Woot! Sacramento - UC Davis - Neurology - fun times.
Seriously, we love our team and they love us. We're their fun patients. Other nurses say we have far too much fun at our end of the hallway.
Dr. Duffy and Michael's feet - note Michael holds
his left hand to keep it steady
Each neurologist asked us, "When are you going to Japan?"
"Um....still figuring THAT out. It won't be until after the VA determinations are done."
They have full confidence in our ability to figure out the health care picture and go to Japan. They encourage us not to let this disease define who we are or what we can do...but then it does, doesn't it? Just a bit. Mission boards and churches will certainly be interested in this when hiring.
Here's the thing - he IS doing better on Azilect. The internal, head to toe, jittery, shakes don't happen as often. The balance is still an issue. Chronic fatigue is a big issue. The external tremors are still present most days - some times worse than other times. His movements are slow, his limbs stiff. Some days it's hard to recall words - but shoot he's still more articulate than the rest of us. His voice is changing.- hasn't done that in 40 years. Little things like using a computer mouse and keyboard, playing the piano, working puzzles are difficult - but doable. Some days he feels like a pin ball - bouncing off the walls in the Caboose. Today was an average day. Dr. Duffy said we could do better managing his symptoms. It's not all about symptoms....one doesn't want to lose dopamine or function. It doesn't come back.
Michael will begin a patch of a dopamine agonist in the upcoming week. Pills were discussed, but this will give a steady 24 hour dose and she thinks that will be better. Again, we find ourselves befuddled to willingly take meds which seem to have side-effects which mirror the symptoms they seek to alleviate or worse. They are aware Michael "doesn't do meds," but pressed the reasons it is time to add another med.
We had thought they would note the improvements on Azilect - there are some fairly good days on it - and would tell us to continue taking it to see more improvement. In other words, we thought we rocked and things were going to improve more if we stayed the course. Evidently, we don't. Or, we thought we'd ditch it and change to another med. Nope. We are keeping the Azilect and adding to it.
We were told possible side effects of Azilect were hypertensive crisis - stroke and death-like symptoms. The pharmacist spent 40 minutes explaining this and tried to get a different drug. Dr. Duffy says this is the lightest of the drugs she has for Parkinson's. In any event, Michael has been careful, I've adjusted our diet and he's not experienced the possible side-effects.
The new possible side-effects include sleep-attacks, hallucinations and impulsive/compulsive actions. I'm to call if I observe anything like this, and he'll quit taking them. It's a bit freaky to consider a PILL can make a person a crazy gambler....we're praying to avoid all these side effects too. I'm also believing the gospel is more powerful than the nutty drug. She warned us not to be alarmed if the Pharmacist asks for another consult.
This is a good time to slowly begin this drug. We will be here for another 4 - 5 weeks with VA appointments. We'll be able to see if sleep attacks are a problem before we start traveling around again. ::snort:: Dr. Duffy recommends Express Scripts and says she can handle most of Michael's care remotely - she is a big supporter of us getting on the road. LOL
Neurology days are a bit of a challenge. We find ourselves faced with what we've lost and with what is predicted for the future. I fight tears. I crack corny jokes and others laugh loudly - this is a good thing about the neurology department. LOL
These things we know! God is good. He controls our future. He knows what ministry He has left for us. We are pastors. It's simply who we are and what we do. That won't stop because titles and locations change.
Parkinson's isn't going away.
Michael has to take another med.
Sacramento traffic is horrid.
We have a great team of docs.
There are still new meds to try.
We get to spend much more time with Michael.
He laughs at my corny jokes.
I think he's cute as a perpetual slight drunk.
Slow rides home led to Papa Murphy's for dinner!
The stars are amazing out here.
God is still controlling our future.
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