Thursday, July 8, 2010

What dreams may come

So it's time to turn in after another day of tremors, dyskinesia and muscle stiffness. As a hard workin', hardly workin' Parkie, you're ready for a well-deserved three or four hours of sleep before your nightly high-stakes race to the toilet. Well not so (pardon the expression) fast, bradykinesia boy. It would be un-parkinson's to expect any part of life to be unmolested by this all-pervasive and all-perverse malady.

It seems that although we people of the Parkinson's persuasion do not have the liberty to move freely during the day, our addled nervous systems grant us the unusual ability to physically act out our dreams. Why is this an unusual ability? Well, humdrum, everyday, normal people have a mechanism that restricts motion while they sleep. This keeps them from damaging themselves, or others, while acting out their dreams.

In still another of the ironies of Parkinson's Disease, a person who has Parkinson's may paradoxically act out their dreams. Which, as you may have guessed I did this morning.

Let's join my nightmare just as I am about to deliver a desperate blow to a lethal
and deranged cab driver. It's the one chance anyone has to stop this madman. Riding a surge of adrenalin I swing hard for his head and wake on the jolt of the abrupt connection of bone to bone, suddenly jerked alert by the pain in my hand as it slams into my cell phone that a second ago had peacefully rested on a box next to my bed. The phone flies off the box and skips across the floor into the kitchen, seemingly anxious to put as much distance as possible between itself and the unpredictable violent lunatic in the bed.

You always hurt the ones you love.


Anonymous said...

Great post,

I shared it with my group on FB along with your link.


Ken Glowienke, President
Focus on a Cure Foundation for Parkinson's



Pamela Parker said...

I enjoyed your story - and hate the reason your sleep is disturbed. My husband Geoff was also diagnosed with PD at age 51. Happy to have been made aware of your blog!

Please take time to key up:
In a year, Geoffrey and I are taking a very long walk up a very high mountain to raise awareness and funding to continue PD research - and when we reach the top (God willing) it will also be for you!
Sending wishes for sweet dreams!
Pamela Parker

Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

Hi Pam, thanks for the note. I went to the site for your ambitious climb, and wish you safe journeys and the best of luck. Onward and upward!


Sandy Kleven said...

Thanks. I am a family member of a PD patient just beginning to figure it out... I mean all the too much medicine and you get A, too little and you get B. Is she hallucinating because of the CarbaDopa or the PD (or other)? My mom is up there in age... plus, I am in Alaska... but I think we've finally got the dosage right.

Peter Dunlap-Shohl said...

Hi Sandy. If I remember right, pd can cause hallucinations all by itself. But PD drugs especially in combination with interaction with other medications your Mom may be on can lead to some very negative results. It is definitely worth a chat with her pharmacist and/or neurologist to make sure all her pills are in a row.