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My Parkinson’s diagnosis

April 3, 2010

Twenty five years ago, I went to my family physician.  “I can’t smell.  For a while I was having olfactory hallucinations; smelling weird odors.  Now I smell nothing at all.”

He looked at me and said: (honest to God) “I don’t know what it is, but that’s a bad sign.  You have a serious problem, but there is nothing that can be done.”  And sent me home.

About nine years ago (maybe less) I went to a different family doctor.  “I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure there’s something wrong with me.  I don’t feel as smart as I used to.  I stutter more often.  My balance is not as good as it used to be.”

He looked me over and said: “You’re fine!  You’re too young to be going senile or have Alzheimer’s!  You’re just imagining these things.”  I walked out, wondering if I was going crazy.

About seven years ago, the week of Christmas, I was at a machine shop.  With my left hand, I picked up a forging, to examine it.  All of a sudden my left middle finger started to tremble violently.  I couldn’t stop it.  I called a friend, a doctor, and told him I thought I had Parkinson’s.  “It’s nothing!  You worry too much!  You’re just a little nervous about something; forget  about it.”

Six years ago I went to a new family physician.  “I think I have PD.  My left hand will sometimes shake uncontrollably.”  (You know where this is going by now, don’t you?)

“No, you may have tremor, but it’s not PD.  I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Five years ago, I was (Surprise!!) told I had PD.  “You have seven, maybe eight, good years.  Make the most out of them.”

I’m trying.


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