BITS AND PIECES - TAKE CARE! · Parkinson's Resource Organization




by Dave Verdery and Curtis Cannon 2020

We will never forget the moment in our lives when the neurologist said these three words that predict the future for most Parkinson’s patients: “Chronic, Progressive and Incurable.” It was clear to us which one of the three words we could work on together. “Progressive.” And so, we decided to share our discoveries with you, in hopes that you will share too. 

Curtis, the caregiver, and Dave, the “care-receiver,” were given our first prescription. It was for a pill called Requip, one of those super-functional drugs that also helps patients with Restless Leg Syndrome! The first reaction Dave got was sleepiness. And we thought that made sense because we had some sleepless nights waiting to meet this “brain” doctor. Dave had been referred to the neurologist by his physician, who was treating him for giant purple bruises on his lower body from when he had momentarily blacked out and fallen from the ladder he was using to hang the colorful lights for Christmas 2006. 

As Dave’s physician was reading the written form concerning how the accident happened, he said, “I can barely read this. It appears that you have micrographia, where your handwriting is abnormally small, almost tiny compared to previous forms you have filled out in a normal hand. I want you to see a neurologist who can determine the cause behind this and the church fall”.  

Our first advice is that People With Parkinson’s must never, ever step up from the floor on a ladder, stool, box, or bench by themselves. Vertigo can be a major side effect of Parkinson’s! In future issues, we’ll continue our story of the neurologist and Requip, plus a true revelation to us concerning the world of neurology and movement disorders. 

To fight Micrographia, small handwriting, we suggest you obtain a tablet of quarter-inch graph paper and then print, in big block letters, a sweet note to your caregiver, filling each square to the max, a blank square between each word. Daily, doing this exercise may help maintain your regular penmanship, slowing the progression or onset of unreadable handwriting or micrographia. Your thoughtful gesture will be treasured.

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Updated: August 16, 2017