This week I started on the full dose (for now) of my medication. Since most of the symptoms of Parkinson’s are caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain, many of the medications are designed to either temporarily replenish the dopamine or mimic the actions of dopamine. The drug cardidopa/levadopa is the drug used to replenish the dopamine and there are several dopamine agonists used to mimic the actions of dopamine. Dopamine agonists are often the first medication prescribed and I am taking one called Mirapex (Pramipexole). As time goes on, the dose will be increased and caridopa/levadopa will probably be added to the mix.
Although I am on a low dose, I have noticed a steady decrease in the rigidity of my legs and an improved ability to walk without shuffling. Since going to the full 3 pills per day dose, my balance is improving but my feet still “stick” to the floor if I stand in one spot for long, like two minutes sometimes 🙂 The 3 week increase from just one pill per day the first week to the full 3 pills per day the third week is done to help the body deal with the side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, muscle pain or sudden low blood pressure, and seems to work, at least I haven’t had many side effects so far.
Mara and I enjoyed a couple of peaceful days and a wonderful meal at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this week and we are looking forward to friends coming to visit next week. Hopefully the rains will stop and we can get some time on the lake in the pontoon.