Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Doctor Visit Results

Quick update after seeing my neurologist Monday morning.

One, she updated my meds. Didn't like the one medication I showed her. She said it wasn't in her "go to medications" because she felt the beneficial affect it could have didn't tend to deliver enough "punch" in exchange for the potential negative side effects. I didn't argue with her, though I'd heard/read some good things about it. Most of it anecdotal and not proven, though. I've also read a lot of doctors aren't read up on it too, and this may have been the case as she seemed to think it would require dietary restrictions when everything I've read from reputable sources say at normal doses, it doesn't require it because it inhibits MAO-B, not MAO-A which does have those restrictions. She didn't seem to be aware of that difference.

At any rate, our new med plan is my Sinemet has been doubled. Instead of taking one pill 3 times a day, I'll take two 3 times a day. Then if in 2 months I still feel I need more help, I can contact her and she re-prescribe the Ropinerole that was helping earlier this year.

Into day 2 of taking the double dose, I can tell it is helping. Less stiffness in my left arm. Still not normal, but I'll give it a week or two to build up before I decide whether I need more help.

But I got some good news! Currently I have an hour and a half drive each way to go see this neurologist. She said she recalled seeing an email about a new neurologist in the Marble Falls facility they are building. She checked, got his name, and I said I'd like to try him out. So I ended up with an appointment to see him on Nov. 10th.

This will really be helpful, since he'll only be about 10 minutes away. Saves gas money and taking up most of a day. So I'm happy about that and hope this new neurologist will work out.

That's it for now. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I'm off to see the doctor...

Will be going to see the neurologist Monday morning. Paperwork was submitted, though I discovered I could just bring it with me.

Good thing too. Lately I've noticed more stiffness in my left arm that my meds aren't getting rid of. More pain as a result, sometimes worse than other times. Hopefully the doc can update my medications.

One thing I'm going to talk about is a medication I've heard some good things about: Selegiline. It may be able to make my Sinemet dosage more effective so we don't have to raise it yet. It works by blocking the chemical process that breaks down dopamine in the body, so what is floating around in there lasts longer. We'll see if the doctor agrees with using it.

Recent weeks I've noticed more stiffness in my legs, swallowing pills sometimes doesn't work right. Noticed more signs of my right hand being affected. Lately I'm double-clicking the mouse without realizing it. Same thing that happened with my left hand in 2011 about this time: I kept double pressing letters on the keyboard. I thought it was the keyboard acting up, but it was PD. If my right hand follows the same time frame, I should notice more difficulty typing with it by November.

The most noticeable effect on my right hand comes in brushing my teeth. It is harder to do it smoothly, and at times my hand runs away with it, going fast like I'm barely maintaining control. Surprised I've not jabbed my jaw with the thing yet.

Also seems like I've had more episodes of mental dullness lately, when it almost feels like I'm only able to focus on one thing and unable to process sensory data as readily.

So hope to talk about all that with the doctor, and hopefully come away with some help.

One good thing. So far, it doesn't seem like my voice has deteriorated any more than it has before. Lower notes still aren't as solid, but most of my range is still there. As long as I can stay calm, can still sing. Directing is a bigger issue. A few Sundays ago, choir director was gone. I'm the backup. Directing with my right hand left my left arm free. As my stress went up, my left arm started flapping against my side like a fish out of water. Had to get the wife to hold onto it and rub it so I could function.

I'll try and come back for an after doctor update when I can.