Author Archives: Dr. C

Thinking of Parkinson’s Disease as a Brain Injury

My clinical training is in helping people recover from brain injury. After receiving my Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis and reading that scientists believe the disease is linked to the destruction of dopamine-producing neurons, I began thinking of Parkinson’s as a brain injury. While working with brain injury patients, I’d…

Medical Marijuana and Parkinson’s: It’s Complicated

It is disappointing that medical marijuana is not among the first line of treatments a provider suggests for Parkinson’s disease, particularly when one is using federally sponsored medical services. But that is changing. It is a new world for medical marijuana, a treatment that both patients and providers are…

The Old Well Ain’t What She Used to Be

I used to bound out of bed, my internal well of resources fully refreshed, ready to tackle anything the day presented. Not anymore. The old well ain’t what she used to be. With Parkinson’s disease, I don’t sleep well. Despite my best efforts, I don’t start the day with…

Sharing Our Stories Reveals That We Are Not Alone

When my wife and I chat with people about having Parkinson’s disease, we often hear comments like, “My brother has Parkinson’s.” Or, “My uncle had Parkinson’s.” Or, “Both of my grandfathers have Parkinson’s.” These stories are shared by medical providers, acquaintances, and co-workers. These are people outside the usual Parkinson’s…

How a ‘Support Partnership’ Helps to Improve Life With PD

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Maybe there were special awareness months in previous years, but this year has eclipsed them all with dire intensity that erases memory. It’s been one heck of a year. Mrs. Dr. C and I have managed by functioning harmoniously (most of the time) to…

How Our Perception of Pain Influences the Way We Manage It

“Dr. C seems better these days, don’t you think?” Neo asks Mrs. Dr. C. Neo is the inner part of Dr. C’s brain that shares his insights on Parkinson’s disease, science, and general well-being. Mrs. Dr. C agrees. “Since we moved to where winter snow doesn’t linger into April, he’s…

8 Steps I Take to Get Better Sleep With Parkinson’s

Ever had one of those mornings when you wake up and look around, but you’re not sure where you are or how you got there? It used to happen regularly to me when I was a child sleeping overnight at my grandmother’s house. But one time was different. I woke…

It’s a Horrible Illness but You Can Change That

My Parkinson’s symptoms have gotten worse. Every day has two peak off times that I think of as “horrible.” During peak off periods, I experience the following sequence: First: Pain flares have surges up to levels 7 and 8. It can include 15 different pain locations, but only three…

COVID-19 and Flu Viruses Can Worsen Parkinson’s Symptoms

It’s flu season, my least favorite time of year. I always experience some flu-like reactions to the vaccine and get a mild viral infection anyway. This year, after receiving two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, I experienced strong (not adverse) reactions. Given the association between viruses and the exacerbation…

How Do You Know When Your Parkinson’s Is Getting Worse?

One of my biggest problems with the current science about Parkinson’s disease is the way that progression is described. Early stages of the disease are poorly understood and explained. The transition from early to middle stage also lacks a firm definition, particularly if one looks at the disease as…

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