I was hoping you all might be able to help me, since you have a wealth of experience and I have none. I am not a Parkinson’s patient, but my close friend was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s a few years ago in his early 40s. He was an extremely active person, running marathons, hiking major mountains, and traveling to dozens of countries. At the time he was diagnosed, he had a very good and high-paying job, which I think provided him with a sense of purpose and was really great for his self-esteem.
Unfortunately, in the past few years his mobility and tremors have gotten progressively worse, to the point that he had to stop working last year and go on long-term disability. It seems like nothing is helping his symptoms.
He cannot tolerate Levodopa. It makes him extremely depressed. The kind of depression where you can’t even get out of bed. At its worse he had suicidal thoughts. He has tried Levodopa a few times, but has the same severe reaction every time so it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. My question to you all is, have any of you tried another medication or therapy that seemed to help improve tremors and other symptoms without causing such horrible side effects like major depression?
My friend’s world seems to be slowly shrinking around him, and I fear for his future. He’s only in his mid-40s and he has so much life to live, but the tremors, foot-dragging, poor balance, etc., make his life extremely hard. The standard medication (Levodopa) is worse than the disease (his words). I keep trying to encourage him to work with his doctors and not to give up. Unfortunately, here in the U.S., it’s difficult to see specialists, so it’s not like he can just easily schedule another doctor visit. He is permitted to see a specialist about every 6 months, and it’s a 15 minute or so visit. The doctor keeps pressing him to take more Levodopa.
Thank you for you reading my entry. I’m truly grateful I found this forum. I love my friend and it’s devastating to see him suffer. The physical symptoms are one thing, but the severe depression is what truly worries me. He has very little support from family, and I’m his major support in this world.
God bless you,