Only recently has my neurologist stated that my condition is actually Parkinson's. For the past couple of years I had to deal with the label of "idiopathic progressive polyneuropathy," which doesn't say much to most people. While it is still difficult for me to deal with, there was a small measure of relief for finally having an understandible name for my foe. I am just a little young for PD--44 now--and I'm working hard to finish my degree at Oregon State. The stress of school often brings out my tremors and those can go from mild shaking to--at the worst--damn near flailing. When I'm at the worst, I often feel like others are going to think I'm some sort of freak.
My neurologist put me on carbidopa levodopa early on, but I had to quit since it gave me severe nausea. He now has me on Ropinirole.
The recent news about Robin Williams has hit me hard since I also suffer from severe depression. The thought of my brain slowly degenerating terrifies me and can drag me down into that dark place where I do think about harming myself. I am happy that I do have a good therapist and a wife that loves me dearly. It has helped a lot but I can understand how easy it is to slip into despair. The medications I'm taking for my depression also helps. I have been having more good days than bad but even with all of the things that help me keep going, I do get hit hard sometimes and I can understand how Williams could reach that point of no return. The depression is an old foe and I have learned to deal with it as much as I can while PD is still somewhat new to me. I still am scared sh_tless about what is going to happen to me in the future.
The most noticeable symptom I have is my severe tremors. It started in my left arm/side--I'm a southpaw so that made things even more difficult--and more resently my right side has been hit with those tremors and is getting progressively worse as it seems to be trying to catch up with my left side. Handwriting can be difficult to impossible--signing my name is a struggle.