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Parkinson's Movement
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A ruptured eardrum revealed Ataxia, Not PD

I had been diagnosed with PD and was beiing treated with L-DOPA for over a year when I accidently ruptured my left eardrum. (I was simply scratching my ear with a finger at the time.) The sudden and intense ear-pain left little doubt what had happened. My ear specialist repaired the damage on the next day in his office (a $900 visit) and strongly suggested that I have an MRI exam to assure that their was no middle or inner ear infection. There was none, but the MRI revealed that sometime earlier I had had a stroke that I hadn't previously noticed. The stroke appeared as a small, black area on the left-side, rear-part of my brain. It was in a perfect location to cause Ataxia (with loss of balance symptoms very similar to PD). On examining the MRI scans, my neurologist immediatly revised his earlier PD diagnosis and discontinued my PD medication.

6 Replies

Who was it that said that medicine was easy?


Do you still have other PD symptoms?


I really don't know about additional PD symptoms, although my neurogist seemed to take note of the fact that I don't swing my arms when I walk. I told him that it may be a "class" thing (I believed that arm swinging was a "blue-collar thing), or that it was a result of rigid military training. My balance is terrible so I have had a history of falls. Still, my maternal uncle died of PD, so who knows. I'm 79, suffer from osteoporosis, and have been cautioned that: "My next fall will very likely be my last!" Couple this with 4 recent, major surgeries (colon resection, gall bladder removal, parathyroid gland removal, and internal bleeding, and you will unterstand why PD is the very least of my personal health concerns. Couple these health problems with the fact that I am losing my hearing, have already lot most of my teeth due to the parathyroid tumor, and on an eye examination last week the optothamogist (sp?) asked me if there wes ny history of macular degeneraton (when I went to him complaining about difficulty reading printing on a backlighted computer screen.

Worse than all of these conditions was the sudden, accidental loss of my beloved wife after 52 years of happy marriage. We met on a blind date in college and were fortunate to have found true love together. That loss is (I believe) the basis of most of my current health issues. I know that God miraculously brought us together and I pray He will soon reunite us.


Did the PD medication ever make any difference?


good for you, but watch out for other strokes.


Lemme see now, I take Warfarin strictly every every evening and have an INR test every two weeks. I regularly see my primaty care physician, my cardiologist, neuroolgist, 2 surgeons, an endocrinologist, an opthalmologist, and an ear specialist (no, I won;t even attempt to spell the name of his specialty although it starts with Oto....) Re the stroke, my precautions are attempting to avoid stresseful situation, Control my blood pressure with two differerent meds, measure my BP twice a day. Oh by the way, much like the was I was accidentally led to the cause of my ataxiaand not PD, my cardiologist performing a routines isotope scan, discovered scar tissie in my heart indicating that (in addition to the atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure that I was being treated for) I had previously had suffered one or more "Invisible" heart attacks that had left detectable scars in the heart.

So, in essence, stoke and heart attack prevention measures are, at least for me, identical.

In my current health, I know what comes next. Only the exact mechanism remains currently unknown.

By the way, I've just started with a new Primary Care Physician. This one is actually older than me The true fact is that I've already outlived all of my formercly older relatives and most of my previous doctors.

I learned my good health practices shortly after WWII, when as a kid I worked after school with returning veterans in a hardware store. They taught me practical stuffs like plumbing, glass cutting, tin working, key making, etc. They also share knowledge they had acquired during 3 years isolation on remote, Pacific jungle islads, such as: cussing, drinking, smoking, not to walk under jungle trees in the dark (pythons and/or other nasty things will drop on you from the trees.

At 15, therefore, I leaned to smoke only strong, unfiltered cigarettes), drink only alcoholic beverages greater than 80 proof and of reputable manufacture, practice safe sex with native (reads local) females, and that nothing in the world is so good as sex, good booze, and cigarettes.

This advise has served me well throughout my entire life. Since age 15 I have enjoyed a pack of Lucky Strikes or Camels each day through today, and my drinking preference peaks with Wild Turkey 101 Proof, I enjoy a roughly meat and potato based diet, with Hershey Peanut Butter Cups and Mounds bars for desert. Don't laugh, this healthy diet has helped me outlife 6 of my former doctors who died after urging me to quit smoking and drinking. 'Nuff Said. ;-)


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