BITS & PIECES - TAKE CARE!Category:
BITS AND PIECES
TAKE CARE! – A PARKINSON’S JOURNAL
Dave Verdery and Curtis Cannon
Dave: I drove the short trip from Waco to Temple for my first appointment with Dr. E at S&W Hospital’s Plummer Movement Disorder Center. She greeted me in the waiting area, and we went to her office to discuss my Parkinson’s. Dr. E asked if I had questioned how or where I might have gotten Parkinson’s. I replied that I’d done quite a lot of reading about it on the Internet and had found a checklist of 10 signs that could potentially indicate that I may have Parkinson’s. She asked if I had it with me, which I did and read the list aloud: 1) trouble walking; 2) loss of smell; 3) stooping or being hunched over; 4) facial masking, where your face looks sort of “blank”; 5) trouble sleeping; 6) resting tremors; 7) small handwriting, known as micrographia; 8) dizziness or fainting; 9) constipation, and; 10) a soft or low voice. Dr. E said she had wanted to explore each sign in-depth at the HOTPACS speaker meeting, but the busy Q & A following her presentation went too well in the time allowed.
Curt: “Pill Time.” That’s the phrase Dave hears me say 3-4 times daily, usually four hours apart. Each day’s routine begins when he wakes up and takes the first dosage. Dave found it increasingly difficult to get all those little pills into his mouth without dropping one or two of them, so I started putting each of the three remaining doses onto a spoon. Score! Now pill-taking is a breeze. Take a couple of swallows of water or juice to lubricate the throat, open wide, insert the spoon, deposit medication, finish drinking liquid (at least 12 ounces) and wait for a good half-hour before eating anything, the exception being a few Graham Crackers if the medications upset your stomach. If your next “Pill Time” is in four hours, it might be best to wait an hour after you take your medication before you eat. Here’s an example of what has worked well for us:
8 AM: Arise and take the first medication. Wait an hour and have breakfast at 9 AM. At 11 AM, stop eating, and no protein “shakes”.
12 N: Take second medication, wait an hour to have lunch at 1 PM. At 3 PM, stop eating.
4 PM: Take third medication, wait an hour to have dinner at 5 PM. At 7 PM, stop eating.
8 PM: Take fourth medication, wait an hour and then perhaps have a snack.
It’s important to have a plan for your medications and to remember that we are sharing with you what has worked for us since Dave’s PD diagnosis in 2007. The next time we write, we will shed some light on what we have done with the distribution of the numerous drugs that have been prescribed for Dave. These are so numerous that (TOP TIP) we lined up the pill bottles on the counter and took close-up pictures of the labels with our smartphone camera. The nurses love us! Note: We are freely sharing what we have learned about Parkinson’s in hopes it can help others.