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Medication and PD

Don’t you get tired of taking medicine? I mean, you wake up and you’re shaking. You have a shower and can’t shower the way you used to because your body isn’t listening to what you’re brain is telling it to do.  You get dressed – or attempt to. Other people we meet in the course of the day smile and say, “You look so good. You don’t even look like you have Parkinson’s.” So what is Parkinson’s supposed to look like anyhow? Recently, a man shared his story flippantly in the local newspaper, saying that at times he is so out of control people think he’s trying to choke himself. I think he may need a different doctor, new or different drug at least until he can get some sort of control with his disease and accidentally kill himself.

You’ve heard before perhaps, that Parkinson’s looks different on each person. It’s like putting the same shirt with the same print in the same size on five different people. It’s going to look different on each and every one. No one will wear it the same. And no one wears the same disease the same, either.

So – the people we will encounter throughout our days will say we ‘look good’. That makes them feel comfortable. At the moment, there’s no shaking for them to stare and wonder all the things they wonder about when we are shaking.  Things like ‘Do they do it at other times for attention?  Have they been misdiagnosed?’ and/or ‘Are they over/under medicated?’.   In all probability, all three scenarios could be a reality, but if they’re on medication for Parkinson’s disease, the probability of their physical issue being PD is almost certain if they are responding positively to certain drugs they will have to be on.

Whether we ‘look good’ or not, on the inside there is a raging battle going on. A battle to claim my spirit, my will and mind, my joy, my calm and my peace.  And on days like today, it gained a bit of  ground. Yet, on days like today I also remind myself  that I have a God who sees the inside. The places that no one else can see. The places that don’t look or feel so good. He sees the battle and He calls for a reprieve – a time out – if only for a moment.

A reprieve from those who tease at our expense. A reprieve from stares that you ignore, knowing they stare out of ignorance, like – I must admit – I once did. A reprieve from the weariness, the tiredness, the pain. A reprieve from discouragement and sometimes despair.

However, there is no reprieve from the plethora of drugs to be taken and so you take the pills. Three red ones, four orange, thirteen white, one yellow… let’s see – we’re up to 23 a day now,  more if you have pain or a headache. Sometimes they make you tired and cranky and sometimes they make you sick and sometimes they make you sick and tired.  And sometimes…  they make you feel good.

I wonder…  If I didn’t take my PD pills, would I not ‘look good’ but feel better?  Or would I ‘look great’ and feel worse?  Or – maybe I’d start choking myself like the man in the newspaper.

I don’t know. I do know that I don’t like taking all that medicine, but I do like being able to live life to it’s fullest – whatever that might mean for me – and if taking those pills help, then I’ll swallow number thirteen, quit com


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