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    I need reassurance
    Kitaliano posted:
    I just found out my father has Parkinson's. I am very concerned with his mental and physical well-being. Some days I talk to him, he sounds exhausted and we only talk for 5 minutes IF THAT! than some days he sounds great and go on with a conversation for days, as if his medication is working. I talked to him today, he said he felt "just okay".. Is the medication working or not? Or is he progressively getting worse? He is 69 years old.. What is the life expectancy for Parkinson's? This is all new to me. I've read everything about Parkinson's, but I don't think I'm ready for the worst? =[
    Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
    Dear Kitaliano,
    I am sorry to read about your father's difficulties. I would bet both you and your father have a number of worries at this early stage of diagnosis, and I am not the person to share those concerns. Luckily we have many people on this site with personal experience with PD, and I will encourage them to encourage you! I think it takes a while to make peace with the diagnosis of PD, and the time for this varies with the person.

    In terms of your father's medical situation, there may be a number of things to think about. First and foremost, if your father improves with medication, his life expectancy is not likely to be less than if he did not have PD. I would encourage you to think about the next three months, while he is adjusting to medication, not the next 10 years.

    Working with PD medications can sometimes be tricky. One of the things I always preach is to watch for signs of low standing blood pressure (BP) - these are dizziness, tiredness, fatigue, poor energy, headache, dry mouth... Checking his BP sitting and standing when he does not feel well is needed. If his standing BP falls more than 20 points, or is below 90 systolic (top number), then he needs more fluids and perhaps more salt. I would discuss any blood pressure medicine with his doctor.

    Take heart, all of us wish the best for you and your dad.
    worn1 responded:
    When you are first diagnosed with Parkinsons you want to sit down and cry and at the same time you are relieved that you finally know what is wrong with you. You are scared that you are going to be dependent on others. You do not want to go to a nursing home but that is what you keep thinking about. Until your father starts his own research into this disease he is going to be scared. He will not show it. If he researchs this disease he will see how far research has come in treatment. The medication available will help immensly with the symptons. He is going to have a rollcoster at first. Some days he will be the energizer bunny and some days it will take everything he has to move. It is important to keep a journal to keep track of everything that is happening. An adjustment or addition of drugs may help. I have yet to meet a parkinson person who is not a lousy speller with a bad memory. Also he may loose part of his vocabulary. Tell him not to worry about the loss of vocabullary, my sister says she now understands what I am talking about. He must exercise. the old saying use it or loose it applies with parkinsons. The more exercise you do the better you feel. Look at it as fighting back. If you cannot move parkinsons wins. Parkinsons affects everyone differently. I think attitude along with exercise plays a big part along with support from familly, friends and co workers. Keep away from negtaive people. They suck the life out of you and turns your positive attitude into bad attitude whick helps parkinsons . I do not hide the fact that I have parkinsons. People ask question which I answer. With an open discussion it helps take away the uncomfortable feeling that some people get when they do not understand. Even though I do have parkinsons I do not let it slow me down and I keep a postive attitude. I always go fot the brass ring. Admittedly it has caused some problems. I have no sense of balance and when I tried to lift and move the glass top off of a 5 ft round coffee table I ended up falling face down on the glass top with my hands pinned under the edge. I had to laugh as the only thought that came to mind is I've Fallen and can't get up.
    YOU must keep a positive attitude and help with the research. Talk about other things besides parkinson If he brings up the subject talk and listen.. If he dosn't have a hobby get one. Exerscise body and brain. Take up golf--great exercise, social life. Remember dogs or cats are good therapists. Make friends with the neighbors dog or get one. Dogs are people magnets and if your dad is single a chick magnet.---life goes on-- please do not take offense but making and keeping friends is vital to his emotional well being. Also walking the dog is great exercise. Goldens, Labs or any mutt that is friendly will work. I have 2. Besides great exercise I have met more of my neighbors in 1 week than I had in years.
    Back to one of your questions. Parkinsons disease progresses at different speeds in every one. I have had parkinsons since the 90's. My medicatioins of stalevo, mirapex,azlect and the exelon patch for parkinsons has not changed since i started taking them. I was so far along she started me on the big guns except for the exelon patch which was added last year for memory. It has helped. With the medication you cannot tell I have parkinson.
    So stop worrying about what can happen and enjoy life.

    If you have specific questions ask.Someone can answer your question. It may not be what you want to hear but you will be given an answer.
    Don.t let parkinson stop you from enjoying life.


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