- I now have in place the two key healthcare professionals I need to manage my healthcare – the leader/internist (a geriatrician) and the neurologist who addresses the issues of an 85-year-old Parkinsonian. I have complete confidence in these two doctors, both of whom signed on just this month.
- My earlier, more active role as CEO was doing more harm than good. After my PD diagnosis, I began regularly using the OTC supplement 5-HTP to address the three major non-motor symptoms of my disease: depression, insomnia, and constipation. I had used 5-HTP occasionally in the past with good results. This encouraged me to belive that at times I could, on my own, devise helpful treatments. But, as usual, I overdid this in a big way.
- I was spending too much time on the computer, researching and writing for this blog. As with 5-HTP, I got carried away, spending huge chunks of each day at the keyboard in my office. In retrospect, I see I should have devoted much more time exercising and pursuing other activities I enjoy. My life fell out of balance.
- I meddled in other aspects of my healthcare, changing and tweaking my medications. It backfired, especially as the aging process rolled along.
For now, I'll share two opinions from this specialist:
- I was suffering from levodopa overload. He was astonished I'd been taking 1600mg of the drug every day -- two 100mg pills every three hours.
- He recommended a gradual withdrawal from the powerful drug. His suggestion -- 900mg every day, one and a half pills every four hours.
I sense my board members are split on this issue, some agreeing with the consultant that dropping the BP meds was a mistake that needs to be corrected while others side with my new doctors that this decision is unrelated to the current problem.
I suspect a few more weeks of reduced levodopa may resolve this debate. After only a few days on the new regimen, the weaning off the levodopa is reducing the BP spikes during the off periods and the readings at other times of the day almost always fall under the 150/90 guideline for people my age.
The Board Chairman's Prerogative
I could never begin a relationship with a doctor who peddles that “Yellow Brick Road” and “Good Ship Lollipop” crap!