Johnny Cash and The Misdiagnosis of Parkinson's

Johnny Cash and The Misdiagnosis of Parkinson's

Has there ever been anyone cooler than Johnny Cash? NO!! The man in black was the best...a bad, bad man!

To say he lived life in the fast lane would be a huge understatement. His addictions to alcohol and drugs are well known. When he started having health problems it wasn't a surprise.

In the mid-1990's, Cash was having trouble performing. He had problems with his voice and was wobbly on stage. He also suffered from tremors and fatigue. In 1997, he announced he was taking time off because of his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease....or as it turned out, his misdiagnosis.

After further testing he was then diagnosed with Shy-Drager's Disease. It has similar symptoms as Parkinson's but is deadlier. Turned out this was the wrong diagnosis , too.

Cash told the Nashville Tennessean newspaper, "My doctor told me if I had it, I'd be dead by now."

Doctors finally got it right when they diagnosed him with Diabetes. That eventually caused his death in 2003, although many people feel he died of a broken heart. His wife, June Carter Cash, died a few months earlier.

The misdiagnosis of Parkinson's is common. Many of the symptoms can be found in other diseases. They're also part of the aging process. Another issue is there isn't a simple test for Parkinson's. It's mostly found through the process of elimination. You're tested for other diseases and when all of those are ruled out...voila...Parkinson's.

With such a foolproof system it's easy to see why so many have been misdiagnosed. Sigh!

Cash isn't the only celebrity to be misdiagnosed with Parkinson's. Daryl Dragon, of The Captain and Tenille (he's the Captain) was misdiagnosed. Even Muhammad Ali doesn't have true Parkinson's Disease. He has Pugilistica Parkinson's from taking to many blows to the head.

So if these guys with all their money and access are having issues getting a true diagnosis, what does this mean for the rest of us. Most of us have trouble getting to see a neurologist or movement specialist on a regular basis. Appointments can take six months or longer to get. Then going through the process could take as long as a year.

With the non-celeb it just takes longer to get it wrong.

And it burns, burns, burns
The ring of fire, the ring of fire


Tomorrow is the final day of Parkinson's Awareness Month. You can see my posts over the last two years by clicking here.

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    Howard Moore

    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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