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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Red spots, Barnacles and getting older

I went to see Dr L, my dermatologist, in April 2012. Since either having Parkinson's Disease or the medicines I take for Parkinson's Disease can increase my risk for melanoma (the scientists aren't sure which), I get a complete skin check every 6 months.  

This visit had me worried.  I had basal cell and squamous cell cancers cut off my nose back in 2009, so I pay attention to my skin.  Several weeks ago, I noticed a red spot on my nose, a black spot on my neck and a mole on my arm seemed to have darkened.

red spot on nose

black spot on neck

mole changed color

Since my regular appointment was soon, I waited.  I was led into an exam room, given the obligatory "one size fits none" paper gown and told to undress. (Why is it always so cold in Doctor's offices?) Dr L came in with a huge orthopedic boot on her foot. I asked what happened. She said "I broke 3 toes and am not saying how", then laughed.  Dr L has a great sense of humor, she likes to joke around and, why not?  We're sitting there naked in flimsy paper gowns, so she has a captive audience!

She asked about my Parkinson's and I told her my story about her (All the skinny on this Parkie) was a fave of my readers and she said " Oh my, WHAT did you say about me?" and laughed again.  We made small talk as she scanned every inch of me, paying particular attention to my nose.
Exam room items

I asked, meekly, about the "spots".  She said the one on my nose was vascular (probably blowing your nose too much from allergies), she said the one on my arm was just "your skin getting old and sun damage" and she called the one on my neck a keratosis or barnacle. 

She said everything was fine, she'd see me in 6 months and disappeared.  I got dressed and found myself singing "Barnacle Bill the Sailor Man" the rest of the day!  I was a very Happy Parky, even though she said I was old and had barnacles like an old ship! But my nose was spared the scalpel once again. Whew!

PS Mention of melanoma risk is in the fine print of Stalevo, Sinemet, Requip and Mirapex. All of which I have taken during my treatment of Parkinson's.

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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 or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parky Day!


  1. Hi Bev,
    My name is Tim my wife's name is Sue.
    Sue's mom had Parkinson's. Her name was Dori. She took care of her until the night Dori past in her arms.
    Thank you for being so candid. You are very brave putting your life out for strangers to see. I am certain that your humor is encouraging people you will never meet.
    May God bless you.

  2. Shortly after my DBS surgery, I discovered what I call giraffe spots on both legs. It looks a bit like a blotchy sunburn that starts as a solid reddish colour on each ankle and then as it climbs up each leg it gets splotchy and ends just below the knee. I have talked to my GP about it, and he said what he always says - it's probably nothing, don't worry about it. I try not to be worried about my appearance, but I am not very successful. I've also developed some spotchy red spots on my cheeks. And as mentioned, I am not very successful about not worrying about my appearance. I don't know if these skin changes are really a reaction to the surgery, or to anything Parkinsonian, or just aging (which I can't seem to stop -I am getting older and older every year.

    Thanks for sharing your miseries. It's good to know that others have suffered the same afflictions and lived.

  3. Something else to look forward to (LOL).

  4. I developed a bad case of eczema which occurred after getting a preventive shingles shot and starting amantadine. Anyone else have a similar reaction and/or treatment for eczema with PD?