Welcome to It Is What It Is. I haven’t blogged before so this may a bit rocky and shaky to start (pun intended!). A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and am now a PWP (person with Parkinson’s), in addition to being a member of AARP! Being a retired researcher of sorts, I and my wife, Mara, immediately began researching Parkinson’s on the web. Among all the information we have gathered one thing that stands out is this disease affects everyone differently and requires different treatments that treat only the symptoms, there is not currently a ‘cure’ or even an option to stop the progress of the disease.
I decided I would blog to keep all of my supporters as up to date with information about my status as possible and provide a source for other PWP’s who desire information about the disease and its treatment. I don’t know how often I will post, but I hope at least a couple of times a month. You can subscribe to the blog and be informed of new posts by email at the right or by RSS feed at the bottom of this post.
So how did my Parkinson’s manifest itself? About 6 months ago people starting remarking that I was walking funny, stiffly and with my arms out in front but not swinging. I went with the ‘I’m fatigued’ response but it continued, then I added shuffling to the mix. After about 4 months I started noticing some balance issues and problems with feeling ‘stuck’ to the floor for a second, like my legs weren’t taking orders for a second. So off to see my doctor who agreed I was stiff but wanted me to remove a couple of drugs I was taking to make sure it wasn’t a reaction. After 6 weeks with no improvement it was off to a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders. After tests etc. he determined I had 3 of the 4 cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s missing only the one everyone associates with the disease, a resting tremor.
I have started drug therapy which requires slowly increasing the dose each week to avoid major side effects. The drug has helped the rigidity and slowness of movement and hopefully the full dose will continue to improve the balance issues which are still there. More about that in the next post.
But enough for today, as the title suggests, it is what it is, and while I might be slow, I’m not out. I plan to face the issues with a smile and a positive attitude. I still take a walk most days, enjoy being on the boat, and watching the sunset on the porch with a gin and tonic or a glass of wine. Life is still good!
There are many organizations, including the ones noted on the right, which provide more information and are funding promising research into Parkinson’s. Please take a look for more information.