Parkinson's and Dating
Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:51 PM
After a long marriage which is ending in divorce (attributable, in part, to the Parkinson's diagnosis which really highlighted the emotional distance and communication problems my spouse and I had for years), I am facing the prospect of dating again. I am actually excited by the opportunity to meet someone who will make my heart beat faster!
My question is this:
When and how do you tell someone you are just getting to know about Parkinson's?
I can't imagine telling someone right away because I am fairly asymptomatic when properly medicated, and I am so much more than this condition. Also, I don't want to have my first dates turn into medical school lectures about YOPD, or serious philosophical discourses about the future. At the same time, I want to be honest, I know I will need to mention it at some point (especially as I take meds every four hours or so, I wear a Neupro patch (ugly!), and I am tremor dominant when "off"), and it is a part of my reality and has shaped who I am today.
Any and all thoughts welcome.
PS I am not convinced dating someone else with PD or any other chronic medical condition is the answer. The keys to a successful relationship, IMHO, are openness, honesty, the willingness and ability to communicate and listen, a common goal (ie being and staying in a committed relationship), and actively working at the relationship. Common interests and experiences are wonderful but the other things I mentioned are essential. At least for me.
Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:06 PM
I don't think there's an easy answer. However, I do believe you'll know when it's time. Just be honest from the beginning and you'll find the right person. I can't wait to read your posts! Please share stories with us!
Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:40 AM
my opinion, for what it's worth: if your date asks you about your tremor, tell him the truth. "I have YOPD". end of story. if he asks for details give them to him. if he doesn't ask and you don't feel like telling him, don't say anything. bottom line, do as you feel. you are in no way "obligated" to inform anyone on your medical condition, unless you want it yourself and the relationship is serious enough for you to care.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:13 AM
Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:03 PM
Christie -- Thank you for framing it this way. That is exactly how I feel about PD in general. With that in mind, I think for me the best approach is to see how my date reacts to the PD symptoms or other indicia of PD (meds, patch, etc) and then to take it from there. The bottom line is that if PD is a barrier, that person isn't for me.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:10 PM
As for me -- this is another of life's adventures. I do not intend to be unhappy; that is the reason I left my marriage. So with that in mind, I will keep you posted on my adventures out there in RomanceLand.
Best to all of you and again, thanks.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:32 AM
I thought I would share an anectdote from yesterday's coffee date with someone new:
After about an hour of lively conversation, I took a quick peak at my watch and realized I was 15 minutes behind schedule on my meds. I also noticed my date noticing my hand starting to tremble.... So I nonchalantly took out my pill case, took out my dose, and he said, "What's that?" I said, with practiced indifference, "Dopamine." (No need to be technical, he is a university lecturer in history.) He looked at the pills, then me, then looked at the pills again, and with complete seriousness asked, "Can I have some?"
And no, he does not have PD.
Does anyone have any amusing PD-related dating stories to tell?
Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:59 AM
So I nonchalantly took out my pill case, took out my dose, and he said, "What's that?" I said, with practiced indifference, "Dopamine." (No need to be technical, he is a university lecturer in history.) He looked at the pills, then me, then looked at the pills again, and with complete seriousness asked, "Can I have some?"
Nothing better than a hint of psychosis to make Parkinson's look like...a stomach bug...
So I nonchalantly took out my pill case, took out my dose, and he said:
"Nothing, just a little Thorazine...i get really nervous on first dates. Believe me, i need this pill. At least, that's what my psychiatrist thinks"
"Relax, i was just kidding. it's only dopamine for my young onset Parkinson's!"
don't forget the "young onset" stuff..makes Parkinson's sound like chickenpox!
Onewingedvictory, i'm so glad you got busy already ! Fall in love soon ! And keep us posted.....
Edited by christie, 09 March 2013 - 12:01 PM.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:06 PM
Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:56 PM
And sadly, not so far off the mark.
Mr. Pill went on to say that he took a cocktail of medications each day to help manage his bi-polar disorder (the "good" kind of bi-polar, he reassured me, not the "bad" kind, though in all honesty I had no idea what he was talking about at that point). At the end of our two hour date, we went our separate ways, likely not to cross paths again. He told me this morning that he was worried that my PD on-off cycles would not be in sync with his bi-polar cycles. And the lack of rhythmic compatibility could cause problems -- what kind and for whom, he didn't say and I never asked as I had already decided this one was not a keeper....
As I said before, next... (!!)
Edited by OneWingedVictory, 09 March 2013 - 09:19 PM.
Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:27 PM
This guy was charming, interesting, smart, funny, and successful. Recently widowed. Seemed perfect. The conversation was lively and fun until we got to this--
Date: Do you like to go hiking?
Me: Yes, I do. Last week my friend and I did a six mile hike in the foothills. It was a lot of fun though challenging--wet and a lot of downed trees and stumps.
Date: Do you wear leather?
Me: Always. I don't think other kinds of boots perform as well in those conditions.
Date: You like boots, then? Leather boots?
Me: Oh yes, they are very practical for all purposes.
