On October 27, I took my mother to see a Neurologist who specializes in Movement Disorders. He has over 25 years of experience treating patients with Parkinson's.
It is difficult for me to believe that in this day of modern medicine, this is how physicians diagnose this illness. But I guess when I think about it, a diagnosis of ADHD is confirmed in much the same manner.
The doctor performed an in-depth physical evaluation of my mom noting specifically a tremor in her left hand, muscle loss in her right hand/arm, stooped posture, and shuffled walk. He asked me if she has ever experienced hallucinations, movement/talking in her sleep or incontinence. Yes, yes and yes. Muscle stiffness, aches? Yes and yes. Disruptions in her sleep schedule? Yes.
After a thorough evaluation, he concluded that he believed we should begin a treatment of Parkinson's medication for my mother and issued her a prescription. He explained that there were no adverse side effects she would experience on this mediation trial.
I feel so sad and yet, at the same time, somehow relieved, that we are getting closer to understanding what is happening to my mother. I am hopeful that we can alleviate some of her suffering.