and stand up. Now I roll over from my back onto
my belly and squirm out–face down–until my feet finally touch the floor, twist
sideways. then pull myself up by the headboard.

 I’m single and sleep alone. Thank God it’s not a king size bed!

You don’t want to hear about me losing my balance in the shower, missing a grab for
the safety bar and slowly falling out onto the floor, clutching the plastic curtain,which
pulled the curtain rods down on top of me. I landed on my back–all soaped up–and
wiggled around like an overturned turtle for 10 minutes, trying to reach something to
give me leverage to turn over and pull myself up.

Well, I guess you heard about it after all.

 

Parkinson's blog, Parkinson's symptoms, Parkinson's diagnosis

Source: MedicineWeekly

This has been my introduction to Parkinson’s

And the bizarre part is that I can’t remember the moment VA neurologist Dr. Alexis Seegan specifically  mentioned her diagnosis by name. All I know is it took her about five minutes to figure out what had been confounding me for two years.

      And I was still in denial, even after she administered a few simple tests.

The Neurological Examinination

First of all she examined my hands to see if they were trembling slightly and they were, but I’m always a bit nervous at the doctor’s office. Then she had me press them against my hips. Ha! Steady as a two-ton boulder.
“No shakes,” I crowed gladly.
Look at the hairs on the backs of your hands.” Dr. Seegan challenged.
The wispy little devils were dancing a regular conga line, even though the bones
of my fingers were rigid.

 

       I wanted to cry foul, but was beginning to feel beaten.

Next came the equally reasonable request to draw several concentric circles on a
sheet of paper. This is a hard test to cheat upon. Only the tester knows what the results
are supposed to be.
My signature started out all right, then the letters grew smaller.
The same pattern occurred with concentric circles, they grew smaller.

I was familiar with the next test, having performed it in a flashlight beam along
various roadsides over the years. You touch the toe of one shoe to the heel of your other
shoe, stepping off a few feet and striving for perfection.
“This is like a cop’s sobriety test,” I remarked.
“Exactly,” said Dr. Seegan.

parkinson's blog, parkinson's disease, parkinson's symptoms, parkinson's diagnosis

 

If you can’t walk a straight line or perform several other simple tasks, this is
an indication of a systemic impairment that needs to be addressed.
Not to be swayed from my Pollyanna policy that there must be some mistake that
could prevent a worst case scenario, I suggested all this evidence could be sheer
coincidence.

“Are you suggesting that we may have a set of anomalies here that mimic
Parkinson’s Disease symptoms, or are you saying everything points to the fact I do indeed have Parkinson’s Disease?”
“Yes!” she said, emphatically.

 

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