Date: Like kink and BD/SM, you mean?
Actually that wasn't what I meant at all. But thank you for clarifying what YOU meant.
I guess PD is not the only topic that requires easing into gently....
Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:56 PM
Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:34 AM
Last night I had a Friday night pizza date with a professional photographer -- he seemed to be successful, creative, funny, open-minded, candid... I was thinking, hm, he might well merit a second date if this goes as well as expected.
And then somehow we got into a discussion of dating faux pas. He mentioned dating a woman who had presented herself in a personals ad (before online dating) as an avid outdoors woman whom he was only to discover, when he met her at a restaurant, used a wheelchair to get around. He said he was startled to see the wheelchair and felt she had been dishonest by not disclosing it in advance of their date. He told me that he had summarily crossed off his list for second dates other women who had "withheld" what he considered relevant health information, including a woman who had not disclosed before their first date having had an STD (though it had been successfully treated), a woman who did not say she had been seeing a psychotherapist for years, and a woman who had not told him she was in remission from cancer.
As I listened to all of this, my hand shaking under the table, I couldn't help but think--This guy is a health bigot!
Needless to say, I won't be having the Parkinson's talk with Mr Picture-of-Perfect Health now or ever.
Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:29 AM
He told me that he had summarily crossed off his list for second dates other women who had "withheld" what he considered relevant health information, including a woman who had not disclosed before their first date having had an STD (though it had been successfully treated), a woman who did not say she had been seeing a psychotherapist for years, and a woman who had not told him she was in remission from cancer.
OMG! What a wonderful man ! A real catch!! A little thorazine wouldn't hurt HIM either...Onewingedvictory, where on earth do you find these guys ? some mental health institute catalogue? LOL.. Well, please give me some time to disclose some important first-date-health-relevant information...chicken pox when i was 9. pneumonia 2 years later. stomach flu when i was 19. really bad hemorroids shortly afterwards. did i forget something ? ups...parkinson's.....let me guess....he will fail me, right ? LOL
Edited by christie, 16 March 2013 - 09:31 AM.
Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:30 AM
Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:00 AM
Date: I know we planned to have coffee on Wednesday but I am an Aries, a fire sign, and I need to act when I get inspired, so can you meet for coffee right now?
Me: Now? No, I can't, I'm at work.
Date: What about after work?
Me: No, sorry, I have plans. Can we still meet on Wednesday?
Date: I'm disappointed. But yes.
Date: What time is good for you for coffee tomorrow?
Me: Before work, lunchtime, or after work.
Date: You have a very booked schedule! I was hoping you would be more flexible.
Me: It is a work day.
Date: You know, I just don't think this will work out for us. I thought you would be more spontaneous.
Me: Um, well, I have a full-time job....
Fortunately, there was no need for me to worry about disclosing my PD to Mr Aries. He likely wouldn't have heard much of anything I had to say while he was gazing with contentment at his own reflection in the shop windows....
And having saved that 30 minute coffee break, I ended up, quite by accident, bumping into an old friend on the street and arranging to meet on Wednesday for what turned out to be a truly delightful (and spontaneous) dinner. Just two old friends, neither of us fire signs.
Edited by OneWingedVictory, 21 March 2013 - 04:01 AM.
Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:26 AM
Tonight I was at dinner with a new date, someone with whom I had been talking for a few weeks. I was a bit nervous as I have truly enjoyed our phone conversations and I did not want this to be another of those bad-news dates (see above!). I think it was the combination of nerves plus insufficient sleep the night before plus a really hectic day at work plus not enough food during the day but before I knew it, I was starting to slur my words -- ALOT. And I could tell my date thought I was absolutely plastered! (I wasn't -- though at that precise moment I was so annoyed with my motor functioning that I could well imagine getting very very drunk!) When my date wasn't looking, I popped a dose of sinemet, but as its effects are not instantaneous, I knew I was going to have to do some explaining.
So, I apologized for my incoherence; said I was not, in fact, drunk; mentioned that I had YOPD; talked a little about what it was and was not; and what kinds of symptoms or effects it causes; and then dropped it. Later the topic came up again when my date asked me to talk about my medications and their side effects. By then I hope I looked and sounded normal again. It was, however, really freaky having a sudden onset of "drunkmouth" right smack in the middle of a first date. I don't recall anything like that ever happening before.
Will I see Mr Sober again? I don't know. He looked a bit stunned by the drunkmouth episode (frankly, who wouldn't -- it bothered even me!) but he also commented later that overall I seemed to be well-managed. So...???
Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:41 AM
I suspect that your slurring episode was not as bad as you think...
I also think, no, correction, i KNOW, that your beauty and your stunning smile -and NOT your slurring- is all that Mr Sober will remember from your first date !
So glad you had a date with someone you liked ! And stay away from those lunatics (...previous dates)! LOL!
Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:43 AM
I am not a human being trying to have a spiritual experience; I am a spiritual being having a (sometimes difficult) human experience.
Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:17 AM
Edited by Rogerstar1, 23 March 2013 - 11:19 AM.
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