My World of Parkinsonian Delights

More Things That Annoy Me

Now, more things that annoy me, culled from the popular media’s reporting on Parkinson’s disease!

“Eeeeew!  Grampa is OLD and SHAKY and DROOLY!!!”

First, this whiny note from a whiner whining about bringing an elderly parent into her home.

My father lived with my family for nine months, following the onset of Parkinson’s disease. His depression settled over the whole house. Dad clearly didn’t want to be there, and the kids, 16 and 8 at the time, avoided the living room, where dad hung out and slept in the chair constantly, refusing to take any interest in life. Both of the kids essentially quit inviting guests over. They were not immune to the depression and, not to be melodramatic, the feeling of death that surrounded us.

I was driving home from work three or four times a day to check on him, feed him and monitor his medications. My husband was a saint about it, but eventually even he said, “We can’t keep this up. We are raising our children in a nursing home.”

Once his illness was diagnosed and he began medication, Dad was actually able to move for a year into an independent living facility, and I truly think he was happier there. He eventually had to go to a nursing home, and has since died.

You THINK he was happier there?  Did you ASK him?  Did you even frickin’ VISIT him?

Sweetie?  I guarantee ya!  Nobody was happier about getting out of your house of whiners than your dad was.  You poor, sweet little slackers and your snot-nosed kids could learn a thing about family by learning how to care for an elderly member who needed your help.

And here’s how she winds up her note.

I guess what I am trying to say is that in spite of our best intentions, we can’t stop the natural course of life, and that also we as parents have to be acutely aware of the effect on our children when a household changes so dramatically. And, too, it is not always the desire of an elderly parent to be in their child’s home. My father had been extremely independent all his life and it was almost more than he could take to have the balance of the relationship change so drastically.

Nobody was ASKING you to “stop the natural course of life.”  Your friends calling your husband “a saint” didn’t make you GOD!  And I am more than sure there were nights when your crappy little diaper needed changing or your little cough kept your parents awake all night or you had a fever and your dad ran to the drug store to get something for you.  And yet you talk about your father like he was some sort of malignant presence in your home.  Shame on you.  Shame on your husband.  Shame on your children.  And congratulations to your dad for dying and finally being rid of you.

Would you trust a news report that misspells a simple word like dementia?

Each Wednesday during Good Morning San Diego, KUSI provides the latest research, advice, and health information.

New research shows that Parkinson’s disease doesn’t only affect the motor system, it can also cause dimentia in about a third of patients. This coming Friday, UC San Diego will be hosting a free memory screening clinic. Dr. Joanne Hamilton, from UC San Diego Medical Center, was here to tell us how this screening can benefit Parkinson’s patients.

TV News.  Meh.

Oh, Goodie!  Another PD Preventative!

CoQ10, Glutathione, a handful of Pomeranian fur — seems like everyone has something that will make your PD better or keep you from getting it.  Coffee (which I’ve been drinking since I was 14), nicotine (I’ve been smoking cigars since I was 17) — they’re all supposed to be neuroprotective.

Now this.

The latest research reported in the July 2010 issue of Life Extension magazine, page 74 (print edition is published in June) notes that vitamin B6 may help prevent Parkinson’s. See the article, “Latest Research: Vitamin B6 May Help Prevent Parkinson’s.” The recent study revealed that “inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B6 may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 50%.”

Scientists examined the relationship between dietary intake of folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin B2 as it relates to the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. After adjusting for other factors, scientist found that low intake of vitamin B6 was associated with an approximately 50% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Meh.  I suppose it’s like chicken soup for a cold.  It couldn’t hurt…

And now, something ELSE I coulda told the researchers…

PD affects the tummy.

New data from a retrospective cohort study showed that up to three quarters of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) developed gastrointestinal disorders (GID) that can have a substantial adverse effect on major PD-related clinical and health economic outcomes. These data were presented at the 14th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Buenos Aires, Argentina (June 13-17, 2010).

“The new retrospective cohort study suggested that the prevalence of gastrointestinal disorders among patients with Parkinson’s disease was high, increased over time and had a significant impact on clinical and societal outcomes,” said Dr. Florent Richy, Head of Epidemiology, UCB & Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, University of Liege, Belgium. “Gastrointestinal disorders can impair the onset of symptom relief by Parkinson’s disease drugs and these data help us to better understand the prevalence and consequences of such disorders amongst patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.”

The study found that gastrointestinal disorders in PD patients were associated with significantly higher rates of neuropsychiatric and motor disorders, as well as increased emergency room admissions, number of concurrent drugs and non-PD healthcare costs.

So THAT’S why I’m having cognitive problems.  It was the ICE CREAM!!!

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