My name is Ian and I'm 66 years old. I was diagnosed with PD in the summer of 2011 although, looking back, I'd had symptoms for at least 18 months before that. My problems were all left-sided. I limped from time to time on my left leg and I had an occasional feeling of uselessness in my left arm and hand when eating or working on a computer keyboard.
In September 2010, I had gone to see my GP about high BP and mentioned my limp while I was there for which he arranged physio-therapy. At this stage I also mentioned my arm. He noticed a slight tremor and suggested I should see a neurologist. I chose to ignore this and went off on holiday where I struggled to swim in a straight line.
On returning from holiday, I started my course of physio and to cut a long story short, the therapist convinced me to see a neurologist.
So, on 31st January 2011, my wife and I visited a neurologist at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. Almost his first words were 'you definitely don't have PD but you do have some Parkinsonian-type symptoms'. He arranged a brain scan and suggested that I try some transdermal patches - just in case.
The scan was clear and the patches didn't make any difference. So, when I returned to GWH six months later, I was confident that I didn't have PD. The neurologist prescribed 25mg of Co-careldopa 3 times a day and asked me to let him know how they worked. I soon reported that they made no difference to my symptoms. At this point he told me to double the dose and the improvement was almost instantaneous.
I now take 50mg of co-careldopa 4 times a day, 10mg of selegiline, to smooth out the effect of the co-careldopa, and I wear an 8mg rotogitine patch which attempts to overcome dystonia.
I work full-time as a freelance IT consultant. I drive to my client's site in Bristol on 4 days a week and work from home on the fifth day. Recently, I've also been catching up on 15 years of decorating at home, so my life is pretty full. I find keeping busy and active are key to coping with PD - when I'm totally into something I have to rely on my mobile to remind me to take my meds.
Until a couple of years ago, I played golf regularly once a week but stopped because I couldn't fit everything in. Retirement is just around the corner so the golf course will soon be beckoning again. My consultant says that golf is good for Parkinson sufferers as it encourages conversation along with mental and physical exercise. On the other hand, one of my other interests is supporting Swindon Town which can be quite stressful and doesn't do me any good at all!