Parkinson's disease

Angela - Interview 10

Female
Age at interview: 59
Age at diagnosis: 55

Brief outline: Angela was diagnosed in 2004 with Parkinson's Disease. She takes Ropinirole, Orphenadrine and Requip. Acupuncture has helped her symptoms.

Background: Married, 2 adult children, retired special needs teacher.

Audio & video

Angela began noticing that she was losing the use of her left side 15 years ago. At the time she didn’t have any tremor, only pain in several parts of her body which was investigated and she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. She started having tremor on her left side in 2004 and she went to her GP who entered her in to a clinical nerve trial. Very quickly she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She was relieved to finally have a diagnosis after feeling for many years that there was something wrong.

 

At the time of her diagnosis, Angela had several bad falls which had shaken her confidence. Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy helped her greatly to regain her confidence and to improve her mobility. At first Angela tried to deal with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with alternative pain relief and therapy, but her health deteriorated. After taking Roprinirole there was a noticeable improvement in her symptoms.

 

She went on a Sinemet drug trial but she had a very bad reaction to it straight away so she switched to Ropinirole which she continues to do very well on. After having considerable pain caused by rigour on her left side, she began taking Lyrica, but she gained two stone in two months. She switched to Amitritylene which worked for a while but it is becoming less effective as time goes on.  When she was taking Requip medication three times a day she was getting very disorientated and drowsy. Now, she takes a smaller dose every two hours, and although she feels very tired in the evening, this works better for her.

 

She started five elements acupuncture a year ago and it was a major turning point in improving her general wellbeing and confidence. Yoga, Tai Chi, and hydrotherapy help to keep her mobile and build up her stamina.

 

More recently she has noticed that the shaking has become more pronounced and she has memory lapses where she can’t find the word she is trying to say.

 

She would like to see more specialist physiotherapists available to treat people with Parkinson’s Disease, and to have a greater number of sessions available of specialist physiotherapy and complementary therapies available on the NHS.

 

Angela feels optimistic about the future. With the considerable research that is being done, she feels that the prospects for people living with Parkinson’s Disease are better than they have ever been.

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