Wednesday, September 06, 2006

when progress is a bad thing

I just returned from a visit to my doctor, the neurologist, who is treating my Parkinsons Disease. This was not a regularly scheduled visit, too soon for that, but one I felt I needed to address some concerns that I have. I won't go into a long explanation of PD and its symptoms. For that you can go to Parkinsons Disease Foundation for an in depth look if you're interested. I just needed to update him on the progression of my symptoms and see if there is a need to change meds or routine.

For me it has been nearly 7 years since the onset of symptoms, 5 years since I began treatment. Since beginning treatment I have stayed fairly consistent in the medication dosage and the level of progression of the disease. But over the past couple months the meds have been, what we with PD call, "wearing off" before the next scheduled dose is taken. That means that symptoms become more apparent and bothersome and the need for meds becomes more frequent. But taking more than the regularly scheduled dosage of medication can cause other problems that eventually can exacerbate the underlying condition. Thus the need for an adjustment of dosage or a change in meds to deal with the new parameters of the disease.

So after a long talk with the doctor, (who is a nationally known expert on PD and who is also an avid woodworker, as I am, and who is Lithaunian same as me, so I trust him completely) we came to the conclusion that I have stepped off the plateau I was on and moved into the next phase. We agreed to try a new approach by adjusting the frequency of medication and maybe trying some new meds that could have a different and, hopefully advantageous, affect on my synptoms. Time wll tell if we made the right decision or if we need to find still another approach.

Sometimes progress is a good thing, sometimes it's not. In this case I'm leaning toward "not."

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