-Daryl & Parkinson's Diagnosis: (bummer...)
<- Photo courtesy of Joyce Hardage, TX

Here’s the deal...as of August, 2009 (& ..onward?)

Toni writes....
Dear C&T Fans
, & other curious folk:

A neighbor / friend and I here in Prescott, AZ, drove Daryl down to Sun City, AZ, to see Dr. Holly Shill at Banner Health Research Clinic in Sun City. Dr. Shill is an amazing woman.... young, a former architect who decided to become a neurologist (and is now one of the top neurologists in the country), warm and personable with a very reassuring manner.

She examined Daryl, checked out all of his past neurological exams and reports and test results.
He does have Parkinson's. It is a very slow progressing type..... more emphasis on the tremor and less on the rigidity, stiffness and bradykenisia (slow movements).

It was extremely sobering to both of us to hear the diagnosis that we had suspected (in the back of our minds) spoken firmly and confidently.... no pussy-footing around with Dr. Shill, and Daryl and I appreciated her frankness and kindness.

She explained that there are medications that mostly control the tremor, but don't have much effect on the rigidity and stiffness, which Daryl is experiencing on his left side... .leg and hand. Then there are other medications that can control the rigidity and stiffness, but don't have much effect on the tremor. She suggested that, since Daryl's main problem is the tremor, she wants him to start on Amantadine, which can work very well for tremor with few side effects. He has already tried the Beta Blocker-type meds and didn't react well to them.

She wrote a prescription for Daryl, but doesn't want him to start it until he checks with his ophthalmologist to see if it would interfere with his eye problems. If Daryl gets an okay from the ophthalmologist, he will start taking the Amantadine every morning for four days, and then take it morning and noon every day. UPDATE - Nov. 2009 - Dropped Amantadine, and now experimenting w/ Levadopa / Sinemet.

Dr. Shill assured Daryl that his symptoms can be treated. It will be up to him how far he wants to go. She said he will not die of Parkinson's, that he can safely continue to drive, that his intellectual faculties will not be affected.

It is not what we had hoped for, but at least we now know, and it explains so much. Daryl is processing his diagnosis, and he is depressed a bit, but is reacting better than I thought he would. I think he was kind of relieved to finally have the answer to what is really causing his physical problems.

It just so happened that he had the bi-lateral knee surgery last October without realizing that he was in the very early stages of a slowly progressing Parkinson's. However, if he HADN'T had the surgery, he would be in a wheelchair by now because his knees were in such bad shape.

So that's the report. I wish it were better news, but it is what it is.

Love to you all




Subj: Daryl's tremor
Date: Sunday, August 16, 2009 3:10:57 PM
From: - - -
To: Tonistaken

Dear Daryl,

Whatever the problem is don't let it derail you. My father has Parkinsons Disease and has had it for 17 years. He has traveled all over the world and keeps moving forward. (He has no choice; is wife is a taskmaster!). I just found out that a good friend of mine is likely to lose their battle against Renal
cancer in the oming weeks. Life is short.

My kids have never known him to do anything other than have a tremor.

Get back to your music. FInd another instrument. Write using the computer. Find another way.

My thoughts are with you -- from right outside of Philadelphia.

Say hi to toni -- still love that voice!

Ken P. - - - 47 and still listening