As a person with Parkinson’s, I used to take two types of daily medication to help control my symptoms. While these medications were helping me control my own set of Parkinson’s symptoms, one of them was simultaneously affecting my personality and behaviour. So, after three difficult years, I finally came to a point where I couldn’t cope with the side effects and in consultation with my neurologist, decided to come off this medication. Less than two weeks later, I found myself stuck in a catch 22 situation, because without the medication I had no side effects yet my symptoms had worsened. However, when I thought back to the quality of life (or lack thereof) I had when I was on the medication, I chose to remain off them as the worsening of my symptoms was a small price to pay for getting my life back.
So it got me thinking, how many of us read through all the leaflet information that comes with all medication? I know I didn’t and paid the price because I wasn’t aware of the effects the medication was having on me. I’m not for one minute suggesting that anyone stops their medication, but I am urging everyone to read the leaflet information about your medication so you can be aware of the potential side effects that certain medications can cause. If you then experience anything unusual in your physical / emotional state, please see your neurologist as soon as you can.
I guess I was unlucky in that I was affected by some of the more uncommon side effects, but perhaps if I had paid more attention to the medication information, I might have been able to spot them sooner. So, the most important message I want people to take out of this blog is to be informed about your Parkinson’s medication. You can do this by: