With my DBS surgery scheduled for bright and early on December 15th, I have to say that the last nine months have passed quickly. I sometimes regret taking a year to make my decision that DBS was not only an option, but a "must do" for me. This website is a wonderful forum - I believe that the experiences related here can help the Parkinson patient and caregivers make educated decisions about whether they should make a change in the way they fight this battle called Parkinsons. As I often say to my family and friends who are battling MS, cancer, diabetes, or any other disease that changes their life: "You don't get to choose your health battles in this life, but you do get to choose how you fight those battles." My choice of weapons begins with education about your own body. To begin this education I started having blood tests that indicated levels of everything from cholesterol to white cell counts (CBC blood test). I also have 6 month tests for my thyroid. I eliminated the over the counter drugs, such as headache meds. I prefer to find the source of the problem and eliminate that. For example, if you have a headache - think back on the day and see if you drank enough water. When my doctor wants to add a med that is Parkinsons related, I start out with 1/2 to 1/4 of the recommended dosage. And I never add more than one med at a time and never until I experience the side effects MY BODY will have with the med. As part of the education of my body, I changed my eating habits. Three years ago I began experiencing "off" times when shortly after I took meds, they suddenly stopped working. I tried using Rytary to give me a more steady intake, but because I have trouble swallowing capsules, I had to open the capsule and take it with applesauce. What a pain when out running errands. And I was still experiencing weird "off" times. A dietitian suggested that I try removing all animal protein from my diet - and so I became vegan. Getting meds to the brain requires them to pass through the blood brain barrier, and protein interferes with that process. i take 10 Sinemet, plus an extended release Sinemet, plus I use the Nupro patch, so there simply isn't a long enough time between doses to consume protein. I look forward to the post DBS surgery period (I call it "the other side") as a time when I can introduce eggs, milk, fish, and chicken back into my diet. But I have to say that my body is quite healthy. I also make sure I get plenty of fiber and buy organic. Too expensive you say? Not in the long run. Shop around, there are options.
Choosing this path of good nutrition and body education has paid off for me in my DBS workups - passed with flying colors!
I will say this more than once, I'm guessing - if DBS is an option for you, think twice before turning it down. Everything I have read tells me this is the right option for me.
More later... Have a great Saturday!