I am a retired school teacher, married with one daughter, and two grandchildren. I live in a small village in the Vale of Glamorgan which is a lovely part of South Wales.
Forced to take retirement earlier than I would have liked, I have spent the greater part of my spare time writing poetry, which has become my main hobby and has been therapeutic. For any who share my interest in writing poetry, I have posted a poem which continues this self-Introduction, in Parkinson’s Poetry Corner.
My journey through life with Parkinson’s has been longer than that of most people. My consultant has told me that I am unique. in that I am probably the oldest, known person in the UK, and possibly in Europe to have had PD for as many years as I have, without suffering mental impairment.
I was diagnosed with PD in 1988, thirty-two years ago, although I had been showing signs of the condition four years earlier when it was mis-diagnosed as a frozen shoulder.
Over the years I have gone through various mediations available, and I have been fortunate to have had two excellent PD Specialists who have referred me for Neurosurgery, on two occasions; In 1996, I had a Pallidotomy to alleviate the excessive movement in my right side, followed, in 2005, by Deep Brain Stimulation(DBS) in which a pulse generator (a device like a heart pacemaker) is placed under the skin just under the clavicle. It is connected to one or two fine wires that are inserted into specific areas of your brain.
When the pulse generator is switched on, the electrodes deliver high frequency stimulation to the targeted area. This stimulation changes some of the electrical signals in the brain that cause the aymptoms of Parkinson’s.
In 2012, I was given the opportunity to try Duodopa, which is Ldopa, the common Parkinson’s drug in gel form. Duodopa is administered as a gel suspension through a tube that is surgically inserted into the intestine. A pump helps to deliver the required dosage through the tube. This method ensures that a continuous concentration of Duodopa is available in the blood.
I can honestly say that I feel better now than I felt twenty-five years ago and I would recommend DBS and Duofopa therapy to anyone who their consultant considers to be suitable…
Currently, my greatest PD associated problem is sialorrhea or excessive drooling. Saliva simply pours from my mouth in a continuous flow. I have tried all of the possible remedies including Botex injections, with no success.
Surgery to remove a salivary gland or re-route a salivary duct may be done in severe cases: but, because this procedure is irreversible, I am uncertain of having it, as it could result in a dry mouth, which can also be unpleasant.
If any of you have any experience of this surgical process or, indeed of any remedy, I would love to know.