Following a diagnosis, you will naturally have questions about Parkinson’s that your doctor can help you answer. You’re joining a community of more than 10 million people who are living with the disease, but the key here is that they are living.
Discussing the following questions with your doctor will help you make the most of your journey as well. Keep reading to learn more.
1. How Does Parkinson’s Progress?
It’s tough to think beyond the Parkinson’s disease diagnosis when you first receive it. However, you have a lot of life left to live, and you’ll do better with the condition if you “know the enemy,” so to speak.
Parkinson’s progress comes in five distinct stages. These include mild, almost unnoticeable symptoms, followed by slight tremors, rigidity, loss of balance, slow reflexes, and eventual immobility (in the later stages).
Your doctor will be able to give you a better idea of how long the stages last. They will also be able to guide you to the best care and treatment options suited to whatever stage you are in.
2. What Are the Best Treatments Available?
Doctors prescribe a variety of medications and procedures as treatments for Parkinson’s. Not all are created equally or even address the same issue. It’s always a good idea to discuss with your doctor the type of lifestyle you lead to help determine the best courses of action.
One promising treatment for slurred speech, for example, is LSVT LOUD Parkinson’s speech therapy. LSVT LOUD helps Parkinson’s patients modulate their voices at a more normal loudness level as they interact with family, co-workers, and people in the community.
3. What Experimental Treatments Are Available?
It’s understandable to be concerned about the long-term effects of Parkinson’s. Ultimately, there is no cure and the disease deteriorates the body’s usefulness over time.
Therefore, you may wish to pursue a conversation regarding clinical trials or experimental, non-FDA-approved medications with your doctor in the event that your body is no longer responding well to the other treatments. As with any treatment, approved or not, inquire about the side effects before volunteering, so you’ll be mentally prepared for what to expect.
4. How Many Quality of Life Years Do You Foresee?
Your long-term mental health is just as important to your well-being as physical. It’s entirely possible that you can continue to enjoy some degree of quality of life as the disease progresses.
That depends on what your expectations are and how quickly the disease is developing. A doctor can help cut through the med-speak and help you have a handle on what to expect.
This can seem depressing on the surface. However, if you look at that number as a challenge, it can help motivate you to do everything in your power to beat those milestones. Knowledge is power in the hands of the right people.
5. Are There Any Good Support Groups Available?
Talk to your doctor about support groups that he or she might know about. If they’ve dealt with many Parkinson’s patients, then they likely have some recommendations. Also, consider searching on your own, both online and through local caregivers and service providers.
These Questions About Parkinson’s Will Help You Navigate Life
You still have plenty of life left to live, and answering these questions about Parkinson’s will help you live it to the fullest. Discuss each with your doctor and put them to use as you navigate life after the diagnosis.
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