June 24, 2020 at 6:54 am #18661Mary Beth SkylisKeymaster
My Dad (diagnosed in 2013) occasionally struggles with freezing episodes, where it feels like he is stuck to the ground. It seems to happen when he needs to pivot or get around something. And I wonder if his freezing episodes have to do with fear. Do any of you struggle with freezing episodes? Have you noticed trends revolving around how they function?
June 25, 2020 at 9:31 pm #18852
Hi Mary Beth
Good question about freezing.
Here’s my short tale.
When my magic meds (Sinemet) are wearing off or haven’t kicked in yet I certainly can not walk and talk or, get this, LISTEN AND WALK, without freezing!
We all know the humorous observation that a person is so “slow” they can’t walk and talk at the same time or they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. I find myself freezing when I am walking in the house when my wife talks to me from across the room! I can’t listen and walk at the same time! Good grief! That must make me look really “slow”!
On a more normal basis, I freeze at streets when I see a car coming. My legs just get stiff. So I just wait aor the traffic to clear before I ever enter a street. This is true even when I am on with the meds. I find that my new PD controlled body uses this freezing phenomenon to avoid being put in any position where it has to be ready to quickly react to another’s movements. Quick whole body reactions are not automatic for me anymore.
Thanks for the question.
Best wishes to all.
June 25, 2020 at 10:26 pm #18854
Yes ditto that. This is the most debilitating symptom which worsens with anxiety. Slurred speech seems to accompany my freezing and am having many falls. End of effectiveness of meds. ? New cycle doesn’t help.
I’m usually stuck in this pattern once it begins( takes over my body and mind)
My neurologist says it’s most difficult symptom to treat
Not dopamine but a different
There is a great webinar on this topic but I am not finding it
I was diagnosed in 2014.
June 27, 2020 at 9:44 am #18859
I reread my goofy post and had a further thought.
I have to put conscious effort into walking now. It is no longer automatic. When I put any effort into something else, like being fully dutifully and respectfully attentive to my wife, I am no longer able to also put the full conscious effort into my walking. The result is the freezing of gait. Really weird when it happens. But the cause is obvious. The automatic-ness we take a lifetime to achieve is now indeed truly impaired. I find it very difficult to explain this concept to anyone who has not had a personal “taste” of it.
Onward and upwards.
June 30, 2020 at 4:01 pm #18876
Exactly Robert! My husband tries counting but I cannot seem to focus on his words and my walking. With the exception of a straight away path with no turns or narrow openings. I recently tried an app (metronome) but still experiencing the same issue of concentrating on steps and having auditory input. Visual cuing is another strategy-lines taped to floor or tile blocks if you have in your home. Laser shoes have been recommended but expensive and unattractive. There are laser lights you can buy and attach to the front of your shoes
I am thinking about purchasing some ..
June 30, 2020 at 7:10 pm #18878
The video YouTube is
“Falls and Balance Issues in Parkinson’s Disease: When, Why & How to Treat”
Dr. William Dauer
July 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm #18911AnonymousInactive
Yes – freezing of gait is my greatest challenge. Like Robert, I have to put a conscious effort in initiating the walking process . . . it is no longer automatic. As Caroline said, turns and narrow passage ways can absolutely be an adventure. Once I get started I’m generally ok as long as there are no sharp turns in my path. The carpet in my office is very ‘busy’ so I do have tape on the floor which helps navigating around my desk (it also makes for interesting conversation). To initiate a step, I have found that just by waving my hand in front of me I can usually get started. Often something as simple as a gentle tap on the shoulder from my wife is enough to get me started. Go figure.
July 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm #18915
Anybody have trouble with dog and freezing?
My subconscious PD body is allergic to dogs. Talk about freezing. This is totally embarrassing because I live in a town where people treat their dogs better than they treat their children! They like to walk around town showing off their latest canine. If someone approaches me with a dog on a leash my body freezes. The dog lover usually says something like, “it’s ok he’s harmless”. Yeah, right. Tell that to my PD.
