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parkinsons, anyone with experience?

(4 Posts)
danthe4th Fri 21-Aug-09 00:25:22

My elderly Dad has been visiting the geriatric specialist for a few years and I'm not really sure why ( long story, we don't really talk about illness) but when I asked him what they do he says they measure his head and I'm wondering why. I suspect he has the beginnings of parkinsons as first went to the doctors with leg pains and he is now shuffling quite badly, hes 78. What are the early signs of parkinsons and what will happen over the next few years if the shuffling is the beginning.

leisurely Fri 21-Aug-09 07:29:42

Mask like face, whispery hoarse voice and constipation are all signs of Parkinsons. Can't figure out the head measuring though.

myhandslooksoold Mon 24-Aug-09 22:02:17

Just bumping this for you. I am also interested as my MIL just told us she has been diagnosed with parkinsons. She has been complaining of stiffness and fatigue for ages. She has also had difficulty using her right hand and for a couple of years the gp's have been telling her she had a frozen shoulder.
We haven't got a clue what to expect. Have spent some time searching on google this morning and saw the parkinsons association website and also some useful videos on youtube. Have found out it doesn't shorten life expectancy but that the progression of the disease cannot be predicted.
On one hand I feel slightly relieved as this explains so much and now there is an official diagnosis. On the other hand I am devastated for her and my FIL and my DH. I am also aware that this will change the dynamics of our relationship- I wasn't expecting this shift in the dynamics until we were in our forties and our parents were 'officially old' (they are all in their 50's and me and DH in our early 30's).
I would also appreciate any advice on managing the change in the relationship as parents become elderly/long term sick.
p.s. Danthe4th perhaps your dad means he is having a brain scan as that is how my MIL was diagnosed?

Broodymomma Tue 25-Aug-09 20:48:58


So sorry for both of you, its vry hard to accept the way things change when you see your parents become ill. My heart goes out to you both.

My dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons 3 years ago age 75, the same month my mum was diagnosed with renal failure. To say its been a massive change to our lives would be an understatement, before that march they were both fit healthy people.

With Dad is started very much with s stiffnedd of the joints and a tremor down his right hand side, It was so slight to start it was hard to really tell if it was stress related (kidding ourselves i think). The doctor done things like handwriting tests to start and he was diagnosed within 3 months. We were told there was now ay of knowing how quick or slow the parkinsons would get worse as it is different for everybody. To start with he did not go on any medication but as time went on the shaking got worse and he started to trip up a lot whilst he was walking, he finds it hard to turn in bed or get in or out. Things like getting up off the couch were becoming harder so after about 8 months he went on medication (i cant remember the name sorry).

The downside of the meds is that the shaking gets worse but his joints moved easier and i sseen a massive difference in his general mmovement. He stayed on the same dose from the start until 2 months ago when we all noticed things were getting worse again so they have increased his pills by one a day. Not seen a massive change yet but it does take time to take effect. His speech now has started to slur but i still understand him - its worse when he is tired or stressed.

To start with its bloody scary and awful to watch but in time it becomes the norm - he is still your dad and that never changes. It does break my heart sometimes to watch my parents now and yes its different but you get there and it can be helped with medication. It does not work forever but has for my dad for 3 years.

Am always here for a chat if you want to talk.

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