It’s important to start out by saying that I am not a trained medical person. When it comes to your own health condition and circumstances, I highly encourage you to seek out and consult a trained movement disorder specialist you feel comfortable with, whom you respect- and who respects & listens to you.
When I first began to suspect I had Parkinson’s Disease, I found it very frustrating and discouraging that, while there is an enormous amount of information on Parkinson’s and PD medications available on the Internet, I was not quite sure how, or even if, any of it applied to me.
Two of the most important unanswered questions were: what did it actually feel like to take Parkinson’s medications and what effect would they have on me?
This site is based on my own personal experience, and that of others dealing with Parkinson’s Disease.
Here is my story-
I began to experience a very slight tremor in my right hand back in the Fall of 2005. At my annual checkup in early 2006, I mentioned this to my doctor. He had me hold my hand out with my eyes closed and noticed that the tremor continued. At the time he said it was probably nothing, possibly just essential tremor.
Two years later, by the fall and early winter of 2007, I was experiencing major symptoms. My mind worked much more slowly than it previously had. I later found that this mental slowness, known as bradyphrenia (literally, “slow thinking”) is a symptom of many neurological disorders. I found it very difficult to tie my shoelaces, button shirt cuffs & collars or tie a tie.
The tremor grew increasingly worse. It was no longer just in my right hand but extended up my entire arm, pretty much every waking moment. It got to the point that I considered getting some muscle relaxants to ease the muscles in my right arm, as it ached due to the constant tremor. This, despite the fact I had been opposed to taking medication for myself my entire adult life.
One other particularly noteworthy symptom was the severe exhaustion and fatigue I experienced on a daily basis. I would mentally and emotionally drag myself to the end of the day, totally, utterly exhausted.
In the evenings especially it would often be very, very difficult to find the right words to express my thoughts. It took a great deal of effort and time to ask questions and express my feelings. As one of my friends observed, I talked more slowly, thought more slowly and walked more slowly.
By the end of the day, I was often so exhausted I would say it felt like I had lived 1000 years in a single day.
I go to see a Movement Disorder specialist…..
Because of the buildup of these and other symptoms (which I later found were progressing at a rate faster than the standard or average), I made an appointment to see a movement disorder specialist in the Twin Cities area. Having done a great deal of research on Parkinson’s up to that point, I was pretty much convinced that I did have Parkinson’s disease.
However, I wanted to consult someone who had a special interest in Parkinson’s, who had seen it in hundreds, if not thousands of people and therefore knew how to quickly identify Parkinson’s.
As there currently is no blood test for PD, I knew it was important to see a neurologist with a good deal of experience in diagnosing and working with PD.
This way, they could determine whether I had Parkinson’s based on comparing me with their mental database of experience from hundreds of Parkinson’s patients. The story of my “official” diagnosis with Parkinson’s in February 2008 is posted on a later page.
For a period of six months after the diagnosis, I attempted to manage the symptoms with herbs and supplements only, and when those proved to be ineffective, I finally began taking a Parkinson’s specific medication in August of 2008. I started taking Carbidopa/Levodopa, the “gold” standard for treating Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s medications.net is a way to communicate what I have personally learned through my experience of having diagnosed myself with Parkinson’s and having that self diagnosis confirmed by a movement disorders specialist.
There are a number of excellent organizations that focus on Parkinson’s Disease and medications.
Parkinson’s Disease symptoms can be found at:
My personal favorite site, because it is the most “user friendly” in terms of the value of the material, is the Michael J. Fox organization on PD as a neurological disorder:
Another site you may enjoy is my site at “The Disabled Marketer.”, a site that shares tips for improving the quality of daily life for PWP & their Care Partners… and to make an extra income using the Internet