Sooner or later, Parkinson's Disease is going to get you

When you think of Parkinson’s Disease, what’s your first thought? You most likely move right to the tremors. It makes sense because the image is so stark and the visual is always right in your face.

When you get past the tremors, issues with balance are probably next. Can you picture someone trying to walk in a straight line or moving slowly to avoid a fall? It’s a big part of the Parkinson’s experience.

But what about the underlying symptoms of the disease. What are some of the things that you can’t see but have a major effect on your life?

There’s a vitamin deficiency that is a possible link to Melanoma. There’s also constipation which can lead to a variety of gastro issues.

I’ve had stomach problems for about five years. We’ve tried a number of solutions to regulate them with mixed results. I’ve used everything from Metameusil and Miralax to fiber supplements and Linzess. While they help in keeping me somewhat regular, the side effects have been worse than the original issues.

About three years ago I started getting Diverticulitis attacks. While they were considered minor and could be handled with antibiotics, they didn’t seem minor to me.

It came to a head last year. I had three episodes that sent me to either the emergency room or an urgent care facility. There were a couple of others that were handled by telehealth. Plus, the constant antibiotics were doing a major number on my stomach.

Enough eventually became more than enough. It was time for a change. Drastic times call for drastic measures…or something less cliche.


About three weeks ago I went under the knife for a little procedure. They said it was minor but I told them taking out more than a foot of infected colon doesn’t sound minor to me. I also told them that a four-night stay in the hospital can’t be too minor. When I tripled down and said minor surgery is when it happens to someone else, there was a lot of eye-rolling, including my own.

So back to the Parkinson’s connection, I asked my neurologist if this was due to the disease? Her response:

“Probably some of it. But maybe, just maybe you should change your diet of pizza, cheese, popcorn and ice cream and try more water and vegetables.”

Damn! What’s with these snarky doctors? That’s my job.

But overall, it looks like I’m going to be okay. The recovery is going on schedule. Some say it’s three weeks while others say it may take two months to get back to normal. I’m probably trending somewhere in between, I did go outside for about an hour yesterday. It was the first time out of the house since the surgery. I take it as a good sign.

As for Parkinson’s, this is the first time in the ten years since my diagnosis that I’ve had any significant damage. I realize how lucky I am in that regard. I also know that due to the nature of the disease that there will eventually be a next time. Hopefully, that will be later than sooner. I don’t know the when or what it will be but I’m prepared….sort of. Bring it on!

Related Post: Parkinson’s doesn’t mean the end of your life

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    Howard Moore

    Every five years or so I decide to update this section. I can't believe I've been doing this for close to ten years. The last time I did this I was close to sixty years old. Now I'm just a few months away from the big 7-ZERO. Scary AF!!! I'm pretty sure I won't be doing an update when I hit 80, but you never know. But until then, lets just be grateful.

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