First I want to thank you for taking the time to blog. You may not be aware of important I find it to hear others Parkinson’s and day to day life experiences. I appreciate it very much.
I am writing to you because my interest in PD came because I began having symptoms which I suspected might be PD. Fortunately my symptoms are very irregular and inconsistent and not at all affecting my ability to function. The Neurologist I am seeing is not good and is pretty much dismissing my symptoms as nothing. This is fine with me or maybe wishful thinking. I will have resting tremors in my left thumb on occassion as well as jerking limbs, and muscle trembles throughout my body, weakness, etc. Again there are very inconsistent and really could be normal daily problems or another issue. I am very much into Holistic and Natural health so have been doing many things to minimize or slow and potential problem I have. I am 45
I started looking for blogs to see what people reported as initial symptoms long before they were diagnosed with PD. I suspect my symptoms maybe be things people have looked back after they were diagnosed and say yeah, now I remember I had problems long before I realized there were problems. I cannot find such a blog and I am really curious as to when you reflect on your past, when did small signs begin to show up and just ignored or dismissed them. Or whether you had inconsistent symptoms at first. I could be completely wrong, I have no idea!
So after that long winded explanation I have a request. If you have the energy and time at some point, I would like to see a blog from you of your very early years working up to PD. No pressure and no hurry. It would be very much appreciated.
Keep up the blogs and my prayers are always with you
Ted wants me to try to look back and pinpoint some of the earliest signs that may have been Parkinson’s symptoms that the doctors missed. I’ve mentioned several things in other posts about what I now believe were warning signs that were not detected. I’m not criticizing the doctors about this, as hindsight is always better than foresight. There’s absolutely no way of knowing if I’m correct on any of the possible signs or not, but I’ll try to list as many things as I can remember that were puzzling at the time and went undiagnosed or ignored.
I really do have back problems that are unrelated to Parkinson’s, as I have Degenerative Disk Disease. There have been many trips to different doctors over the years with back pain and weakness in my legs. There were times as long ago as 15 to 20 years ago when I was walking slower than my parents, who were in their 80’s at the time. Doctors were able to alleviate the pain with epidurals, but the walking problem always gradually disappeared on its own and then returned just as mysteriously.
I’ve had spells of mental fog for many years, which I always blamed on female hormone problems, as I was very young when I had a complete hysterectomy, or on the stress of teaching and later as a caregiver. I was on hormone replacement therapy all that time, though.
I had a diagnosis of Functional Dysphonia while I was still teaching, which means that I could not talk at all, but it was supposed to be psychosomatic. The doctor attributed it to stress. I had bouts of severe laryngitis over a period of many years. I had always been in the choir at church, but about 15 years ago I reached a point where I could not sing through a verse without feeling like I was being strangled, with someone squeezing tightly around my neck. My breath volume was greatly diminished, too.
I went through several years of Migraine Headaches. The Neurologist I was seeing at that time found that I had a positive Babinsky reaction, which means my toes didn’t do what they should have when he scraped along the bottom of my bare foot. He concluded that I had probably had one or more concussions from childhood falls. He did not cure the headaches, but the episodes finally slacked off on their own.
I had a very scary episode about 15 years ago in which my left arm went totally to sleep one night while I was watching TV. It took a lot of massaging and soaking in hot water to finally get feeling back in it. When I went to the doctor about it, she diagnosed me as having Mitral Valve Prolapse. Some years later, I had an echo cardiogram, and there was no indication of MVP. I still have to be careful that I don’t keep my hand too still when we drive for any distance, as it will still go to sleep. The same thing happens in the dentist’s chair. These symptoms are probably from a spur on a cervical vertebra, but who knows??
One symptom that I had never gone to a doctor with was the way I would think I was smiling when my picture was taken, only to see that my face was blank when I saw the photo later. That is a definite Parkinson’s trait, and it’s been something that I was aware of for many years.
There may be other symptoms that I’ll think of later, but I’ve read this post to my DH, and he’s in agreement that these are an accurate list of some of the puzzling things that have happened to me over the years. I hope other Parkies will contribute to this post, too, so it will be as informative as possible.