I knew I'd seek out folks going through similar at some point - its how I'm (we're?) wired-, but I foolishly put it off because I had other issues to deal with so I pushed it down a bit, Okay, I should avoid starting in the middle Hello! I was diagnosed with early onset PD last year at the age of forty in the midst of some other health struggles for my family (my darling wife and our sweet son) and some financial challenges. I'd had what I assumed was an essential tremor (like many others, I'm sure ), but when I started having trouble with dry eyes and speech volume/clarity, I went to see my fantastic GP/PCP and she referred me to neurology. Got a great general neuro and a movement disorders specialist and after some diagnostic work (including the not-super-fun-for-claustrophobics MRI and SPECT / datSCAN) they figure I've pretty clearly got early onset PD. I went on amantadine which may have helped some, but it is hard to be sure. I tried ropinirole because at the time insurance said Neupro patches would be $100/month... had a lot of stomach trouble and some nausea on that and doc checked again and the Neupro was now an option. We slowly ramped up the dosage as my symptoms never went away entirely, but we wanted to find a good balance. As we raised the dosage it brought some pretty intense nausea which we tried to manage with diet (eating at specific times throughout the day seemed to help some) and tinctures as I have concerns about cardiotoxicity and prolactin elevation with the one PD approved nausea med I know of (domperidone). With the higher dosing also came some tiredness/depression so I backed off, but the depression stuck around and more recently after some additional stressors (uncertainty at primary job, extra work at second, car accident) I've had some panic attacks even though we'd (had two earlier in the year at dosage change times, but wrote them off at the time as solely the dosage change while now I believe its also about not letting off steam/talking about things enough and being in a fairly long period of triage where I didn't deal with things head on. For the moment I'm doing a med reset/maybe change and huddle up with neuro/MDS/PCP to decide on a new plan.
The diagnosis has really brought mortality into focus in new ways for me that even my Dad's stroke and Lewy Body diagnosis didn't crystallize. I have an amazing wife of ten years and two young children who are my world and it's become very clear that I need to talk this out more (will finally be seeking formal counseling, but taking this first step as I wanted to share with people without a filter who are going through it, too). I want to come to grips with my diagnosis for them and for myself and move forward. You all seem so lovely and supportive and I'm happy to bring fresh baked cookies (and I always have a good single malt on hand since I saw Stump mention both of these things on another thread) if it helps! Thanks for listening, new friends. Sorry about all of the parentheticals; sometimes the thoughts come too quickly for proper organizational structure. Lest you think I'm a big bag of complaints, I'm enjoying the extra exercise I've been getting and making time for guitar playing for the first time in years. Trying to get past the panic episodes as we've a lovely vacation coming up that I'm not afraid to say we all very much deserve around here.