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By SeekingAnswers On 2010.07.07 08:59
Hi Everyone:

I'm new here and I have a friend who has PD and I don't understand some of his behavior. Actually, I'm terrified and confused by some of the things he's done.

When I met my friend, he wasn't diagnosed with PD, but I lost touch with him and when we reconnected, he had PD. He became part of a study group and he insisted upon driving. His driving scared the BeJesus out of me. His doctor recommended he not drive, but it was his only means of transportation.

Last year he became very ill and was hospitalized for a week or so (he no longer drives and blames his lack of driving skills on being hospitalized even though I noticed his horrible driving long before his illness). I visited him when he was in the hospital and he eventually went home to his partner. He and his partner insist that a restaurant was responsible for my friend's hospitalization and now they are actively pursuing a lawsuit against the restaurant.

My friend is no longer allowed to use the computer, via his partner, because of his sexual compulsion and gambling addiction. However, I have some concerns. My friend says some inappropriate sexual things to me about my husband. I'm not sure if he can control his comments or if this is who he is. I didn't know him very well when when we first met, so I don't know if this a new development.

Because of this and other behavior traits, I find myself getting extremely frustrated with my friend. Take for instance the fact that I've asked my friend to wait for me and he doesn't listen and he's ended up falling. Every single time I've told him not to get out of my car until I had his walker secure, he doesn't listen to me. I did have to pick him up off the sidewalk the last time we were together in front of his house because he couldn't wait for me to lock his house up when we going out to lunch.

Can anyone give me any information as to if this behavior is normal for a person with PD or is my friend just a stubborn dirty old man? I can't find any information regarding his current behavior issues and I'm terrified to be with my friend because something ALWAYS happens when I'm with him and he's getting more and more debilitated as the years go by.

Thank you so much,

SeekingAnswers

By Michele On 2010.07.07 18:11
SeekingAnswers,
Welcome to the Forum. You came to the right place. We are caring and concerned and seeking answers. We all healp each other. As to your friend
s sexual behaviors, I know that some medications can cause sexual and gampling compulsions. However, I'll let others who have direct experience respond to thiat issue. Regarding the fact that he won't listen and falls and scares you - that I have personal experience with. My husband is in a power wheel chair and cannot walk without falling. He can sometimes take a few steps and he thinks he can walk on his own. I cannot leave him alone because he is not safe. He desperately wants to be independent. He also was a marine and knows how to tough it out. This behavior has to do with his nature and not the Parkinsons. Continue to visit here and you will find much wisdom and understanding. You might want to look at postings in the caregiver forum also.

By karolinakitty On 2010.07.07 19:52
Welcome Seeking Answers....

As far as the compulsive behaviors, we have been lucky not to have those but it does happen, sexual, gambling and shopping are the three biggies and the ones that cause the most damage.
As far as his off the wall comments ..a big YES .... Mine says what he thinks and feels, as I'm sure this is what your friend is doing. You don't mention the drugs he is on but some cause inhibitions in some areas, speaking out is one of those. It sometimes comes out as wrong or out of place and even rude, i don't think that it is truly meant to harm but just speaking off the top of their head. Are you frinds with his partner? If he has eliminated him from being on the computer than as his caregiver it seems he is on top of things. Evidently, he has abused the privlege and has last access to the computer.
If i may be so bold, if you truly are a dear friend, please stand by him. One thing that is lost with this disease is friendships. Due to the fact this disease and its meds cause the "off the wall" comments, and social boo-boos, friends can disappear and it can hurt emotionally.

By susger8 On 2010.07.08 08:30
The medications that seem most likely to cause compulsive behaviors are Mirapex and Requip. Switching to different drugs can improve this behavior -- but the compulsions persist for some people.

These medications shouldn't be discontinued abruptly. They should be tapered according to the doctor's instructions.

Sue

By SeekingAnswers On 2010.07.08 08:40
Thank you both for your help. I do appreciate it very much.

My friend seems to be able to control himself by not making any sort of sexual comment about anyone in front of his partner. I find this odd. If he can control his comments in front of his partner, why not in front of me and especially comments about MY husband?

I have witnessed an odd shopping behavior in my friend last year. I took him to a fabric store and he couldn't wait for me to purchase a whole bolt of fabric. I wasn't sure if I wanted the whole thing and he encouraged me by saying I'd never be able to find it again later on, which I thought was a weird comment. That's one of the classic signs of the PD medication with compulsive shopping or gambling.

