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Jam80

Very scared, looking for advice, maybe just a hug.

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Hi there, 

My name is Marissa.  I'm very concerned that I have PD. 

A little about me: Age 37, 100% single mother to two kids, 11 and 8. I have a small, yet supportive family.  

Health: Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type II in 2006

              Diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism in 2011

              Diagnosed with Epilepsy 4 months ago (yes, 4 MONTHS) Tonic Clonic seizures, fortunately they are few and and far between, I've had 3 in 4 years.

PD Symptoms: I noticed about 2 years ago that my right arm does not swing at all. It's just dead weight. I chalked this up to many years of constant back pain and poor posture since childhood.  I have had tremors in my hands for years.  My thyroid has been very difficult to treat and the doctors change my dose a few times a year.  When I'm too hyperactive, it can cause tremors, so I chalked it up to that.  In March the tremors increased in frequency and severity quite a bit.  I had my thyroid tested and sure enough my TSH was on the hyper end.  My medication has since been lowered twice with no relief of the tremors.  I have another blood test on 6/22.  I am PRAYING that the test actually comes back as hyper again, it would put my mind at ease (a little) about the tremors being from that and not PD. Also, I have said now for a couple months to my parents and friends that my short term memory is awful.  I can lose my train of thought mid-sentence.  I'll walk into a room to get something and have to stop to think about why I entered the room. It's terrible. 

So the tremors... Honestly, most of the tremors occur when I'm doing something, "Action tremor" correct? I can't hold a cup of water or do anything really without my hands and arms visibly shaking (both sides of body).  *sometimes* when my hands are resting in my lap or on my desk at work, I will get a slight tremor in my fingers. Sometimes you can visually see it, and other times it feels "internal", if that makes sense...  I know that the tremors for PD typically occur at rest, correct? Has anyone ever had them be more prevalent when their doing something or is it really "just at rest"? 

I am really hurting right now. The epilepsy diagnosis was hard enough, but PD? I don't even know what to do... Life changing

My plan is to go for the blood test on 6/22 to see if I'm still hyper.  I already have a neurologist for my epilepsy, I'm going to schedule an appointment after the blood test results come in.   

I think the one symptom that scares me the most is the arm swing.  I've tried and tried to research reasons its occuring besides PD and can't find anything! 

I am SO scared. I have two kids, single mother, I need to work. I'm crying all the time thinking about how our lives would change if it is really PD. 

Thanks for listening. Marissa

 

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Marissa,

You need to slow down a little and take a breath.  There are other medical conditions why someone's arm doesn't swing besides Parkinson's such as shoulder pathology, Erb’s palsy, or stroke. Another condition could be Gunslinger's Gait.  A gunslinger keeps their hand close to the gun effectively changing their gait. This can also occur in women who carry a purse and keep their arm close. Essential Tremor is associated with an action tremor.  One of your medications could also be causing some of your symptoms. You need to make an appointment with a Neurologist who is a Movement Disorder Specialist to help sort this out.  You may want to start with your current Neurologist to see what he thinks, then go from there.

Dave

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Thank you Dave, I appreciate it! I was just researching MDS's in my area. I am going to make an appointment!  It has been a rough few years and I just can't imagine adding this diagnosis to the list :(

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How good is your smell? Can you smell a banana? Coffee? If your smell is also diminished, I would suspect PD and get a diagnosis. If not, please relax for now until you get more debilitating symptoms 

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Sense of smell issues are common but hardly universal.

 

Other than that, basically what DaveN said.

 

Also, PD is not a rose garden, but it's not a death sentence either.  Relax if you can, and try not to worry about it.  Especially in younger patients it tends to move slow.  You've likely got years before it becomes a huge deal in your life, and in the meantime is readily managed with exercise, and if necessary meds.  And that assumes you do have PD, which given everything else you have going on is probably not particularly likely.

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I agree..., take a breath.... one step at a time with an MDS. 

 

LAD

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