Parkinson's disease

Kevin - Interview 16

Male
Age at interview: 58
Age at diagnosis: 56

Brief outline: Kevin was diagnosed 2 years ago. Although he still experiences stiffness, particularly in his shoulder and neck, most of his symptoms were managed well by Ropinirole but it caused nausea and has os now on Rogitotine 4mg vvpatches.

Background: Married, adult children Network IT consultant (now home-based).

Audio & video

Two years ago, Kevin was on holiday abroad when a medical student suggested to him that he might have the early stages of Parkinson’s. On returning home, a neurologist confirmed his diagnosis. For quite a while, he found it hard to believe that he had Parkinson’s.

 

At the time he was experiencing slowness and stiffness in his joints. His handwriting was affected and he had problems sleeping. He started taking Pramipexole but this made him feel sick, so he changed to Ropinirole. Many of his symptoms disappeared and he started to question if he really did have Parkinson’s. After a period of changing medication and stopping medication, he began to accept that he did have Parkinson’s because his symptoms returned.

 

Now he takes Ropinirole and recently an anti-depressant, which helps to take away a fuzzy head that he has at times. Apart from the stiffness, his main problem now is extreme tiredness, which affects him shortly after he takes his medication, three times a day.

 

Kevin is an IT consultant and has continued to work full time. He was finding the customer facing aspect of his job difficult and he told his boss the difficulties he was experiencing. His company has been very supportive and he now is able to do the majority of his job from home. 

 

He went to his local support group and was surprised at how useful he found it. Apart from meeting others that he can discuss similar problems with, Kevin finds it very useful to have guest speakers talking on different subjects related to Parkinson’s. He recommends others join a support group. 

 

Kevin tries to be as active as possible. He exercises at the gym two to three times a week, which helps to relieve the stiffness and makes him feel much better. He tries to fight his symptoms rather than let them take over, by taking regular exercise, biking, walking and swimming.

 

He notices that stress makes his symptoms worse and when he is on holiday relaxing, his symptoms improve. He thinks it is important to stay positive and live life as normally as possible.

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