My husband and I are not really close to my friend's partner to ask personal questions regarding my friend. I did tell my friend that if he doesn't start listening to me and stop being stubborn I WILL tell his partner. My friend gave me a dirty look. He has fallen down several times while on his own and he's had to have the same hand repaired more than once.

I'm not a licensed caretaker and I have no medical experience in my past. I have no one who can give me advice on how to approach my friend and his PD. I don't know what is normal and what is not normal behavior either.

Should I not risk taking my friend out to lunch just in case something terrible happened? I KNOW my friend looks forward to me taking him out of his house because he's home bound now. All of my worst fears have come true every time I've been alone with him.

Thank you for listening to me,

SeekingAnswers

By SeekingAnswers On 2010.07.08 08:44
PS I've asked my friend what medications he's on and he has no clue. His partner puts his pills together for him and he takes 14 pills several times a day. I know he has to take his medications at 11 am and 2 pm and at 4 pm and at 8 pm. He did say the 8 pm pills makes him laugh a lot and he doesn't know why. Is my friend in a grave state of PD or is this not so bad? I'm unclear.

By Emma On 2010.07.08 10:19
Hi and welcome to the forum. Everyone with Parkinson's is different, everyone has their own set of symptoms and rate of decline. That said, although what you are describing is not what everyone experiences it is not unusual for a person with PD.

My husband has the obsession with sex and gambling. He too seems to be able to control what he says or does in front of other people, the comments and behavior are directed strictly at me. Falling is also common in Parkinson's.

From what you say it certainly doesn't appear that your friend is in a grave state. I think it's all very confusing and disturbing to you because it's new. If you haven't done so already go back and read old posts on this forum. It will give you a good picture of Parkinson's and what other people experience with it.

As far as the medications it's hard to say, again, everyone is different. My husband takes 13 different medications at this time, 2 for Parkinson's and the rest for other health issues (skin, blood pressure, bladder, pain, heart rhythm and anxiety among other things) so it's certainly possible that your friend could be taking a lot of different pills for legitimate reasons.

If you can figure out a way to maintain your friendship it would be great. If restaurants and stores are uncomfortable for you maybe you could try a picnic in the park or something different. So many people with PD are abandoned by friends and even family. Having someone who is loyal is priceless. The fact that you sought out information and help says something positive about you.

Good luck!

By MJ-Camano On 2010.07.08 12:14
It is getting more difficult to take my husband to restaurants also mainly due to his fatigue, indecisions on menu items, strange eating habits, etc. But it is so good for him to get out of the house. I do like the suggestion in a past post - try going for a ride then go thru a drive in window for a snack. I have also found that we do restaurant take out more and more, and have company over to enjoy our "restaurant" meal. He seems to enjoy this. Perhaps you could get take out and go to your home so he has an outing. I find now that my husband would just as soon stay home - this has only been in the last few months.

By SeekingAnswers On 2010.07.08 17:44
THANK YOU EVERYONE:

For all of your help and suggestions. I wished I knew my friend better before he was diagnosed with Parkinsons. I'd know if he was always childish or if this was something new.

One thing I know for sure is that my friend has declined rapidly over the last year. He's easily confused, he forgets time, he can hardly speak and when he does it's only part of a thought and is very confusing. He's also gotten so much more weak and has a walker and a scooter. Plus, he is experiencing hallucinations, which I do know is part of the medications he's taking. He is aware that that is the cause.

Do persons with PD act childish or is a personality flaw of my friend? My friend enjoys gossiping and getting his partner into trouble with the general public. He laughs loudly if anyone makes a mistake or trips or wobbles just a tiny bit.

I'm sorry I'm asking a million questions, I just would like to understand this disease better and get a handle on what is going on with my friend. Some things he does is really inappropriate and I do worry about him falling or overdosing on his meds because he can't remember if he took his medicine or not prior to me going to his house for a visit.

SeekingAnswers

PS I don't think taking my friend to my house is any better than taking him to a restaurant. He fell in front of his own house and I had to figure out a way to get him back on his feet. I was terrified that he would die in the heat and in the sun if I couldn't get him up. If he fell, I'd rather it be in his own house and not anywhere else. I'm not trying to be mean, but I am really scared.

By SeekingAnswers On 2010.07.08 17:45
I will scan the other board for more help. I have to run now, my "sexy husband" has just returned home. A quote from my friend :).

By parkinit On 2010.07.09 16:39
SeekingAnswers - My dx properly described PD behavior in certain circumstances as "magnifying preexisting personality traits." I find this is true with my spouse. Possibly there was some childish behavior and the PD has magnified this behavior.


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