Saturday, March 29, 2008

Learning about Parkinson's

I am very grateful to the former therapist who told me that one of the best ways to deal with a major life change is to be obsessed with it for a year. So I don't feel so badly about obsessively researching Parkinson's disease, to the point where I sometimes sound like I am the one with the disease, not my husband. I've learned several useful things. The neurologist said it was ok for my husband to take his Sinemet with protein at this stage but I learned that milk can particularly interfere with it getting into the brain. He avoided milk yesterday morning and felt the medicine was more effective. I like Patients Like Me, which not only has a forum but also gathers data, so you can see what are the most common medications and dosages. I also find the medical forums at the National Parkinson Foundation helpful. I struggle with thinking about caregiving; I found a long article in the Washington Post discouraging.

1 comment:

Carol D. O'Dell said...

Thanks for the comment about what your therapist said--and it's true--total immersion. Just like learning a language or flying a plane--you have to put in the time and let it consume you.

I learned about Parkinson's after my mother had had it for probably ten years. I finally immersed myself the year she moved in with me and I had to learn how to manage her meds, her inability to walk/move at certain times of the day, how stress and change affected her, and as time went on, how it even effected her moods.

Nothing like on the job training!

During that learning curve, so much made sense I had already witnessed--I just had a name for it.

I gained such respect for my mother to battle this disease so bravely and so stubbornly--both are needed.

We learned together in many respects, and I'm grateful for the time we shared. Sometimes two fighters in the foxholes become lifelong friends.

~Carol D. O'Dell
Author of Mothering MOther: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

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