Doctor: How are you doing? Patient: Fine
Doctor: (to himself, then why are you here?)
Sounds like the start of a humorous joke, doesn't it? It does, but it's not funny.
I used to have conversations like this with my Neurologist until I realized that I have to know EXACTLY what is going on with my body so that I can report properly.
About a week before my last appointment, I made a symptom chart and marked on it every hour or so as to what exactly was going on with me. To make it simple, I made columns that depicted my various problems and chose a number between 1 and 10 to depict how I felt. I also noted when I woke up, took meds, ate, napped, and other general feelings.
This is what my blank chart looked like:
|Clicking on this pic will make it larger
I made it using Works, which is the database software on my old PC, but you can use anything. There might even be an app for your phone. I would have written it on a piece of paper, but my writing is worse than any Doctor's.
After a few days, I noticed some unusual things:
I would get a headache when my medicine started wearing OFF, then a stiff neck. These both disappeared when I was ON. (if you don't know what ON & OFF mean, read Learning the Parkie Lingo)
I was wearing OFF after about 4 hours but taking doses 6 hours apart and it was taking about 90 minutes after a pill to feel ON again, so I was OFF about 7-8 hrs a day.
When I was OFF, my nose would be all clogged up but I could breathe just fine when I was ON.
I always felt better right after sleeping or eating a chocolate chip cookie. I thought about just eating cookies, but then I'd get fat and my Wonderful Husband would leave me for a skinny Parkie.
I might not have ever noticed these things had I not taken the time to chart exactly how I felt during the day.
I reported all of this (well, I left out the cookie part) to my Neurologist (who was very impressed) and we, yes we, decided to lower the strength of the medicine I was taking and increase the number of pills I take. I went from taking three 150's a day (6 hrs apart) to taking five 100's a day (4 hrs apart) and I increased my ON time to almost the whole day and I am only taking 50mg more dopamine type medicine.
Consider charting yourself before your next Neurology visit and pay real close attention to how you feel after eating a chocolate chip cookie (maybe I have found a cure).
Clicking on the colored words will open a new window and take you to a different story or link.
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.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!