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About AndyW

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  • Birthday 05/01/1963

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    Pacific NW
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    Not Sure anymore...

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  1. Thanks everyone for the positive words of encouragement and advice from outside "the bubble". Sometimes it seems the bubble I find myself living under is semi-permeable. The positive thoughts seem to just float away while the negative ones seem to be trapped inside and constantly bouncing around.
  2. I am 56 and was diagnosed in 2014 but in retrospect was probably showing symptoms for several years before that. I'm a self employed software engineer working out of my home in Seattle and do all my work over the internet. I have no face to face interaction with any of my customers. I have one large customer on the east coast that is responsible for 80-90% of all my income and several smaller one that I do small projects for now and then. Like many people I live paycheck to paycheck. I had worked for the same company for 20+ years but lost my job when the economy crapped out in 2008. Unable to find a new job I started my own business but between being unemployed and getting the business off the ground I've burned through all my savings and home equity. In other words if I lose my main customer things get really bad really fast. I will lose my house, my medical insurance, etc. I know I can apply for disability and medicaid etc. but how long does that take, a year? Two? The problem is not the physical issues with PD but the mental ones. Lack of concentration, apathy, depression, and general cognitive decline. My work is noticeably suffering. I constantly missing deadlines and what I'm delivering is not up to my usual standards. I' working at probably 50% of usual capacity. Either my main customer hasn't noticed or isn't saying anything. I'm not sure which is worse. We haven't finished big multi-year project A yet and he is looking forward to working with me on giant projects B and C in the future. How do I tell him my productivity is substandard and only going to get worse. Morally and ethically how long can I continue to accept the same money for doing less and less work? I know I should be proactive and bring it up before he does but I am deathly afraid if I lose his business I will literally end up homeless. The most insidious thing about PD for me is that mentally I've always been a great problem solver but that capability is what PD is taking from me. As dealing with PD places ever more complex problems in my path my ability to deal with them will be ever decreasing. Thanks for letting me share. I'd be curious to know how others in a similar situation have dealt with the working issue.
  3. Before PD I never had a problem with gambling. I could take a trip to Las Vegas and not even drop a single quarter in a slot machine the whole time I was there. Since I started taking meds for PD (Sinemet 10/100 3x) I've started impulsively blowing my money. I've deluded myself that it is just entertainment but I've added it up and its been averaging a $1,000 a month and yesterday I blew $800 in a single day. My question is does anyone here have experience dealing with this successfully? Are traditional approaches like behavioral therapy and gamblers anonymous effective given the condition is drug induced?
  4. AndyW

    Mild cognitive impairment

    I also suffer from cognitive and memory, both short and long term, issues. Also anxiety, but I'll save that for another thread. Right now it is annoying but not looking forward to the future. I am a self employed programmer and find it increasingly hard to concentrate and stay on task. Recently a customer needed some software for a specific task. As I started to write it I found an existing folder with the solution already written 4 months earlier. I had no memory of it! It wasn't a I forgot, oh yeah I remember now kind of thing. It was totally unknown to me. My first though was who broke into my computer and wrote this! Looking it over it was obvious I wrote it. But the fact that I had absolutely no recollection of something that would have been 3 to 4 days of work scares the crap out of me. Short term I put my shoes on, grabbed my wallet, phone, keys and went out to the car. I had to stand there for 10 seconds until I could remember where I was going. I still feel safe to drive a car but I sold my motorcycles last month. Between PD effecting my motor movements and my meds effecting my judgement I felt I could no longer safely ride the kinds of bikes I like the way I want to ride them. It was kind of sad to close that 30+ year chapter of my life but I'm trying to be philosophical about it by claiming victory. I've owned some of the world's fastest production motorcycle over the years and haven't been killed (or arrested)...I win.
  5. AndyW


    Thanks for the words of encourgement. Sometimes it is good to have a reality check from outside my own little bubble.
  6. AndyW


    I feel my undiagnosed YOPD was definetly a factor in the failure of my marriage. I had all the non-motor symptoms mentioned above, depression, anxiety, masking etc. with no apparent explaination except that I was "losing it". I went from the man she married to a depressed guy who never left the house and never smiled at her anymore. I didn't realize how bad it was myself until I got on my meds a year after the divorce. One of my biggest concerns is that I'm now doomed to spend the rest of my life alone.
  7. AndyW

    what did you feel like when told, you have Parkinsons

    I had pretty much self diagnosed my symptoms over several months. I have all the classical neurological issues but have no tremor. When I finally went to my GP she thought my condition was the result of a stroke. That freaked me out as it meant it could happen again at any time and without apparent notice. After an MRI I was finally referred to a neurologist who after my exam said to me, "You strike me as an intelligent man with access to the internet, what do you think you have?" I replied "Parkinson's?". He said, "I agree with you." I think I'm still wrapping my head around it. Apparently the friends and family I tell about it feel worse about it than I do. Maybe I'm still in some kind of denial.