4. Parkinson’s symptoms are not necessarily the same every single day.
Like most chronic illnesses, Parkinson’s disease does not look exactly the same every day. One day you might feel more fatigue; another day you might realize you’re not moving as slowly as you were the previous week. If you experience these “ups and downs,” you’re definitely not alone!
Blogger Linda Olson explained:
Parkinson’s disease is an erratic partner of mine. Some days I’m stiff and sore and anxious, on those days my mantra is, ‘I can do this.’ Then for no reason at all, it lightens up for a while. I look forward to these ‘gratitude days’ and make sure I share them with those around me.
5. Depression sometimes comes even before other symptoms.
Not everyone with depression will get Parkinson’s and vice versa, but it is common for depression to be among the very first symptoms of the disease to show up.
Sherri Woodbridge, blogger at Parkinson’s Journey, explained how this depression feels:
One of the first symptoms that is often overlooked (while Parkinson’s is frantically trying to make its mark on your life) can be depression. By the time you are actually diagnosed, you may feel like your whole world has caved in and your diagnosis adds a thousand ton weight upon you as you lay smothered in a pit of grief.
6. Parkinson’s drugs can lead to side effects that resemble Parkinson’s.
It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true: drugs designed to treat Parkinson’s can actually cause involuntary movements — a common symptom of Parkinson’s itself. For example, levodopahelps replace dopamine that is lost by Parkinson’s, but a potential side effect is dyskinesia, or involuntary movements.
How ironic it is – a condition that can involve shaking, stiffness and slowness of movement, sometimes all in the same day, not to mention the fact that some of the drugs used to stifle inadvertent movement can induce… wait for it… inadvertent movement (dyskinesia)! I mean, come on!
7. Many people with Parkinson’s utilize non-drug treatment options.
There are a number of drugs that can help manage Parkinson’s symptoms. But non-pharmaceutical methods may also be a part of your toolbox. Getting regular movement can help prevent muscle stiffness improve motor symptoms, so exercise like boxing, walking and weightlifting are recommended. Others might take comfort in complementary therapies like acupuncture and hydrotherapy, though there is not as much research behind them.
Karl Robb, blogger at A Soft Voice in a Noisy World, shared what works for him:
Having had Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years, I have identified a variety of triggers like lack of sleep, stress, lack of hydration, poor diet, and feeling rushed can all contribute to my Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Finding complementary therapies and practices such as reiki, Rock Steady Boxing, massage, meditation, and reflexology have all offered me tools to improve my condition.