Extra Dosage | A check-up with my doctor and a check-in with my siblings
This is a special bonus episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s which we are calling “Extra Dosage.” Full episodes will be release every other Wednesday. In between, Niki and I will share new information, original interviews and extra material that provide more context to topics raised in the previous episodes of the podcast. We’ll also answer your questions. Feel free to write us with questions at [email protected].
Every six months I go to the neurologist. Each time, he runs me through the same battery of tests. You can see him put me through these tests in this video https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/1320906819867/?jwsource=cl. I just saw him again, did those same tests, and my symptoms appear to progressing. It’s not the news anyone wants to get. It’s not the news we expected to get. I even challenged my neurologist. I said, “Uhh, I thought this disease was slow moving. This doesn’t seem slow moving.” He agreed. Once again, he’s increased my levodopa-carbidopa dosage. While I had his attention, I brought up the fact that I’m having a terrible time staying asleep. I’ve tried nearly everything it seems from meditation, light therapy and aroma therapy to Magnesium Glycinate and Melatonin. There are two more options on the table now. In this Extra Dosage, I discuss my options with co-host Nike Reitmayer and it results on our embarking on a journey.
After my neurology appointment, I texted my brothers Bruce and Dan and my sister Tracy to update them on the Parkinson’s. I really do not relish delivering bad news. I know they are holding out hope and praying hard for my health to improve. Hearing me explain about progressing symptoms and increases in medication every six months must be difficult to digest. We grew up in a home where humour was used to defuse tension. So, in my texts I often use self-deprecation and Parkinson’s jokes to lighten the mood. Those moments of levity are often greeted with a heavy silence. Not even a hapless emoji in response. I can almost hear them moan across the international border. So, I confront them about it. What about this disease makes it so difficult to joke and laugh like we used to when we confronted life and death issues with relatives growing up? What I learned is that my perception is not necessarily reality.
Follow me, Larry Gifford
Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer
Thank you to my wife Rebecca Gifford and my siblings Bruce Gifford, Dan Gifford and Tracy Cherry.
For more info on our partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/
The toll free hotline mentioned in this episode is 1-800-565-3000
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Parkinson Canada @ParkinsonCanada
Parkinson Society BC @ParkinsonsBC
Dila Velazquez – Story Producer
Rob Johnston – Senior Audio Producer