Parkinson's disease

Eddie - Interview 37

Age at interview: 83
Age at diagnosis: 80

Brief outline: Eddie was diagnosed with Parkinson's about 3 years ago. He was put on Sinemet but began to experience breathing difficulties at night. Although his consultant encouraged him to continue on the medication he decided not to.

Background: Allotments Officer, single.

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Eddie has suffered from narcolepsy since he was a child and has been on a succession of amphetamine related drugs for this and more recently on Ritalin. As a young man he worked in industry but lost several jobs due to his trades union activities. His last job was working as a gardener and then as an allotment officer for the council. When he was retired at 65 he found work privately as a gardener. Now at 83, and in spite of having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 3 years ago, he is still working.


The thing he noticed first was a persistent tremor in his R hand. After he was diagnosed he was put on Sinemet. When at his next appointment it was noticed that his walking  had begun to be affected he was put on a stronger dose. After this he began to experience difficulty breathing at night. His nose seemed to become blocked especially if he sneezed. When he told the consultant about this he was encouraged to continue with the medication. But when the breathing problem did not get better he decided to stop the Sinemet altogether. Although this meant that the tremor and walking difficulty returned, he no longer had trouble with his breathing and for the moment he is happy to leave things as they are.


Since he developed Parkinson’s disease Eddie has had some distressing dreams in which he loses all control of his limbs and falls into the furniture. However in his waking life he has managed to remain independent, living on his own, though close to his younger brother.


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