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Topic Mom finally diagnosed Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By lovemymom On 2010.07.17 12:54
Hello to everyone
My mother was misdiagnosed for the last five years or so with Essential Tremor. I knew through research on the internet that she had Parkinsons. Last week she had a stroke and a specific type of heart attack brought on by stress called Takatsubo syndrome. She was in the hospital for a week and finally two neuro's gave the PD diagnosis.
First, let me say she eats very healthy and used to excercise probably too much!
She has tremors on one side that have yet to be relieved by any meds she has tried. One of the meds they weaning her off of (cogentin) mainly because I spoke up while she was in the hospital about the fact that one of the major side effects of this older drug is memory loss (not exactly what someone with Parkinsons needs I would think). She was also on Requip (Dr prev prescribed for Restless Leg Syndrome). She will continue with the Requip but now for the right disease.
She also slightly drags one leg when she walks. I wouldn't describe her walk as a "shuffle" however it is certainly slower.
She has had some memory loss over the last year or so. All short term thank God.
In the last 6 months or so she has lost 25 pounds. She says she is just not hungry (another side effect of the Cogentin is anorexia).
She has also been experiencing depression.
I am really worried about her and don't really know what to expect as far as progression of this disease. I know from reading other posts that everyone is different but I would really appreciate any insight from others. I am a working single mom and I know now that I will need to take a much more active role in my mothers life. She did it for me and now it is my turn. Very sad for her because she really is the sweetest person ever.
Thank you for listening.

By Pearly4 On 2010.07.18 07:31
Everything you say points to an early stage to me. Progression, as you've said, is impossible to predict. I believe my mother had approximately 10 years at a good level of mobility where meds were effective and assisted. It was up and down after that.

She too dragged one foot in the beginning, not really a shuffle but she was more likely to trip or fall even then. Might be that the depression is more responsible for the lack of appetite than the medication and perhaps an antidepressant might help for depression and appetite. Encourage her to stay active and involved - my mother became more and more isolated leading to more and more depression.

I'm sorry, that's about all the advice I can offer at this point. There are those among us who believe that research and education are extremely important for caregivers as well as those afflicted with the disease but there are some patients and/or caregivers who are frightened and depressed by doing so -- you'll need to judge that for yourself.

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