October 01, 2009
It has taken me a year to be able to write here that Peter, my husband and best friend, has Parkinson's Disease. For some time he had been experiencing fatigue and having other issues that could be, and often are, symptoms of ageing. He had seen his primary care doctor and a geriatrician, but they were unable to come up with an explanation.
It took a retired doctor whom Peter barely knew to suggest Parkinson's Disease.
In June of last year, Peter went on a bike ride with some friends. At a lunch three months later, Peter sat next to the retired doctor who had been on that bike ride. He asked Peter if he could tell him something that he (Peter) might not like to hear. Peter agreed. The doctor told him that he had noticed on that early summer bike ride that, while off his bike, Peter walked in a gait that suggested Parkinson's Disease. When Peter got home, he Googled Parkinson's Disease and then sent me an email at work saying "I think I know
what's wrong with me."
Within weeks, he had an appointment with a neurologist. There is no actual test for Parkinson's Disease, but responding to Sinamet, a drug that replaces what is not produced by the brain of people with PD, is a good indicator of the disease.
The good news was that the wondering about what was going on was over. The bad news was that we were faced with a serious disease that has a lot of uncertainty related to it. We had no idea about how the disease would progress. Would Peter's quality of life change significantly? Would we need to move out of our house? Would we have to curtail our active lifestyle?
There is no answer that works for everyone, but everyone wants an answer.
More good news is that Peter is coping well. The Sinamet has helped. . Peter does not complain. We have learned a lot about the disease in the past year. And we have learned to accept some of our limitations and to be grateful for what we can do.
Peter used to remind me that we always forget to say "I'm fortunate because my big toe is not hurting today."
Well, my big toe doesn't hurt today
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