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Old age or PD?

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#1 talksoftly



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Posted 23 April 2014 - 07:38 AM

I was told six months ago that I have PD. I started taking Mirapex. To be honest, I don't see how a doctor can look at you , ask a few questions and then say...you have Parkinson. The more I thought about it the less it made sense. I stopped taking the meds.

I can't tell the difference between old age and what could be PD. I stay tired and I don't sleep well at all, a slight tremor...sometimes, my memory is awful...old age or PD?

It makes me mad to think he would put me on a med without really knowing for sure. I am on a fixed income and meds are not cheap. I am 63 yrs old and I need better answers than what I've gotten. I need proof.

#2 Golden01


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Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:17 AM

Talkssoftly, I don't think 63 is old. Diagnosis of PD is mostly observation but my husband's diagnosis was a lot like yours. The doctor just handed him a prescription and told him to look into getting a voice activated computer because he wouldn't be working in five years. My husband didn't fill the prescription but what we did do was find a Movement Disorder Specialist (MDS) that did confirm the diagnosis and explained things in much more detail. I hope you can find a good MDS that will give the better answers that you deserve. One thing that I've learned on this PD journey is that finding the right doctors sometimes takes time. 

Husband diagnosed in 2005-Medicines: Azilect, Artane, and Amantadine, Levodopa (1X/Day); Sister and Best Friend from Childhood also have PD

#3 Beau's Mom

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:16 AM

Welcome, talksoftly,


I agree with Golden01. Seeking an expert opinion from a Movement Disorders Specialist is imperative. Usually there is a trial of Sinemet, the gold standard medication treatment for PD, to see if it helps. Your symptoms sound an awful lot like mine were in the beginning. Also, if it is confirmed as PD, there are things you can do to keep you feeling as well as you can for as long as you can. A good MDS will refer you for a physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy evaluation. There are specific treatments for voice problems. Finally, there is a test called a DAT Scan, which measures the amount of dopamine uptake in the brain that your MDS can order. It's a lot to take in, and if you consider it a fact-finding mission, it might not feel so scary or overwhelming. You can call the NPF Helpline number for a referral to an MDS near you.


Please keep us posted on how you do.



I am not a human being trying to have a spiritual experience; I am a spiritual being having a (sometimes difficult) human experience.



#4 PatriotM


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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:16 AM



My diagnosis was very similar to yours.  I had tremor in my left hand/arm and left foot, terrible short term memory, and neck stiffness and pain that led to severe headaches.  The neurologist looked at me for a few minutes, did some basic neurologic evaluation, and had me walk for him.  He then entered a few notes into the computer and bluntly told me that I had PD.  Although I thought that I had PD due to the tremor (that's why I went to the doctor), I was shocked that he was able to make the diagnosis so quickly.  I asked him what the basis for his diagnosis was.  He told me that I had dull facial features (a PD mask), my left arm didn't swing when I walked, he witnessed the tremor in my left hand and foot, balance issues, etc, etc, etc.  As it turned out, I had 12 symptoms (out of 16, I think) on the PD chart that was hanging on his wall including no sense of smell.


If I hadn't asked the basis of the diagnosis, he would not have told me.  So, at your next appointment, I would suggest asking him.  Also, I would be interested to know how long you took the Mirapex and whether it had any effect on your tremors and other symptoms.  I am also on Mirapex and it did significantly reduce my tremor and improve my balance.

Diagnosed 9/2013

Not taking any PD meds (stopped taking Mirapex due to fatigue)

Using exercise to battle PD

Walk minimum of 12,000 steps a day which improves rigidity,balance, etc (everything but tremor)

#5 Trying hard

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 02:46 PM

Hi Talksoftly,

Welcome and I can only add to what Golden01, Beau's Mom and PatriotM have said.  It takes time but take the time to find a good MD, a movement disorder center will be the best if you have one close by.  63 isn't old, and you deserve the answers to your questions!  Mirapex didn't work at all for my DH it only made the tremors worse, but all PWP are different, that's why it's so important to find a MD or MDs that will work with you and take the time to answer all your questions.  For me it was important to have a good team.

Good luck, hang in there, everyone here cares.  Keep in touch.

Edited by Trying hard, 23 April 2014 - 02:47 PM.

"There is in every woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity."  Washington Irving


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