Parkinson's disease

Peter - Interview 11

Male
Age at interview: 72
Age at diagnosis: 67

Brief outline: Peter was diagnosed six years ago. He experiences tremor, freezing and rigidity and considerable problems sleeping at night. He takes slow release Sinemet and Amitriptyline.

Background: Married, 2 adult children, retired salesman.

Audio & video

Six years ago, Peter’s wife noticed that he had a tremor in his hands and that he was dragging his feet when he walked. He saw the GP who suggested that he might have Parkinson’s Disease and he was prescribed Sinemet. After a year, the tremor was slightly worse so Peter was referred to a consultant neurologist, who confirmed that he did have Parkinson’s Disease. For a while he took Mirapexin but it gave him a severe stomach upset so he had to stop taking it. Peter now takes slow-release Sinemet at bed time. 

 

The biggest problem Peter experiences is difficulty sleeping, and he is often awake for several hours during the night. He takes amitriptyline to help him relax and an occasional sleeping tablet. But he is very tired a lot of the time which affects his day to day life.

 

As well as the tremor and dragging of his feet, he experiences freezing when he is walking and he gets rigidity in his limbs at times, which can be painful.

 

He tries to stay positive by using humour to cope with his symptoms, and although he felt quite depressed when he was first diagnosed, he has more good days than bad days at the moment. It helps to meet others at the local support group to compare notes and to be in the company of people who understand what it is like to live with Parkinson’s disease.

 

Peter tried acupuncture but he didn’t think it made any difference. More recently he has been having Bowen treatment with a local practitioner once a week, which is a very soft muscle manipulation.   It makes him feel very relaxed and it takes the tenseness in his body away for a while. He recommends it to others.

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