My visits always start the same, Bonnie or Malinda sign me in, then Perla shows us (my Wonderful Hubby always comes along) to an exam room and in few minutes, Dr. Z comes in, smiles a big smile, and says: Hello, Mrs. Ribaudo, Mr. Ribaudo, how are you today? He shakes both our hands and sits down.
Part one of my visit was as his patient. He asked me how I was doing with the dosing changes we made last visit (3 months ago). I told him I was having bad left foot cramps (my lesser affected side) everyday around noon (during peak on time) and that I had tried cutting back my Stalevo 100's to 4 times a day (after Charting my symptoms) instead of 5, to see if it made a difference. The foot cramps had disappeared and the slight increase in off time was acceptable to me, so he wrote down the new dosing times and said okay.
We then discussed the possibility of replacing a couple of the Stalevo's with plain Sinemet (I am concerned about the potential negative side effects of the higher doses of entacapone, the extra ingredient in Stalevo). Dr Z said I could try it, but do it slowly and carefully chart my symptoms. He said I might need to take a half pill in between doses and wrote me a prescription. I asked about reducing the Requip (also due to potential side effects), but he suggested just one change at a time. I am to report back in 2 months, sooner if problems occur.
Part two of my visit was as a Parkinson's Advocate. I showed him the Aware in Care Hospital Kit and told him to expect patients to be bringing them in. He asked if he could order some to hand out and I said yes and gave him the info. I told him the Neupro Patch had received FDA approval, again. I showed him the Proclamation from the Mayor and my 2 stories featured on the Michael J Fox Foundation blog. I then asked him if I could take a picture of him for this story. He seemed embarrassed, but said yes.
He then gave me my usual hug (yes, we end every visit with a big hug), shook hands with my Wonderful Husband and went off to take care of another patient. Now you all know why I love my Dr Z.
|Bev and Dr Zonis|
Dr. Julio Zonis, his beautiful wife Perla (who is his office manager) and Malinda and Bonnie (the girls who do the rest) always take excellent care of me!
PS Every Parkie is different and finding the right combination of medicines, doses and timing takes patience. Charting has really helped me and my Doctor, however, what works for me will probably not work for anyone else and what works for me this week may not work next month. Discuss any medicine changes with your Doctor.
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Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!