11 Years, 5 Months, 4 Days...... January 15, 2009 (Age 44) - June 18, 2020 (Age 55)
My first DATSCan was performed on 11.15.2013 initially diagnosing me with Parkinson's Disease. Five years later I convince my new neuro to perform a second comparative DATScan. Below is the proof. My right side putamen shows up pure black on the scan from being void of any dopamine transmitter activity (which is why the entire left side of my body is in continuous tremor). The left side of my brain (which controls the right side of my body) is still hanging in there with trace, minimal activity. It confirms without a doubt, I have PD.
I am just off a FaceTime call with my new neurologist, Dr. Aragon. I see him for the first time since he ordered the DATScan. I'm not even shocked or moved by the news because it only confirms what I already know. He tells me, "Forget about Functional Neurological Disorder. There is no doubt about it; You have Parkinson's Disease. The second test confirms the first - it is positive." He goes on.... "With this news we now need to look at the long term for you. You are way over medicated. You'll never be able to go the distance at the dopamine intake that you're at now. We've got to slow it down."
I run through the list of Parkinson's specific-medications I take. All together I take about 30 pills/patches/capsules every day. My pharmacy refill for my dopamine is a whopping 350 pills a month. That's over 4,000 per year. My first MDS doc, after diagnosing me in 2013 gave me a warning. "Dopamine works like money in a bank account. Every pill you take is like withdrawing a penny. Eventually you will run out of effectiveness and your only alternative is brain surgery." Wow!! How long is that? "Everyone is different. There is no way of telling."
You know what? This whole Parkinson's rollercoaster I've been on throws me no surprises any longer.
My medicine regimen a constant shift of up and down in dose. It's destroyed parts of my body that may never return to full function. After 7 years of begging for a second DATScan to (at a minimum) see if there has been any progression Is finally granted.
I received partial results today of last Thursday's DATScan (with the full details tomorrow). THE COMPARISON BETWEEN 2013 AND 2020 DATSCANS CONFIRMS THAT I MOST DEFINITELY HAVE PARKINSONS DISEASE. I believe they will tell me that it is a slowly progressing version of it, but the test proves my DNA transmitters are now at trace amounts at best.
Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve
"Lisa Chalker is One Face of Early Onset Parkinson's Disease. Come along on her journey from symptoms to diagnosis; through treatments and therapies. There are highs and lows, miracles and heart notes, and the determination to never, ever, ever, ever give up on the power of HOPE."