I have just been diagnosed positive with idiopathic Parkinson's Disease a week ago Monday at 58 years. My Neurologist rated the progression of the disease at 2.5 on the Modified Hoehn and Yahr Scale. Unless I have misinterpreted the scale, I believe I am about 7 years into the disease now.
Although I had pre-diagnosed myself as my symptoms were unmistakably Parkinson's in nature, it still came as a bit of a shock when after 30 minutes of examination, my Neurologist confirmed I had PD. I think deep down inside my subconscious, there had burned the faintest flicker of hope that the diagnosis would be, and against all odds, something less malign. It was not to be. When the diagnosis was confirmed, the tremor in my right hand and leg went off the scale as my anxiety level headed for the stratosphere. I did a good job replicating one of shakers the hardware stores use to mix tins of paint! Well, it has all sunk in now and I think it is actually a relief to be officially in the Parkinson's system and to be finally receiving treatment to manage my symptoms.
I have been prescribed the DA Ropinirole starting with Requip XL 2 mg for 14 days, then upgrading to 4 mg for the next 14 days with the target set at 6 mg. I have been on the 2 mg for 7 days now. My tremor is unabated as are the other physical symptoms with the exception of the muscle pain experienced in my arm which has abated somewhat. The biggest change so far has been to my mental health. Gone is the angst I would awake with every morning and lasting well into the day. Gone too is the anxiety experienced with every little perceived problem. I believe this has to do with the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin being stimulated by the DA. I have suffered somewhat from nausea, insomnia, fatigue and digestive issues since starting the medication. The nausea, insomnia and fatigue disappeared after 5 days although the digestive issues are still present. I presume I will experience the same symptoms with each 2 mg increase in dosage. The thing that scares me most about taking the DA is the possibility of developing compulsive and obsessive behaviour. God forbid I turn into a pervert!! I have as a precaution requested a few close work colleagues to keep a close eye on me for signs of irrational behaviour. Here's hoping I'm one of the fortunate 75% who do not suffer from these nasty side effects.
One question I do have regards alcohol consumption. I am not a big drinker but do enjoy the occasional pint of fine English ale. The pamphlet that came with the tablets warns against imbibing alcohol. Is that it? Am I doomed to join the Temperance League or is there hope for me sometime in the future?