I’m starting this Parkinson’s Log/Diary today and below is a little back history:
Since circa the summer of 2012 until perhaps March of 2013 it had been evident to me that when I would start a day’s painting work, the early part of the day I would experience a little unsteadiness of my brush-holding right hand when doing the painting of a straight line. I then attributed that to my sensitivity to my breakfast caffeinated coffee. That was probably true to some extent, but in reality the caffeine was probably exaggerating the underlying tendency for degenerating “substantia nigra” brain cells to exhibit the initial hand tremors of PD.
Since March of 2013 I admitted to myself that I had a hand tremor that wasn’t just a caffeine related phenomenon. At that time I didn’t know what the characteristics of PD were but guessed instead that the tremor was just a little old-age related inconvenience that would progress no further. Maybe a little denial going on. I figured that it was probably related to my sometimes having used strong solvents in the past without also using protective rubber gloves.
I’m guessing it was a couple of months after March that I began noticing that sometimes when typing an “i”, I would notice—when reviewing what I had typed—that I had typed a double strike on the “i” key (“ii”). For a time I thought that maybe the “i” key had a mechanical problem since my touch typing was pretty fast, but I finally came to admit that it was a result of a finger tremor.
Friday, August 16, 2013 – It wasn’t until this date that I began to seriously suspect that I might have a condition that would progress to a more serious state. I was returning from a visit to Stockton and boarding the plane when the line of people getting on the plane paused for people ahead of me to put their luggage in their overhead bins. I was at that time passing a sixtyish man in a first class seat. He very evidently had hand tremors that looked like mine but were considerably more exaggerated and in both hands. I figured then that whatever he had, I too could easily be progressing towards the same condition. It was very sobering.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 – About 7:45 to 8:45 pm I finally searched online for descriptions of PD on Wikipedia and Mayo Clinic, etc. What I found convinced me that I probably had PD. I had the unexplained hand tremor and the faintest of some of the other symptoms.
I then began to be anxious about how I would share this with Merry-Ken. I began looking for a suitable time to do this. Of course I too was bummed-out by my inauspicious finding. It took me a couple of days to peacefully accept the most likely prognosis of PD, but I did so in hope that I might do things to retard its progress.
Saturday the 24th – At 12:40 pm I subscribed to Michael J. Fox’s online news letter. Wondering about how easy I would be to live within the later stages of PD, that evening at 9:40 pm I looked up info on euthanasia in Oregon.
Tuesday, August 27th – At about 6:45 pm I was with Merry-Ken as she sat in the leather recliner chair. She remarked that my hand was shaking a little. A couple of times in the past few months she mentioned that to me but I had put off her concerns saying that I thought it was a getting-older-annoyance that was related to my history of exposure to solvents and that it was nothing to be concerned about. This time I told her that I searched out PD manifestations online and that I was pretty sure that I had PD. She was very upset.
Merry-Ken urged me to search what could be done for PD to stop it, or cure it. Even though these were my sentiments too, what I had already studied on the matter made me realize that even if there were measures to slow it down, that eventually it would progress to more serious stages. I tried to assure her that from my reading I gathered that one might possibly slow the progress toward the stage of marked dependency on care givers. A good diet and exercise would help and I pointed out how that is where I was at and that in some cases people have gone 15 or more years before their initial hand tremor stage progressed to the dependent care stage. She urged me to find out anything else I might do and she also began such searches.
Wednesday or Thursday the 28th or 29th we made an appointment for 3:00 pm Friday the 30th with Dr. Kessinger to get his diagnosis.
Friday, August 30 – I read about studies where 6 to 12 times the normal amount of over-the-counter anti oxidant, CoQ10, was (in their double-blind study) shown to retard the progress of PD in some of their subjects. So at 8:35 am I ordered some CoQ10 and another antioxidant, Astaxanthan. The regular dose of those is 100 mg per day for each. When I got them I began doing CoQ10 at the rate of 200mg per meal and 100 mg of Astaxanthan between each meal.
As well as walking four miles a day about 4 times per week, I added lap swimming about three times a week. I figured this would keep my limbs active and more resistant to the progress of the PD manifestations that usually begin to attend.
At 3:00 pm on Friday we went to Dr. Kessinger for his evaluation about the possibility of my having PD. He suggested a blood test to see if there might be some other thing affecting my symptoms. I had that done Monday, September 9th. Got Dr K’s evaluation a week later on the 16th. He saw that my blood sugar was probably spiking some and quickly dropping off–indicating a growing insulin resistance. Anyway, he suggested a “modified paleo diet” for me to isolate things that could be troubling for me if I did have PD. He also sold me a “Nebulizer” which I could use to sniff atomized glutathione antioxidant which he said would be beneficial to my brain and might slow down the progress of PD if that’s what I have. He also did a chiropractic realignment of my cervical bones in my neck to assure my getting a good blood supply to the brain.
Saturday, 9-21-2013 The Equinox. — Had first Glutathione nebulizer yesterday and noticed that the right hand tremor was as it has been or maybe even worse. But today I hardly have any tremor at all. Maybe the “glute” is starting to work.
Monday, September 23, 2013 – I made a fourth visit to Dr. Kessinger’s. My cervical bones are staying aligned. No other changes to report to Dr K. I’m still keeping up the Modified Paleo Diet mostly because I want to increase my insulin acceptance. I find it a little farfetched that my diet that has suited me so well would impinge on PD symptoms. But, “hey!” I’m not a doctor.