frozen Man

The Frozen Man… Chapter Six- Medication… Symptoms and Side Effects

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:5

It was the medical treatment with an emphasis on medication, exercise, and mindfulness that came to my rescue from the deep-sea of cognitive and physical disparity. Those who knew me at the beginning of this ordeal and see me now, comment on how much better I seem. With excited eyes they infer that the doctors must have made a mistake, the diagnosis was wrong, you’re not sick! So when they ask how, I tell them the truth, “I’m on drugs.” Suddenly they get this quizzical look on their face, not knowing what to say. I reassure them, “it’s still the same me shaking under this mask of medication. I’m in control with a little help from my friends… for now”. Then it suddenly occurs to me, what an absurd statement that is; am I ever really in control. Yes, on some days you have to look a little closer to see if I have Parkinson’s at all. But it’s there and never really goes too far from home, we’re tied at the hip it seems constantly waiting for the next adventure.

The medications only help control the symptoms, as there isn’t a cure for Parkinson’s. And yes the very drugs used to ease the symptoms will cause side effects which may seem far worse than the tremors, but only on the surface. I take my medications at prescribed times and quantities. After a period these drugs and the body become complacent, side effects become more pronounced, then I’ll need a new drug combination, a system of trial and error. This will be a lifelong ritual. I know by experience that the alternative of not taking medication is not an alternative at all. So in the end, my neurologist and I will trade effects for symptoms and with a little patience the deal will pay off.

To have what it seems are new symptoms or side effects as old ones reappear like a long-lost friend begs the question, is it the drugs, the disease, or both causing this… or is it just the normal consequences of getting old? This question, asked many times and after a while understood without ever knowing the correct answer. As it is a moot point for the missing chemical in my makeup, Dopamine, touches so many physical and mental functions, it’s hard to say. Also, we are dealing with symptoms and medications that run differently for each person afflicted.

A few of the side effects such as Dystonia and Dyskinesia, I will discuss in another chapter along with my personal history on the various medications, symptom and side effects that have affected me so far.

Now before we continue on this road, allow me to clear the air a bit at this juncture. For many in the general public, outside of the Parkinson’s community, it seems that ‘medication’ is not something they want to hear about when dealing with a medical condition… I guess the connotation is if you’re on medication then what happens when you’re off!

Approached to this end, the talk is of natural, holistic and other methods. I’ve tried a few and to tell you the truth, I’ve had more success after a glass of wine or beer if, for no other reason, alcohol increases dopamine levels which causes the body and mind to relax bringing a trend of well-being. All in all, people mean well and I’ve learned there is room for both. I am open to anything and will reserve my opinion until after I question the possibilities. Because this is not an either or disease, you have to see the forest and the trees.


*Image courtesy of  Pixabay


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I was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease on October 29, 2012. These are my thoughts on Parkinson's and a variety of subjects.

6 thoughts on “The Frozen Man… Chapter Six- Medication… Symptoms and Side Effects”

  1. i’m grateful for your expressing
    the truth of your experience, dear JC!
    as Krishna taught in the Bhagavad Gita
    people see what happens to those
    right in front of them
    & don’t understand
    what awaits their loved ones
    and themselves.
    wishing you ease & joy
    and happiness with the medicines
    that are helpful 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, Parkinson’s has to be managed in every sense of the word. Drugs are brilliant, but getting the proportions right is an endless exercise in skill and patience. Mindfulness and exercise working alongside the drugs sounds the best possible combination. I wish you the best equilibrium achievable and may the research keep delivering as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the good wishes! I have a habit of saying that with Parkinson’s one must be mindful of being mindful… I’m just glad that there are alternatives to just drugs. The combination when perfected is the best way for me and many others.

      Thanks again and for reading my blog… jc


  3. Yes, JC, in my opinion, there are two areas where holistic medicine is a bad idea: Neurological disease and Cancer. Steve Jobs made a comment after it was obvious he had lost the battle with cancer. Going the “natural” route, he said he wished he had gone with traditional medicine. Herbs don’t pack the wallop chemicals do, and their quality is unreliable.
    Interesting what you say about alcohol and the dopamine connection. I had a doctor take me off ADD medication after 12 years. He took over my retired specialist’s practice and disagreed with the treatment for “religious reasons,” he claimed. I had no choice but to medicate myself with booze. For 5 years I sipped throughout the day, then finally went completely off. Now I’m doing fine. I guess there’s a fix for almost anything.

    Stay strong, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I’m with you on holistic medicine, certain ailments need the full strength of what’s offered.

      On alcohol, it may create more dopamine but at a price to the rest of your health.

      Thanks, every day I’m learning more about what true strength is.

      Liked by 1 person

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