Parkinson's disease

Ann - Interview 19

Male
Age at interview: 68
Age at diagnosis: 66

Brief outline: Diagnosed three years ago, Ann has tremor in her right hand. The first year after diagnosis was very difficult, but since taking Mirapexin, she feels more able to cope.

Background: Married, 3 adult children, Batik Artist.

Audio & video

Three years ago, Ann noticed that her right hand was shaking and when walking it became tense and painful. Ironing was also becoming slower and more difficult. Three visits to her GP during the course of a year led to no firm diagnosis. At her final visit, she suggested to him that she might have Parkinson’s disease and he agreed to refer her to a consultant.

 

The first year after she was diagnosed was very difficult. She felt frustrated and angry, and frightened of what the future might hold. Six weeks after being diagnosed she was prescribed Ropinirole which made her feel very depressed, lethargic and nauseous. After two months she came off the medication. But it was another six weeks before she could start taking Mirapexin. This made her feel so much better and more able to cope with her diagnosis. She attended a six week course for newly diagnosed people organised by the Sunderland Health Authority, which was a very good source of support. Then she planned a six week holiday to New Zealand with her husband.

 

Now she lives each day at a time and if she can’t achieve what she wants today, she tries again tomorrow. Simple things like ironing or washing the floor are difficult. Her voice becomes croaky at times and she misses singing in church. Holding a conker helps to take away the pain she feels in her hand when out walking. Twice recently, she has increased her dosage of Mirapexin, which has improved her symptoms but she doesn’t want to increase it too much or too quickly.

 

She goes to yoga and swimming. She gardens regularly and every day she goes for a brisk walk. She is still able to practice her art, and when she shows her work at craft fairs it helps her to feel like her old self again.

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