When I am tanked up on the magic sinemet meds, there are many times that I think this is just a made up disease to keep certain unnamed people employed and to feel important. (I don’t really believe that. Those working to help us are Saints!) Now, when a dog comes around, I really, really know I have a PD problem. It is really, really weird. It is indeed like magnets repelling. It is a physical phenomenon that cannot easily be overridden. So, I just avoid the confrontations as much as possible. If I can’t, I just pull out my cell phone, turn away and pretend I am looking at a text message or something until they pass by.
I am glad my PD is not allergic to sweet foods. Although my taste for coffee has evaporated over the past year! I find myself not needing coffee in the morning for the fist time since I was an 18 year old Navy sailor 50 years ago! Hadn’t skipped a day since until now. I wonder if the meds cause this or if this is a PD thing too.
Anyone else have such “marvelously weird” PD discoveries along the way?
For you USA folks, Happy 4th of July. My mother in law is Danish. I think she told me they celebrate July 4th too for some reason. So Happy 4th of July to the Danske folks too. For you others, I just wish for you a happy day without too much freezing!
September 5, 2020 at 10:31 am #19303Vickie PaulParticipant
My freezing episodes occur whenever I get up from a chair, get out of the car, have to step down in a doorway. I just have to wait until the spirit moves me. Then I take small shuffling steps, then shift my weight side to side, and finally walk normally to my destination. The longer I sit the worse the freezing.
September 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm #19304Toni ShapiroParticipant
Hi everyone, I also have many of the same issues with freezing as in all of your posts except for freezing when I come in contact with a dog. So many strange things with this disease. Like Caroline I know anxiety plays a big role for me so because I worry about my speech and losing balance so I freeze when I see someone I know. Dogs ok….people not so much LOL! I experience the same as Vickie. I freeze getting out of a chair and was the reason why I fell with my computer and gave myself a black eye. It’s bad enough that I fall or lose my balance when freezing but once I am down I can’t get back up on my own. Having my husband pick me up embarrasses me and makes me sad. Doorways and corners are a challenge and I have no perception so I bump into things. I also have to make a conscious effort to walk and to do most everything. Like Robert and RJ nothing is automatic anymore. Thanks for this subject post Mary Beth.
September 6, 2020 at 9:23 am #19309Mary Beth SkylisKeymaster
Wow! What a tremendous amount of insight, everyone.
Robert- It’s funny you mention your dog. I’ve being thinking about encouraging my Dad to get a dog because you can train them to help with certain tasks (like un-freezing and balancing). I hadn’t thought about the possibility that having a little creature around might worsen some of those symptoms. Your thoughts made me giggle. Thank you for your humor.
Toni- thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experience. My Dad has mentioned that walking isn’t quite the same for him, anymore. Now, like Robert said, it’s much more conscious. But he told me that straightening his back and focusing on the first step helps him to get out of these episodes. Are there tricks or tips you’ve discovered for your own freezing moments?
September 8, 2020 at 7:15 pm #19332RoyParticipant
My husband, Roy has many freezing episodes also. They seem to occur most when he is giving a demand to move. He still has automaticity for walking after standing up. But, if he needs to step back from the toilet, frozen. Place a drill bit into the screw head, frozen. Lift his foot to get into or out of the car, frozen. Beside using time to begin movement again, he tries to stamp his feet, rock left to right, or lean backward, hoping and praying that his body wakes up before he falls. The last way scares me to death, so I usually get up with him every time he uses the bathroom at night. Which is a lot! But, I don’t want him to fall. He hates waking me up multiple times per night, but that is why I retired. So, I can sleep though the day, if need be. His worst times are from 2AM to 7AM, when he needs to turn around or get in/out of the car, and when he is using tools. If there is any positive about Roy having PD, it is that I have become much more familiar with tools and now know why he was always “ talking” to the tool in his hand. Now, he says, “Come ON, Roy! You’ve done this a million times!” He finds the freezing very frustrating. It breaks my heart.
September 10, 2020 at 4:12 pm #19340Gary SParticipant
I have a way of unfreezing: I take in breath and make the sound “tchew!” and take a step. Sometimes, I repeat the sound with a few steps to get started walking.
I have also found that moving my attention to the pad of the foot that is pushing off behind me makes walking easier.
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