April 12, 2016

Health Update: Incontinence (Good News) and Shingles (Little Pain, but BIG Fatigue)

Finally, some good news on the health front. Ever since my March 5 emergency room visit, I've had nothing but setbacks. Now, however, some welcome news.

"Urgent PC" for Incontinence
I’ve dealt with incontinence for a long time. The problem began in January, 1995, after my prostate was removed. The issue has only gotten worse with the advent of my Parkinson’s… and my advancing age.

Some cancer cells remained in my body after the prostatectomy, so I see my urologist every six months. During my last visit several weeks ago, I mentioned that the incontinence was getting worse.

He put it nicely: "Incontinence is not a medical problem, it's a social problem." He mentioned two medicines for incontinence, but wouldn’t recommend either. Why? One of them tended to elevate blood pressure; the other often led to constipation. I wasn’t prepared to deal with either of those unpleasant side effects.

But he suggested I might want to consider a relatively new treatment for incontinence: "Urgent PC." This video describes the procedure:

For 12 weeks, I get weekly treatments – about 30 minutes each time – in my urologist's office. After that, I’ll receive treatments every month.

So far, I’m three sessions into the initial 12-week regimen, and I’m already experiencing significant improvements.

And Then, Shingles
Three weeks ago, a large rash suddenly appeared on the left side of my midriff. I got an appointment with the nurse practitioner in my GP's office for the next day.

She diagnosed the rash as shingles, and the doctor confirmed that diagnosis. It was a good thing I could get that appointment and diagnosis, because my housemates Bhawana and Nimesh were just then driving home from the hospital with their newborn daughter Nivah.

For the next two weeks, I stayed away from the baby, even though my shingles outbreak was probably contagious for only the first week.

From what I’d read and heard from others, I expected pain and itching. But I experienced neither.

Just as soon as I figured I was home free, I began experiencing lots of fatigue and occasional intense exhaustion. I soon learned that feeling very tired was a typical symptom of shingles.

For example, last night I forced myself to stay awake until 9pm, when I finally gave up and went to bed. I’ll check with my GP, but I suspect I just need to wait this symptom out.

I'd  appreciate hearing from anybody who's had shingles and found a way to treat it or its side effects.

1 comment:

nicole.lascurain@healthline.com said...

Hi John,

Congratulations! Your blog has made Healthline's list of the Best Parkinson's Disease Blogs of 2016! Healthline's editors selected each winner based on their reach to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high quality information. We created a badge to help you publicize your achievement, and I encourage you to embed the badge on your site and share your 2016 status with your followers.

Winners list: http://www.healthline.com/health/parkinsons/best-blogs-of-the-year
Badge to embed: www.healthline.com/health/parkinsons/best-blogs-badge-2015

Thanks for providing a great resource to the Parkinson's Disease community. I will be happy to answer any questions and assist you with embedding the badge on your site.

King Regards,

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