|Photo provided by Debra, Guest Writer, taken at the beach near their home in Florida|
The symptoms of Parkinson's disease will vary from person to person. Early signs may be subtle and can go unnoticed. Symptoms typically begin on one side of the body and usually remain worse on that side even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. In my husband's case it started affecting the left side of his body. It began in his left hand and has now progressed to his left arm and leg. It has also affected his speech, voice, and the ability to swallow.
For many many years my husband refinished antique furniture. He had to work with some very strong chemicals. In researching PD I found that there is a very strong correlation between PD and farm workers who have been exposed to harsh chemicals and pesticides. This has made me wonder if there is also a cause and effect between the chemicals used in refinishing and PD. I can't begin to tell you how important it is to use caution when working with strong chemicals .
He has always been so active and it's been hard on him to know he has limitations that are beyond his control. Parkinson's has impacted his stamina as well as his ability to move easily. Parkinson's is a progressive disease and it will have a greater impact him as he ages. It has meant changes in the things he can do that we both once took for granted. But we are fortunate and we can work around these obstacles. Parkinson's is hard because there are physical inabilities, and mental ones as well.
There's no cure for Parkinson's disease, but medications can help control some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. My Husband takes a carbidopa/levodopa drug called Sinemet which has been his lifesaver. He has had to adjust the dosage over the years to keep it working in his system.
Living with any chronic illness can be difficult, and feelings of anger, depression, or simply feeling discouraged are normal. Parkinson's disease presents special problems because it can cause chemical changes in the brain that can make a person feel anxious or depressed. And Parkinson's disease can be profoundly frustrating, as walking, talking and even eating become more difficult and time-consuming.
You can visit Debra's delightful, beautiful kitties - Abby, Boo, Gracie, Jinx & Ping at their blog: http://manxmnews.blogspot.com/2011/10/mamas-cup.html Wait until you see Debra's stunning photographs.
Thank you so much Debra for your excellent post. I learned a few new things from you. I do see myself in some of these symptoms. But, more on that another time. Your insight and information is greatly appreciated. As I have mentioned to you before in emails, it's so sad when a young person (yes, 50's is still young) has this disease. At least it hit Don and I at an age when we expect to get some chronic disease or illness sometime soon. Kitty kisses from Mario to Abby, and a big HUG from me for doing the post.
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