Monthly Archives: October 2008
A few months ago, I had a Cardiologist tell me that I had a cardio-myopathy. He had my General Practitioner prescribe an Ace Inhibitor and Beta-Blocker. My GP was adamant with me that I take them despite the fact that these drugs would lower my already low blood pressure. My wife and I were already distressed over the fact that we had been told that my heart was dying and now I was to take additional dangerous meds along with my PD meds. Not good at all.
My PD meds lower my blood pressure enough that I get drowsy every so often and light-headed rarely, but to add a newcomer to my regimen to lower it even more, did not sound like my doctor was listening to me. My doctors were not thinking about my PD or my medications as part of my health equation. I knew it was time for a second opinion.
I called my Neurologist to get a referral for a Cardiologist with some understanding of PD, PD meds, and the heart. After taking a chemical stress test, an Electro-Cardiogram, and wearing a halter monitor for 24 hours, the evidence showed that my heart was perfectly normal and I had no need for any heart drugs at all. My doctors had put me and my wife through months of worry, stress, and near panic for nothing. Had I not gone for a second opinion, I would be taking un-needed medication that could be causing serious harm to my body.
I am not a doctor, but consider this. If any of your doctors ask you to make a radical change in your health regimen and you have any doubts about the potential consequences of this change then you probably need a second opinion to ease your mind. I’m so thankful that I got that second opinion.
Selecting your general practitioner and neurologist are 2 of the most important decisions that you will make when it comes to your Parkinson’s treatment. It is in your best interest and well-being to know the various drugs and treatments that are available for your condition.
Here are 5 things to consider when picking youir doctors if you have Parkinson’s disease:
1) Is your neurologist a movement disorder specialist? If you have early-onset PD, you may want to seek out a doctor with this credential.
2) Does your general practitioner understand PD and the potential dangers of the combinations of other medicines and surgeries that when combined with PD meds can lower or increase your blood pressure? Make sure your physician understands the medical side-effects of your drugs.
3) Consult a PD local support group for a referral of a good doctor. You’ll hear patients who are satisfied and unhappy with their doctors.
4) Research your doctors on the web. Start with Google and Yahoo. (I’ll have more detailed sites in a future posting.)
5) Keep a notebook with questions about any symptoms or changes that you may be experiencing. It is helpful to know what symptoms are medicinal side-effects and what might be due to the progression of Parkinson’s.
These are just a few tips that I hope you will find helpful. I am not a doctor.
Send me some of your tips.